Previous studies showed that the evolution of the Japan Sea paleoceanography since the Miocene has been influenced by the regional tectonism (e.g., opening/closing of the connecting seaways) and regional/global climate. In the Japan Sea, Expedition 346 of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) retrieved core sediments dating back to the Miocene at two sites (U1425 and U1430). In this study, we reconstruct shallow-to-deep-water hydrography of the Japan Sea during the Mio-Pliocene based on radiolarian assemblages at Sites U1425 and U1430 considering the local tectonism and changes in global/regional climate. Our data suggest that glacioeustatic sea-level changes have probably had an influence on the local paleoceanography between 9.5 and 7.0 Ma. Indeed, warm water probably flowed from the North Pacific into the Japan Sea when sea level was high via shallow central and eastern seaways. In addition, the sill depth of the northern seaway was probably close to 1000 m between 9.5 and 7.8 Ma and had probably allowed inflow of oxygen minimum zone water from the North Pacific to the Japan Sea when sea level was high. In contrast, our data imply that Cycladophora nakasekoi, an endemic species to the Japan Sea, dominated between 9.5 and 7.3 Ma when sea level was low. Our data also suggest a progressive shoaling of the sill for the period since 7.8 Ma and that global climatic events such as such the late Miocene cooling (7.5–5.5 Ma) and the early Pliocene warmth have had a sustained influence on the Japan Sea. During the mid-Pliocene, a deep cooling of the subsurface to intermediate water of the Japan Sea likely occurred because species related to subarctic subsurface to intermediate waters were dominant between 5 and 3.8 Ma. The Northern Hemisphere Glaciation (ca. 3.0–2.7 Ma) and Mid-Pleistocene Transition (1.2–0.8 Ma) have both likely intensified the cooling of the Japan Sea. [Figure not available: see fulltext.].
Matsuzaki, K. M., Itaki, T., Tada, R., & Kamikuri, S. ichi. (2018). Paleoceanographic history of the Japan Sea over the last 9.5 million years inferred from radiolarian assemblages (IODP Expedition 346 Sites U1425 and U1430). Progress in Earth and Planetary Science, 5(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40645-018-0204-7