Late Quaternary Palaeocenography in Eastern Asia


  • Kazuhiro Taira


Pacific, tectonism, ocean circulation.


The paper presents the paleoceanography of the north-western Pacific during the latest Pleistocene, based mainly on marine records. At 15,300 (PT2) years B.P., the Kuroshio current began to flow northward. It passed south of Kyushu around 31° N latitude and ran to the east. At 13,000 (PT1) years B.P., the front of the Kuroshio reached as far as Ise Bay around 33° N latitude and at 6,000-5,000 years B.P. it extended to 43° latitude. In contrast, at around 10,000 (PR1) 15,000 (PR2), and 20,000 (PR3) years B.P. it seems likely that the cold Oyashio penetrated far to the south. In general, times of southward shift of the cold water coincide with those of intensive tectonism in East Asia. Therefore, large-scale changes in ocean circulation in the north-western Pacific are related to intensive tectonism.