EGU23-41, updated on 22 Feb 2023
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Variability of the Indonesian Throughflow and Australian monsoon dynamism across the Mid Pleistocene Transition (IODP 363, Site U1483)

Kenji Matsuzaki1, Ann Holbourn2, Wolfgang Kuhnt2, Li Gong2, and Masayuki Ikeda3
Kenji Matsuzaki et al.
  • 1University of Tokyo, Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, Ocean Floor Geosciences, Chiba, Japan (
  • 2Christian-Albrechts University of Kiel, Institute of Geosciences, Ludewig-Meyn-Str. 14, 24118 Kiel, Germany
  • 3Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan

The Mid-Pleistocene Transition (MPT) between ~1200 and ~800 ka was associated with a major shift in global climate and was marked by a change in glacial/interglacial periodicity from ~41 to ~100 kyr that resulted in higher-amplitude sea-level variations and intensified glacial cooling. The Indonesian Throughflow (ITF), which controls the exchange of heat between the Pacific and Indian Oceans, is a major component of the global climate system. On the other hand, Asian-Australian Monsoon dynamics play a key role in regional primary productivity. Therefore, reconstruction of ITF and Asian-Australian Monsoon variability during the MPT could potentially clarify the impact of the glacio-eustatic sea level changes on the climate and ecosystem of Northwest Australia. The International Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 363 retrieved an extended, continuous hemipelagic sediment succession spanning the past two million years at Site U1483 on the Scott Plateau off Northwestern Australia.

In this study, we analyzed radiolarian assemblages in core top samples retrieved during the RV Sonne Expedition 257 and downcore samples from IODP Site U1483 to estimate the variability in regional sea surface temperatures (SSTs) during the MPT, and to explore ITF dynamics in relation to glacio-eustatic sea-level variations and tropical monsoon strength. We suggest that glacio-eustatic sea-level variations have been a key factor affecting changes in SSTs at Site U1483, primarily because the shallow and hydrogeographically complex nature of the sea means that SSTs are highly sensitive to glacio-eustatic sea-level variation. Based on comparisons with SST data from the mid latitudes off Northwest Australia and the South China Sea, we suggest that the SSTs at Site U1483 are highly dependent on prevailing climate changes in the northern hemisphere rather than changes in the climate of the Southern hemisphere. In addition, comparisons of radiolarian total abundances with X-ray fluorescence-scanning elemental data suggested that, until the onset of the MPT (~1200 ka), radiolarian productivity was higher during strong summer monsoons during interglacial periods, probably because of the high riverine runoff generated by heavy summer monsoonal precipitation. However, since ~900 ka, there appears to have been a shift in the mode of radiolarian productivity that has resulted in increased radiolarian productivity during glacial periods when the delivery of nutrients is increased due to the enhanced mixing of the upper water column in the shallow sea caused by strong trade winds. 

How to cite: Matsuzaki, K., Holbourn, A., Kuhnt, W., Gong, L., and Ikeda, M.: Variability of the Indonesian Throughflow and Australian monsoon dynamism across the Mid Pleistocene Transition (IODP 363, Site U1483), EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-41,, 2023.