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Title: Expedition 356 Scientific Prospectus: Reefs, Oceans, and Climate
The Indonesian Throughflow (ITF) is a critical part of the global thermohaline conveyor. It plays a key role in transporting heat from the equatorial Pacific (the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool) to the Indian Ocean and exerts a major control on global climate. The complex tectonic history of the Indonesian Archipelago, a result of continued northward motion and impingement of the Australasian Plate into the Southeast Asian part of the Eurasian Plate, makes it difficult to reconstruct long-term (i.e., million year) ITF history from sites within the archipelago. The best areas to investigate ITF history are downstream in the Indian Ocean, either in the deep ocean away from strong tectonic deformation or along proximal passive margins that are directly under the influence of the ITF. Although previous Ocean Drilling Program and Deep Sea Drilling Project deepwater cores recovered in the Indian Ocean have been used to chart Indo-Pacific Warm Pool influence and, by proxy, ITF variability, these sections lack direct biogeographic and sedimentological evidence of the ITF. International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 356 will drill a transect of cores over 10° latitude on the northwest shelf (NWS) of Australia to obtain a 5 m.y. record of ITF, Indo-Pacific Warm Pool, and climate evolution that has the potential to match orbital-scale deep-sea records in its resolution. Coring the NWS will reveal a detailed shallow-water history of ITF variability and its relationship to climate. It will allow us to understand the history of the Australian monsoon and its variability, a system whose genesis is thought to be related to the initiation of the East Asian monsoon and is hypothesized to have been in place since the Pliocene or earlier. It also will lead to a better understanding of the nature and timing of the development of aridity on the Australian continent. Detailed paleobathymetric and stratigraphic data from the transect will also allow subsidence curves to be constructed to constrain the spatial and temporal patterns of vertical motions caused by the interaction between plate motion and convection within the Earth’s mantle, known as dynamic topography. The NWS is an ideal location to study this phenomenon because it is positioned on the fastest moving continent since the Eocene, on the edge of the degree two geoid anomaly. Accurate subsidence analyses over 10° of latitude can resolve whether northern Australia is moving with/over a time-transient or long-term stationary downwelling within the mantle, thereby vastly improving our understanding of deep-Earth dynamics and their impact on surficial processes.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1326927
NSF-PAR ID:
10233196
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Scientific prospectus
Volume:
356
ISSN:
2332-1385
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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  1. The Indonesian Throughflow (ITF) is a critical part of the global thermohaline conveyor. It plays a key role in transporting heat from the equatorial Pacific (the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool) to the Indian Ocean and exerts a major control on global climate. The complex tectonic history of the Indonesian archipelago, a result of continued northward motion and impingement of the Australasian plate into the southeast Asian part of the Eurasian plate, makes it difficult to reconstruct long-term (i.e., million year) ITF history from sites within the archipelago. The best areas to investigate ITF history are downstream in the Indian Ocean, either in the deep ocean away from strong tectonic deformation or along proximal passive margins that are directly under the influence of the ITF. Although previous Ocean Drilling Program and Deep Sea Drilling Project deep-water cores recovered in the Indian Ocean have been used to chart Indo-Pacific Warm Pool influence and, by proxy, ITF variability, these sections lack direct biogeographic and sedimentological evidence of the ITF. International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 356 cored seven sites covering a latitudinal range of 29°S–18°S off the northwest coast of Australia to obtain a 5 My record of the ITF, Indo-Pacific Warm Pool, and climate evolution that has the potential to match orbital-scale deep-sea records in its resolution. The material recovered will allow us to describe the history of the Australian monsoon and its variability, a system whose genesis is thought to be related to the initiation of the East Asian monsoon and is hypothesized to have been in place since the Pliocene or earlier. It also will lead to a better understanding of the nature and timing of the development of aridity on the Australian continent. Detailed paleobathymetric and stratigraphic data from the transect will also allow subsidence curves to be constructed to constrain the spatial and temporal patterns of vertical motions caused by the interaction between plate motion and convection within the Earth’s mantle, known as dynamic topography. The northwest shelf is an ideal location to study this phenomenon because it is positioned on the fastest moving continent since the Eocene, on the edge of the degree 2 geoid anomaly. Accurate subsidence analyses over 10° of latitude can resolve whether northern Australia is moving with or over either a time-transient or long-term stationary downwelling within the mantle, thereby vastly improving our understanding of deep-Earth dynamics and their impact on surficial processes. 
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  2. null (Ed.)
    The Indonesian Throughflow (ITF) is a critical part of the global thermohaline conveyor. It plays a key role in transporting heat from the equatorial Pacific (the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool) to the Indian Ocean and exerts a major control on global climate. The complex tectonic history of the Indonesian archipelago, a result of continued northward motion and impingement of the Australasian plate into the southeast Asian part of the Eurasian plate, makes it difficult to reconstruct long-term (i.e., million year) ITF history from sites within the archipelago. The best areas to investigate ITF history are downstream in the Indian Ocean, either in the deep ocean away from strong tectonic deformation or along proximal passive margins that are directly under the influence of the ITF. Although previous Ocean Drilling Program and Deep Sea Drilling Project deepwater cores recovered in the Indian Ocean have been used to chart Indo-Pacific Warm Pool influence and, by proxy, ITF variability, these sections lack direct biogeographic and sedimentological evidence of the ITF. International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 356 cored seven sites covering a latitudinal range of 29°S–18°S off the northwest coast of Australia to obtain a 5 My record of ITF, Indo-Pacific Warm Pool, and climate evolution that has the potential to match orbital-scale deep-sea records in its resolution. The material recovered will allow us to describe the history of the Australian monsoon and its variability, a system whose genesis is thought to be related to the initiation of the East Asian monsoon and is hypothesized to have been in place since the Pliocene or earlier. It also will lead to a better understanding of the nature and timing of the development of aridity on the Australian continent. Detailed paleobathymetric and stratigraphic data from the transect will also allow subsidence curves to be constructed to constrain the spatial and temporal patterns of vertical motions caused by the interaction between plate motion and convection within the Earth’s mantle, known as dynamic topography. The northwest shelf is an ideal location to study this phenomenon as it is positioned on the fastest moving continent since the Eocene, on the edge of the degree 2 geoid anomaly. Accurate subsidence analyses over 10° of latitude can resolve whether northern Australia is moving with or over either a time-transient or long-term stationary downwelling within the mantle, thereby vastly improving our understanding of deep-Earth dynamics and their impact on surficial processes. 
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  3. Abstract

    Studying tropical hydroclimate and productivity change in the past is critical for understanding global climate dynamics. Northwest Australia is an ideal location for investigating Australian monsoon dynamics, the variability of the Indonesian Throughflow (ITF), and their impact on past productivity and Pacific warm pool evolution, which remain poorly understood during the 40 kyr world in the mid‐early Pleistocene. In this study, we present multi‐proxy records from International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Site U1483 in the Timor Sea spanning the last 2,000 ka, including orbitally‐resolved records from the 40 kyr world between 2,000 and 1,300 ka. Our results suggest that northwest Australia underwent a step of increased aridification and that productivity in the Timor Sea declined during the transition from ∼1,700 to ∼1,400 ka. We attribute this aridification to the reduced moisture supply to this region caused by the ITF restriction and warm pool contraction. We ascribe the declined productivity to a decrease in the nutrient supply of the Pacific source water associated with global nutrient redistribution. At orbital timescale, multiple mechanisms, including sea level changes, monsoon, and the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) dynamics, and variations in the ITF and Walker circulation could have controlled variations of productivity and terrigenous input in the Timor Sea during the 40 kyr world. Our bulk nitrogen and benthic carbon isotope records suggest a strong coupling to biogeochemical changes in the Pacific during this period. This research contributes to a better understanding of tropical hydroclimate and productivity changes during the 40 kyr world.

     
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  4. Abstract

    The Maritime Continent (MC) is a low-latitude chokepoint of the world oceans with the Indonesian throughflow (ITF) linking the Indo-Pacific oceans, influencing global ocean circulation, climate, and biogeochemistry. While previous studies suggested that South-China-Sea freshwaters north of the MC intruding the Indonesian Seas weaken the ITF during boreal winter, the impact of the MC water cycle on the ITF has not been investigated. Here we use ocean-atmosphere-land satellite observations to reveal the dominant contribution of the MC monsoonal water cycle to boreal winter−spring freshening in the Java Sea through local precipitation and runoff from Kalimantan, Indonesia. We further demonstrate that the freshening corresponds to a reduced southward pressure gradient that would weaken the ITF. Therefore, the MC water cycle plays a critical role regulating ITF seasonality. The findings have strong implications to longer-term variations of the ITF associated with the variability and change of Indo-Pacific climate and MC water cycle.

     
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  5. Abstract

    Climate models consistently project a robust weakening of the Indonesian Throughflow (ITF) and the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) in response to greenhouse gas forcing. Previous studies of ITF variability have largely focused on local processes in the Indo‐Pacific Basin. Here, we propose that much of the centennial‐scale ITF weakening is dynamically linked to changes in the Atlantic Basin and communicated between basins via wave processes. In response to an AMOC slowdown, the Indian Ocean develops a northward surface transport anomaly that converges mass and modifies sea surface height in the Indian Ocean, which weakens the ITF. We illustrate these dynamic interbasin connections using a 1.5‐layer reduced gravity model and then validate the responses in a comprehensive general circulation model. Our results highlight the importance of transient volume exchanges between the Atlantic and Indo‐Pacific basins in regulating the global ocean circulation in a changing climate.

     
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