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Bi L.,State Key Laboratory of Marine GeologyTongji UniversityShanghai China | Yang S.,State Key Laboratory of Marine GeologyTongji UniversityShanghai China | Li C.,State Key Laboratory of Marine GeologyTongji UniversityShanghai China | Guo Y.,State Key Laboratory of Marine GeologyTongji UniversityShanghai China | Yin P.,CAS Qingdao Institute of Oceanology
Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems | Year: 2015

The East China Sea is characterized by wide continental shelf receiving a huge input of terrigenous matter from both large rivers and mountainous rivers, which makes it an ideal natural laboratory for studying sediment source-to-sink transport processes. This paper presents mineralogical and geochemical data of the clays and bulk sediments from the rivers entering the East China Sea, aiming to investigate the general driving mechanism of silicate weathering and sediment transport processes in East Asian continental margin. Two types of river systems, tectonically stable continental rivers and tectonically active mountainous rivers, coexist in East Asia. As the direct weathering products, clays can better reflect the silicate weathering regimes within the two river systems. Provenance rock types are not the dominant factor causing silicate weathering intensity difference existed in the East Asian rivers. The silicate weathering intensity of tectonically stable river basins is primarily driven by monsoon climate, and the sediment transfer is relatively slow because of natural trapping process and increasing damming effect. The geochemistry of these river-borne sediments can thus indicate paleo-weathering intensities in East Asian continent. In contrast, silicate weathering intensity in tectonically active mountainous rivers is greatly limited by strong physical erosion despite the high temperature and highest monsoon rainfall. The factors controlling silicate weathering in tectonically active catchments are complex and thus, it should be prudent to use river sediment records to decipher paleoclimate change. These two different silicate weathering regimes and sediment transport processes are manifestations of the landscape evolution and overall dominate the sedimentation in Asian continental margin. © 2015. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

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