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Temporal–spatial variations in aeolian flux on the Chinese Loess Plateau during the last 150 ka

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 November 2019

Yuming Liu
State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an710061, China College of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing100049, China
Xingxing Liu
State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an710061, China CAS Centre for Excellence in Quaternary Science and Global Change, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an710061, China
Long Ma
State Key Laboratory of Continental Dynamics and Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Early Life and Environment, Department of Geology, Northwest University, Xi’an710069, China
Shugang Kang
State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an710061, China CAS Centre for Excellence in Quaternary Science and Global Change, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an710061, China
Xiaoke Qiang
State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an710061, China CAS Centre for Excellence in Quaternary Science and Global Change, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an710061, China
Fei Guo
State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an710061, China College of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing100049, China
Youbin Sun*
State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an710061, China CAS Centre for Excellence in Quaternary Science and Global Change, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an710061, China
Author for correspondence: Youbin Sun, Email:


Aeolian dust deposits from continent and ocean have been extensively investigated to reflect past changes in source aridity and atmospheric circulations. Aeolian flux (AF) as a quantitative dust proxy has been widely used in both palaeoenvironmental reconstruction and numerical simulation. However, available AF data on the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP) is too limited to assess the temporal–spatial variations at glacial–interglacial timescales, and therefore cannot be used as robust input parameters in palaeoclimate models. Here we investigate eight loess profiles along two N–S-aligned transects on the CLP to quantitatively estimate the AF variations over the last glacial–interglacial cycle. We first establish a refined chronological framework based on optically stimulated luminescence chronology and pedostratigraphic correlation. AF was then estimated by multiplying the sedimentation rate and bulk density. The results show that the AF increases from 2–18 g cm−2 ka−1 in the southeastern CLP to 14–105 g cm−2 ka−1 in the northwestern CLP. At glacial–interglacial scales, the AF varies from 2–20 g cm−2 ka−1 during the last interglacial to 8–105 g cm−2 ka−1 in the last glaciation. Due to more spatial coverage and better age constraints, our AF data can be used to refine other AF datasets and to improve the proxy–model comparison.

Original Article
© Cambridge University Press 2019

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