Recent time-series from sediment traps show abnormally high chlorophyll-a concentrations and primary productivity in the oligotrophic central South China Sea (SCS), especially during wintertime. Here we present new insights from compound-specific hydrogen isotopic analysis of leaf wax n-alkanes and Sr-Nd isotope compositions extracted from four basin-wide surface sediment transects. We find that the deepest surface sediments in the central basin contain the most depleted n-alkane hydrogen isotopes, suggesting inputs from higher latitude soils in northern China. This is supported by the Sr-Nd isotope compositions of the same surface sediments. We propose that aeolian dust is transported by the winter monsoon and might fertilize the phytoplankton bloom in the central SCS. This process may have been enhanced in ancient times when the winter monsoon was stronger, driving both vertical mixing and dust transport to the central basin.
Leaf Wax and Sr‐Nd Isotope Evidence for High‐Latitude Dust Input to the Central South China Sea and Its Implication for Fertilization
Copyright©Molecular Geobiology Group, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan)
Molecular Geobiology Group
State Key Laboratory of Biogeology and Environmental Geology
China University of Geosciences (Wuhan)
NO.68 Jincheng Street, East Lake High-tech Development Zone, Wuhan,