Science China Earth Sciences

, Volume 57, Issue 4, pp 802–812 | Cite as

Geochemistry of rare earth elements in the mid-late Quaternary sediments of the western Philippine Sea and their paleoenvironmental significance

  • ZhaoKai Xu
  • TieGang Li
  • ShiMing Wan
  • XueBo Yin
  • FuQing Jiang
  • HanJie Sun
  • JinYong Choi
  • DhongIl Lim
Research Paper


Based on a δ 18O chronology, rare earth elements (REE) and other typical elements in sediments from core MD06-3047 in the western Philippine Sea were analyzed to constrain the provenances of the sediments and investigate quantitative changes in the Asian eolian input to the study area over the last 700 ka. Among the competing processes that might affect REE compositions, sediment provenance is the most important one. Provenance analysis suggests that the study sediments have two provenance end-members; local volcanic sources are dominant, and eolian dust from the Asian continent has a smaller contribution. During glacial periods, eolian input to the western Philippine Sea was enhanced. In contrast, material supply from local volcanics increased during interglacial periods. Changes in eolian input to the study area were probably related to the strength of the East Asian winter monsoon (EAWM) as well as aridity in the Asian continent on an orbital time scale, and were partly influenced by local control factors on shorter time scales. Therefore, we propose that the present study expands the application of the REE-based method for quantitatively estimating the eolian component from the mid-latitude northern Pacific to the low-latitude western Pacific. Additionally, the study preliminarily confirms the influence of EAWM-transported eolian material on sedimentation in the western Philippine Sea since 700 ka.


eolian dust sediment provenance rare earth elements East Asian winter monsoon glacial/interglacial cycle western Philippine Sea 


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • ZhaoKai Xu
    • 1
  • TieGang Li
    • 1
  • ShiMing Wan
    • 1
  • XueBo Yin
    • 1
  • FuQing Jiang
    • 1
  • HanJie Sun
    • 1
  • JinYong Choi
    • 2
  • DhongIl Lim
    • 3
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Marine Geology and Environment, Institute of OceanologyChinese Academy of SciencesQingdaoChina
  2. 2.Department of OceanographyKunsan National UniversityKunsanKorea
  3. 3.South Sea InstituteKorea Institute of Ocean Science and TechnologyGeojeKorea

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