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Stratigraphy and paleoclimatic/paleoenviromental evolution across the Early–Middle Pleistocene transition in the Chiba composite section, Japan, and other reference sections in East Asia

The Earth experienced dramatic changes in oceanic and atmospheric circulation, ice sheet distributions, and biotic evolution from the Early to Middle Pleistocene. This   interval is now known as the “Early–Middle Pleistocene transition (EMPT)” (Head and Gibbard, 2015). East Asia is an important region for land–ocean–atmosphere heat and moisture exchange owing to its location at the boundary between Eurasia and the Pacific Ocean. Understanding paleoenvironmental change in this region will therefore provide valuable insights into Earth’s climate system.

Continuous deep-ocean records across climatic transitions are not rare, but constructing detailed links to atmospheric circulation, terrestrial environmental change, and evolution of the biota has been hampered by a scarcity of continuous and expanded sedimentary records from coastal, shallow-marine environments. The Chiba composite section, a candidate for the Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) to define the base of the Middle Pleistocene Subseries/Subepoch and newly proposed Chibanian Stage/Age, has a well-established chronology tied to the Matuyama–Brunhes reversal, providing a rare opportunity to capture terrestrial and marine environmental variability across Marine Isotope Stage 19 and hence the Lower–Middle Pleistocene boundary.
This special issue focuses on sedimentary records from the Chiba composite section and its stratigraphic correlation with other reference sections in East Asia. It addresses terrestrial and marine paleoclimatic and paleo-environmental co-evolution with emphasis on the mid-latitude westerly jet stream, East Asian monsoon, North Pacific Gyre, and the interplay of subtropical and subpolar settings through the Early–Middle Pleistocene transition. 
*capitalization is needed to be consistent with the purpose of the special issue, which is to promote the Chiba section as the GSSP candidate for both the Chibanian Stage and the Middle Pleistocene Subseries.

Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 19
  • Matuyama–Brunhes reversal
  • Lower–Middle Pleistocene boundary
  • Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP)
  • Chiba composite section
  • Chibanian Stage/Age

Edited by: Yusuke Suganuma, Martin J. Head, Takuya Sagawa, 


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  • Progress in Earth and Planetary Science is affiliated with the Japan Geoscience Union.

    More information, including how to submit a paper and templates, is available at the Japan Geoscience Union's PEPS website.

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