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Major element and REE compositions of Pliocene sediments in southwest Japan; Implications for paleoweathering and paleoclimate

Hatano, Nozomi*; Yoshida, Koki*; Mori, Saori*; Sasao, Eiji

The history of the East Asian monsoon and the relationship between the development of the monsoon climate, tectonics and global climate are complicated and controversial. The present study clarifies the chemical weathering conditions in southwest Japan based on the concentrations of major elements and rare earth elements (REEs) in lacustrine muddy sediments. Between 3.8 and 3.4 Ma, chemical weathering significantly intensified, as indicated by the high values of the chemical index of alteration as well as the high concentrations of REEs and light REEs against heavy REEs and kaolinite-rich clay mineral compositions. The intense chemical weathering on land in southwest Japan from 3.8 to 3.4 Ma may have been regulated by alternating periods of warm and humid climate brought by the invasion of the Kuroshio Current and the intensification of the East Asian summer monsoon.

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