Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

    • A great volcanic eruption around AD 1300 recorded in lacustrine sediment from Dongdao Island, South China Sea

      Zhongkang Yang Nanye Long Yuhong Wang Xin Zhou Yi Liu Liguang Sun

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      The contents of Ti, Al and Fe₂O₃ in a lacustrine sediment core (DY6) collected from Dongdao Island, South China Sea (SCS), were determined to be much higher than those in the three major sediment endmembers (coral sand, guano and plants), and their likely sources include terrigenous dust and volcanic ash. At 61 cm (~AD 1300), the contents of Ti, Al and Fe₂O₃ have an abnormally high spike, which cannot be explained by terrigenous dust. The Sr and Nd isotope compositions at 61 cm are in excellent agreement with those in volcanic materials, but they are significantly different from those in terrigenous dust, implying a possible material input from historical volcanic eruptions in the lacustrine sediment DY6. The documented great Samalas volcanic eruption at AD 1257 in Indonesia is likely the candidate for this volcanic eruption.

    • Mid-to-late Holocene climate change record in palaeo-notch sediment from London Island, Svalbard

      Zhongkang Yang Liguang Sun Xin Zhou Yuhong Wang

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      The Arctic region is very sensitive to climate change and important in the Earth’s climate system. However, proxy datasets for Arctic climate are unevenly distributed and especially scarce for Svalbard because glaciers during the Little Ice Age, the most extensive in the Holocene, destroyed large quantities of sediment records in Svalbard. Fortunately, palaeo-notch sediments could withstand glaciers and bewell-preserved after deposition. In this study, we reconstructed a mid-to-late Holocene record of climate changes in a palaeo-notch sediment sequence from London Island. Multiple weathering indices were determined, they all showed consistent weathering conditions in the study area, and they were closelylinked to climate changes. Total organic carbon (TOC) and total nitrogen (TN) were also determined, and their variation profiles were similar to those of weathering indices. The climate change record in our sediment sequence is consistent with ice rafting record from North Atlantic and glacier activity from Greenland, Iceland and Svalbard, and four cold periods are clearly present. Our study provides arelatively long-term climate change record for climate conditions from mid-to-late Holocene in Svalbard.

    • Evidence for glacial deposits during the Little Ice Age in Ny-Alesund, western Spitsbergen


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      The glaciers act as an important proxy of climate changes; however, little is known about the glacial activities in Ny-Alesund during the Little Ice Age (LIA). In the present study, we studied a 118-cm-high palaeo-notch sediment profile YN in Ny-Alesund which is divided into three units: upper unit (0–10 cm), middle unit (10–70 cm) and lower unit (70–118 cm). The middle unit contains many gravels and lacks regular lamination, and most of the gravels have striations and extrusion pits on the surface. The middle unit has the grain size characteristics and origin of organic matter distinct from other units, and it is likely the glacial till. The LIA in Svalbard took place between 1500 and 1900 AD, the middle unit is deposited between 2219 yr BP and AD 1900, and thus the middle unit is most likely caused by glacier advance during the LIA. Glaciers during the LIA likely overran the sampling site, removed part of the pre-existing sediments, and contributed to the formation of diamicton in the middle unit. This study provides evidence for glacial deposits during the LIA in Ny-Alesund and improves our understanding about historical glacier dynamics and ice-sheet margins during the LIA in western Spitsbergen.

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