Keywords:Glacial-Interglacial cycles, Seawater Osmium isotopic ratio, Carbon cycle
Solid earth has affected and responded to changes in the global carbon cycle and climate. Volcanic degassing of carbon dioxide (CO2) and silicate chemical weathering consuming atmospheric CO2 are believed to have regulated the carbon budget of Earth’s surface system on a geologic timescale (>106 yr). However, characteristics of the solid earth response against shorter (<105 yr) fluctuations such as the Quaternary glacial-interglacial cycles, are still controversial. In order to constrain the response of the solid earth to glacial-interglacial climate changes, we employed the marine Os isotopic ratios (187Os/188Os) as a proxy of solid earth response. The marine Os isotopic ratio reflects the relative intensity of two dominant influxes to the ocean: radiogenic continental materials (187Os/188Os = 1.0−1.4) and unradiogenic mantle-like materials (i.e. hydrothermal fluids and cosmic dust) (187Os/188Os = ~0.12). Owing to the contrasting 187Os/188Os values between these two influxes, and short residence time of Os in the ocean (~104 yr), the variability in 187Os/188Os of seawater can constitute a sensitive tracer for mantle and continental inputs into the marine environment on a glacial-interglacial timescale. Here we show a high-resolution record of the marine osmium isotopic composition (187Os/188Os) as a proxy of solid earth’s response during the past 300,000 years. We demonstrate that the seawater 187Os/188Os has varied associating with glacial-interglacial cycles. Based on a marine Os isotopic mass-balance simulation, the observed 187Os/188Os fluctuation cannot solely be explained by the change of global chemical weathering rate synchronized with glacial-interglacial climate changes. Instead, the fluctuation can be reproduced by a combination of two short-term processes: (1) inputs of radiogenic Os derived from the intense weathering of glacial-till during deglaciation, and (2) inputs of unradiogenic Os derived from enhanced seafloor hydrothermalism during glacials. Our results constitute the first evidence that the solid earth system involving chemical weathering of glacial-till and seafloor magmatism systematically and repetitively responded to the glacial-interglacial cycles on <105 yr timescales.