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Interglacial variations of the East Asian summer monsoon

Hong Kong – Hong Kong (PRC)

17.05.2012 – 07.06.2012


Changes in the East Asian summer monsoon are driven by natural factors, however, in more recent times to an increasing degree also by anthropogenic factors. The relative weighting of these controlling factors needs to be known, in order to prognosticate the variability of precipitation in Central Asia, which is of enormous importance for the development of the regional national economies. During this expedition we sampled highly resolved marine climate archives using the Bremen Sea Floor Drill Rig (MeBo) in the northern South China Sea. Novel proxy approaches are applied to these archives combined with climate modeling that allow to reconstruct the natural variability of the East Asian summer monsoon during the Holocene and last 5 interglacials (MIS 13, 11, 9, 7, 5). We are investigating changes in the vegetation and the hydrological cycle in the catchment area of the Pearl River during these climate periods. A model-based comparison of the natural development during the previous interglacials with the already anthropogenic affected Holocene development aims at assessing the relative weighting of natural and anthropogenic forcings. Thus, INVERS will broaden the knowledge base on climate change in Central Asia and will improve scenarios outlining the future dynamic of the monsoon system.

This expedition is directly connected with the BMBF research projects "Natural versus anthropogenic controls of past monsoon variability in Central Asia recorded in marine archives (CARIMA)and "Central Asian Holocene Climate (CAHOL)" as parts of "Central Asia: Monsoon Dynamics and Geo-Ecosystems (CAME)".

Chief scientist:

PD Dr. Mahyar Mohtadi


+49 421 21865660


+49 421 21865653

Ship track indicating the two MeBo sites south of Hong Kong
RV SONNE at pier in Hong Kong
A "full" gravity core at site GeoB16602
Launching MeBo at site GeoB16601
Sampling the cores on board
MeBo samples
MeBo cores cut and wrapped on board
Multi-corer samples at site GeoB16602