Main content area

Late Quaternary sedimentary environmental evolution offshore of the Hangzhou Bay, East China—implications for sea level change and formation of Changjiang alongshore current

Wang, Xin, Shi, Xuefa, Wang, Guoqing, Qiao, Shuqing, Wang, Kunshan, Yao, Zhengquan, Wang, Xuchen
Chinese journal of oceanology and limnology 2015 v.33 no.3 pp. 748-763
continental shelf, marine environment, minerals, rivers, sea level, sediments, terraces, trapping, vegetation, China, East China Sea
This study focuses on sedimentary environmental changes offshore of Hangzhou Bay, East China, since the Late Quaternary. AMS ¹⁴C ages from core CJK10, lithologies, distribution of foraminifera, heavy minerals, and S and Cl elements show a fluvial terrace environment during ∼23.2–11.0 cal ka BP; a littoral to tidal-flat environment during 11.0–10.2 cal ka BP; and a shallow marine environment with a relatively low sedimentation rate (0.1–0.22 cm/a) since 4.3 cal ka BP. High depositional rates (∼1.6 cm/a) from 10.9 to 10.2 cal ka BP resulted from sufficient accommodation space created by rapid sea level rise from −44 m to −33 m, from high sediment delivery by local rivers, and effective trapping of sediments by tidal-flat vegetation. The rate of sea level rise was variable; relatively high from 10.9 to 10.6 cal ka BP (2.1 cm/a), and lower since 10.6 cal ka BP (1.2 cm/a). The Changjiang alongshore current crossed the Hangzhou Bay to form the mud wedge on the inner shelf of the East China Sea later than 9.4 cal ka BP. The CJK10 site was a tide-dominated shelf environment and experienced erosion from approximately 9.4-9.2 cal ka BP to 4.3 cal ka BP. The depositional hiatus was caused by the Changjiang alongshore current, which was relatively weak during 9.4-7.5 cal ka BP and increased in strength during ∼7.5-4 cal ka BP. From ∼4.3 cal ka BP, a large amount of sediment from the Changjiang River was partly deposited on the continental shelf of Hangzhou Bay with some transported southward. Therefore, this study clarifies the history of Changjiang-derived sediment dispersal and deposition, although a detailed record of the changes in the Changjiang alongshore current since 4.3 cal ka BP is difficult to obtain because of the scarcity of evidence.