The variability of the winter monsoon is one of the key components of the Asian monsoon, significantly influencing paleoenvironmental evolution in East Asia. However, whether the winter or the summer monsoon is the dominated factor controlling sedimentary dynamics of the muddy areas of the continental shelves of the East China Sea is debated, due to lack of consistency between various winter monsoon proxies in previous studies. In this work, the sediments of the upper part of core ECS-DZ1 with several marine surface samples were studied in terms of sediment grain size and radiocarbon dating, and changes in sedimentary dynamics of the northern muddy area of the ECS over the past 5000 years were documented. The main findings are as follows: (1) regional sedimentary dynamics were low and did not significantly change since the middle Holocene; (2) coarse particles are the dominated component in the sediments; (3) a proxy can be derived to indicate changes in winter monsoon. Based on this reconstructed winter monsoon record, we found that this record was generally negatively correlated to the stalagmite-based summer monsoon variability over the past 3500 years, but positively correlated before that. Moreover, this record can be well correlated to changes in the Kuroshio Current and the Bond ice-rafting debris events in the North Atlantic on millennial timescales, inferring large-scale and common atmospheric dynamics across the Asian continent over the past 5000 years. Therefore, we concluded that the winter monsoon is the predominant factor controlling sedimentary dynamics in the northern part of the ECS and proposed that the contribution of coarse particles may be one of potential indices to identify the role of the winter and the summer monsoons in sedimentary evolution.
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