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Late Holocene Indian Summer Monsoon Variations Recorded at Lake Erhai, Southwestern China

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Hai Xu
Affiliation:
State key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an, China
Xinying Zhou
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Human Evolution and Archeological Science, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
Jianghu Lan
Affiliation:
State key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an, China
Bin Liu
Affiliation:
State key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an, China
Enguo Sheng
Affiliation:
State key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an, China
Keke Yu
Affiliation:
State key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an, China
Peng Cheng
Affiliation:
State key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an, China
Feng Wu
Affiliation:
State key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an, China
Bin Hong
Affiliation:
State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guiyang, China
Kevin M. Yeager
Affiliation:
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KY, Lexington KY40506, USA
Sheng Xu
Affiliation:
Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre, East Kilbride, Glasgow G75 0QF, United Kingdom
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

In this study we report changes in Indian summer monsoon (ISM) intensity during the past ~ 3500 yr inferred from proxy indices at Lake Erhai, southwestern China. Both the pollen concentrations and other proxy indices, including sediment grain size, total organic carbon contents (TOC), and elemental contents (e.g., Fe, Al), clearly indicate a long term decreasing trend in ISM intensity over the late Holocene. During the period from approximately AD 750 to AD 1200, pollen concentrations of conifer and broadleaf trees, and herbs reached the lowest levels over the past ~ 3500 yr; while the pollen percentages of both herbs and broadleaf trees increased, suggesting a significant medieval drought. The grain size, TOC, and elemental contents also support an arid climate during the medieval period. The Little Ice Age (LIA) at Lake Erhai was characterized as cold and wet. The medieval and LIA climatic patterns at Lake Erhai were similar to those over most of the ISM areas, but anti-phase with those over East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) areas. We suspect that sea surface temperature variations in the Indo-Pacific oceans and the related land-sea thermal contrasts may be responsible for such hydroclimatic differences between EASM and ISM areas.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
University of Washington

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