A core, drilled at San-liao-wan in the southwestern coastal plain of Taiwan, has been analyzed for total sulfur contents, isotopic values, as well as ratios of pyritic sulfur to organic carbon. Our results demonstrate a close relationship between late Pleistocene sea-level change and the proxies generated in this study. The inorganic sulfur contents indicate that at our study site, the Holocene transgression started at ???11 ka and remained under seawater for thousands of years until the late Holocene, corresponding to a depth of 20 m in the study core. The uppermost 20 m of core shows relatively high total organic carbon (TOC) and ??34S of inorganic sulfur, suggesting a transitional environment such as muddy lagoon or marsh, before the site turned into a modern coastal plain. In the lower part of the core, at depths of 110-145 m (corresponding ages of ???12-30 ka), low sulfur contents are recorded, probably indicating fluvial sediments deposited during the oceanic isotope stage (OIS) 2, a sea-level lowstand. The lower part of the core, roughly within OIS 3, records at least two transgressions, although the transgressional signals may be somewhat obscured by subsequent weathering. The reworked origin of organic matter reported in previous studies is confirmed by our organic sulfur data; however, the marine organic source was periodically dominant. The modern high sulfate concentrations in pore water have no correlation to the other sulfur species in the sediments, probably indicating that the sulfate migrated into the site subsequent to early diagenesis. ?? 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Additional publication details
Late Pleistocene to Holocene environmental changes as recorded in the sulfur geochemistry of coastal plain sediments, southwestern Taiwan