S.C. Clemens , W. Kuhnt , L.J. LeVay , P. Anand , T. Ando , M. Bartol , C.T. Bolton , X. Ding , K. Gariboldi , L. Giosan , E.C. Hathorne , Y. Huang , P. Jaiswal , S. Kim , J.B. Kirkpatrick , K. Littler , G. Marino , P. Martinez , D. Naik , A. Peketi , S.C. Phillips , M.M. Robinson , O.E. Romero , N. Sagar , K.B. Taladay , S.N. Taylor , K. Thirumalai , G. Uramoto , Y. Usui , J. Wang , M. Yamamoto , L. Zhou
29 July 2016
International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 353 drilled six sites in the Bay of Bengal, recovering 4280 m of sediments during 32.9 days of on-site drilling. The primary objective of Expedition 353 is to reconstruct changes in Indian monsoon circulation since the Miocene at tectonic to centennial timescales. Analysis of the sediment sections recovered will improve our understanding of how monsoonal climates respond to changes in forcing external to the Earth’s climate system (i.e., insolation) and changes in forcing internal to the Earth’s climate system, including changes in continental ice volume, greenhouse gas concentrations, sea level, and the ocean-atmosphere exchange of energy and moisture. All of these mechanisms play critical roles in current and future climate change in monsoonal regions. The primary signal targeted is the exceptionally low salinity surface waters that result, in roughly equal measure, from both direct summer monsoon precipitation above the Bay of Bengal and runoff from the numerous large river basins that drain into the Bay of Bengal. 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. Expedition 353 sites are strategically located in key regions where these signals are the strongest and best preserved.