Detailed reconstruction of Indian summer monsoons is necessary to better understand the late Quaternary climate history of the Bay of Bengal and Indian peninsula. We established a chronostratigraphy for a sediment core from Hole 19B in the western Bay of Bengal, extending to approximately 80 kyr BP and examined major and trace element compositions and clay mineral components of the sediments. Higher δ 18 O values, lower TiO 2 contents, and weaker weathering in the sediment source area during marine isotope stages (MIS) 2 and 4 compared to MIS 1, 3, and 5 are explained by increased Indian summer monsoonal precipitation and river discharge around the western Bay of Bengal. Clay mineral and chemical components indicate a felsic sediment source, suggesting the Precambrian gneissic complex of the eastern Indian peninsula as the dominant sediment source at this site since 80 kyr. Trace element ratios (Cr/Th, Th/Sc, Th/Co, La/Cr, and Eu/Eu*) indicate increased sediment contributions from mafic rocks during MIS 2 and 4. We interpret these results as reflecting the changing influences of the eastern and western branches of the Indian summer monsoon and a greater decrease in rainfall in the eastern and northeastern parts of the Indian peninsula than in the western part during MIS 2 and 4.
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