The primary objective of Expedition 353 is to reconstruct changes in Indian monsoon circulation since the Miocene at tectonic to centennial timescales. Salinity changes at IODP Sites U1445 and U1446 (northeast Indian margin) result from direct precipitation as well as runoff from the Ganges-Brahmaputra river complex and the many river basins of peninsular India.
The primary signal targeted is the exceptionally low salinity surface waters that result, in roughly equal measure, from both direct summer monsoon precipitation to the Bay of Bengal and runoff from the numerous large river basins that drain into the Bay of Bengal. All of these mechanisms play critical roles in current and future climate change in monsoonal regions. Recovery averaged 97%, including coring with the advanced piston corer, half-length advanced piston corer, and extended core barrel systems. This site serves as an anchor for establishing the extent to which the north to south (19°N to 5°N) salinity gradient changes over time. 1Clemens, S.C., Kuhnt, W., LeVay, L.J., and the Expedition 353 Scientists, 2015. Indian monsoon rainfall.
Changes in rainfall and surface ocean salinity are captured and preserved in a number of chemical, physical, isotopic, and biological components of sediments deposited in the Bay of Bengal. International Ocean Discovery Program Preliminary Report, 353. 10.14379/iodp.pr.353.2015. Expedition 353 sites are strategically located in key regions where these signals are the strongest and best preserved.
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