Orbital-scale variation in the magnetic content as a result of sea level changes in Papua New Guinea over the past 400 ka

Yin Sheng Huang, Teh Quei Lee, Shu Kun Hsu

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3 Scopus citations


We describe the orbital-scale environmental variation around Papua New Guinea (PNG) for the last 400 ka based on the environmental magnetism. Six magnetic parameters and the δ18O record of the core MD05-2928 are presented in the study. Results of magnetic analyses reveal opposite responses to different environmental conditions: Magnetic minerals were relatively fewer and finer in interglacial periods and were more and coarser in glacial periods. The reason could be suggested: In interglacial periods, sediments coming from central New Guinea were transported by the coastal currents in the northern Coral Sea and then imported to the core site location. Magnetic minerals would be relatively fewer and finer due to this longer transportation process. In glacial periods, the routes of the currents might regress seaward with reduced current intensity because of lower sea level. Main sediment sources would shift to the Papuan Peninsula relatively near the core site, and therefore, the magnetic minerals became more and coarser. Further, period analyses using the eccentricity, tilt, and precession (ETP) curves and the wavelet spectra were applied to the study to analyze the periodicities embedded in the parameters. Results of both period analyses clearly present the Milankovitch periods, indicating the dominance of the orbital forcing in this area. The strongest signal of 100-ka period reveals that sea level change played the dominant role in long-term environmental setting for the past ~400 ka. However, influences of 40- and 20-ka periods, possibly related to regional precipitation, should also be considered though they might be second factors affecting the environmental variation around PNG.

Original languageEnglish
Article number128
JournalEarth, Planets and Space
Issue number1
StatePublished - 17 Dec 2015


  • Coral Sea
  • Milankovitch cycles
  • Orbital forcing
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Wavelet analysis


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