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Sci Rep. 2016 Jul 20;6:29838. doi: 10.1038/srep29838.

The abrupt onset of the modern South Asian Monsoon winds.

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Institute of Geology, CEN, University of Hamburg, Bundesstrasse 55, Hamburg 20146, Germany.
Department of Marine Geosciences, Rosenstiel School of Marine &Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Miami FL 33149, USA.
Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Edinburgh, Grant Institute, The King's Buildings, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JW, United Kingdom.
Department of Geological Sciences, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 610 Taylor Road, Piscataway NJ 08854-8066, USA.
Geological Oceanography Division, CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography, Dona Paula Goa 403004, India.
International Ocean Discovery Program, Texas A&M University, Discovery Drive, College Station TX 77845, USA.
Instituto Portugues do Mar e da Atmosfera (IPMA), Divisão de Geologia e Georecursos Marinhos, Avenida de Brasilia 6, 1449-006 Lisboa, Portugal.
Centro de Ciencias do Mar (CCMAR), Universidade do Algarve, Faro, Portugal.
Dr. Moses Strauss Department of Marine Geosciences, The Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences, University of Haifa, Carmel 31905, Israel.
Department of Geosciences, Princeton University, Guyot Hall, Princeton NJ 08544, USA.
Department of Geological Sciences, California State University Bakersfield, 9001 Stockdale Highway, Bakersfield, CA 93311, USA.
Physical Properties Specialist, Ecole Nationale Superieure de Geologie, Universite de Lorraine, 2 rue du Doyen Marcel Roubault, Vandoeuvre-les-Nancy 54501, France.
Petroleum and Marine Research Division, Korea Institute of Geoscience &Mineral Resources (KIGAM), Gwahang-no 124, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 305-350, Korea.
Graduate School of Natural Science and Technology, Okayama University, 3-1-1 Tsushima-naka 700-8530, Japan.
Instituto Oceanográfico da Universidade de São Paulo, Praça do Oceanográfico, 191, São Paulo, SP 05508-120, Brazil.
Istituto di Scienze della Terra, Università di Urbino, Via S. Chiara 27, Urbino 61029, Italy.
Department of Geology and Geophysics, Texas A&M University, Mail Stop 3115, College Station TX 77843-3115, USA.
Department of Environmental Engineering for Symbiosis, Soka University, 1-236 Tangi-cyo, Hachioji-shi Tokyo 192-0003, Japan.
Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Yamagata University, 1-4-12 Kojirakawa-machi, Yamagata City 990-8560, Japan.
Environmental Science and Policy Department, David King Hall Rm 3005, MSN 5F2, George Mason University, University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030-4444, USA.
Department of Geosciences, Geotechnology and Materials Engineering for Resources, Akita University, 1-1 Teagata-Gakuencho, Akita 010-8502 Japan.
Department of Earth and Life Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1085, HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Borehole Bldg. 61 Route 9W, Palisades NY 10964, USA.
Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Technology Queensland, R-Block 317, 2 George Street, Brisbane Queensland 4001, Australia.
Key Laboratory of Marginal Sea Geology, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, West Xingang Road, Guangzhou 510301, P.R. China.
Department of Marine Geology, First Institute of Oceanography (FIO) State Oceanic Administration (SOA), #6 Xian Xia Ling Road, Qingdao Shandong Province 266061, P.R. China.
Laboratory for Marine Geology, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao, P.R. China.
Department of Earth Sciences, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom.


The South Asian Monson (SAM) is one of the most intense climatic elements yet its initiation and variations are not well established. Dating the deposits of SAM wind-driven currents in IODP cores from the Maldives yields an age of 12. 9 Ma indicating an abrupt SAM onset, over a short period of 300 kyrs. This coincided with the Indian Ocean Oxygen Minimum Zone expansion as revealed by geochemical tracers and the onset of upwelling reflected by the sediment's content of particulate organic matter. A weaker 'proto-monsoon' existed between 12.9 and 25 Ma, as mirrored by the sedimentary signature of dust influx. Abrupt SAM initiation favors a strong influence of climate in addition to the tectonic control, and we propose that the post Miocene Climate Optimum cooling, together with increased continentalization and establishment of the bipolar ocean circulation, i.e. the beginning of the modern world, shifted the monsoon over a threshold towards the modern system.

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