Rock magnetic records of the sediments of the eastern Arabian Sea: Evidence for the late Quaternary climatic change
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Rock-magnetic measurements along with grain size, acid-insoluble residue (AIR), organic carbon (OC), CaCO sub(3) and delta sup(18)O of the planktonic foraminifers of the sediments were determined for 15 gravity cores recovered from the western continental margin of India. Magnetic susceptibility (MS) values in the surficial sediments reflect the land-derived input and, in general, are the highest in terrigenous sediment-dominated sections of the cores off Saurashtra-Ratnagiri, followed by the sediments off Indus-Gulf of Kachchh and then Mangalore-Cape Comorin. The down-core variations in mineral magnetic parameters reveal that the glacial sediments off the Indus are characterized by low MS values/S-ratios associated with high AIR-content, low OC/CaCO sub(3) contents and relatively high delta sup(18)O values, while those off SW India are characterized by low MS values/high S-ratio% associated with low AIR content, and relatively high OC, CaCO sub(3) and delta(18)O values. Conversely, the Early Holocene sediments of all cores are characterized by high MS values/S-ratio% associated with high AIR content, low OC, CaCO sub(3) contents and gradually decreased delta sup(18)O values. These results imply that during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), the cores off northwestern India received abundant continental supply leading to the predominance of eolian/fluvial sedimentation. In the SW region the influence of hinterland flux is less evident during this period, but convective mixing associated with the NE monsoon resulted in increased productivity. During the early Holocene intense SW monsoon conditions resulted in high precipitation on land, which in turn contributed increased AIR content/MS values in the continental margin sediments. A shallow water core off Kochi further suggests that the intense SW monsoon conditions prevailed until about 5 ka. The late Holocene organic-rich sediments of the SW margin of India were, however, subjected to early diagenesis at different intervals in the cores. Therefore, caution is needed when interpreting regional climatic change from down-core changes in sediment magnetic properties.
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