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Title: Relict and modern sediments on the continental shelf of the northern South China Sea: a reconsideration
Authors: Wang, Yuming
Chen, Xiaohong
Switzer, Adam D.
Li, Linlin
Xu, Yang
Wang, Yukun
Zhang, Peizhen
Keywords: Science::Geology
Issue Date: 2023
Source: Wang, Y., Chen, X., Switzer, A. D., Li, L., Xu, Y., Wang, Y. & Zhang, P. (2023). Relict and modern sediments on the continental shelf of the northern South China Sea: a reconsideration. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 128(8).
Journal: Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface 
Abstract: Understanding the temporal-spatial patterns of modern and relict sediments is of importance for assessing changes in the Quaternary environment and sea-level. Sedimentological and geochemical data is presented, along with in situ shell-based accelerator mass spectrometry 14C ages of 30 samples from the surface sediments on the northern shelf of the South China Sea (NSSCS). The authors’ data show that the NSSCS surface sediments exhibit considerable diversity in composition. Modern sediments are primarily constrained to the NW inner shelf, which is fed by fluvial sands sourced from Coastal South China river systems and dominated by the Pearl River Estuary delivery. The transport and discharge of the terrestrial sediments to the NSSCS is highly influenced by the Guangdong Longshore Current and its secondary cyclonic eddies. Relict sediments dominated by well-sorted, medium- and coarse-grained sands were identified in the NW Shenhu and NW Dongsha areas of the outer NSSCS. The sedimentology and geochemistry of the relict sediments imply that they were deposited in a dry and cold environment either during the low sea levels of the late Pleistocene (∼40 ka) or the early Holocene (∼10 ka). To the east, the Taiwan Shoal and vicinity are dominated by a sand mixture, at which the relict sediments were reworked by terrigenous supply and modern hydrodynamic environment due to the compound action of the Guangdong Longshore Current, seasonal cyclones, and Kuroshio Intrusion. The present isobaths of ∼−90 m in the NSSCS might be the reflective of the early Holocene coastal delta or the last glacial maximum shoreline.
ISSN: 2169-9003
DOI: 10.1029/2023JF007125
Schools: Asian School of the Environment 
Research Centres: Earth Observatory of Singapore 
Rights: © 2023. American Geophysical Union. All rights reserved. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the copyright holder. The Version of Record is available online at
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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