Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Overbank flooding and human occupation of the Shalongka site in the Upper Yellow River Valley, northeast Tibet Plateau in relation to climate change since the last deglaciation

  • Guoqiang Li, Guanghui Dong, Lijuan Wen and Fahu Chen

Abstract

Increased flooding caused by global warming threatens the safety of coastal and river basin dwellers, but the relationship of flooding frequency, human settlement and climate change at long time scales remains unclear. Paleolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Age cultural deposits interbedded with flood sediments were found at the Shalongka site near the north bank of the upper Yellow River, northeastern Tibetan Plateau. We reconstruct the history of overbank flooding and human occupation at the Shalongka site by application of optically stimulated luminescence and radiocarbon dating, grain size, magnetic susceptibility and color reflectance analysis of overbank sediment and paleosols. The reliability of OSL dating has been confirmed by internal checks and comparing with independent 14C ages; alluvial OSL ages have shown a systematic overestimation due to poor bleaching. Our results indicate that the Yellow River episodically overflowed and reached the Shalongka site from at least ~ 16 ka and lasting until ~ 3 ka. Soil development and reduced flooding occurred at ~ 15, ~ 8.3–5.4, and after ~ 3 ka, and prehistoric populations spread to the Shalongka site area at ~ 8.3, ~ 5.4, and ~ 3 ka. We suggest that climate change influenced the overbank flooding frequency and then affected prehistoric human occupation of the Shalongka site.

Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author. E-mail address: ghdong@lzu.edu.cn (G. Dong).

References

Hide All
Aitken, M.J. An Introduction to Optical Dating. (1998). Oxford University Press, Oxford. 359
Aldenderfer, M.S. Modelling plateau peoples: the early human use of the world's high plateau. World Archaeology 38, (2006). 357370.
Alley, R.B., Mayewski, P.A., Sowers, T., Stuiver, M., Taylor, K.C., and Clark, P.U. Holocene climatic instability: a prominent, widespread event 8200 yr ago. Geology 25, (1997). 483486.
Banerjee, D., Murray, A.S., and Bøtter–Jensen, L. Equivalent dose estimation using a single aliquot of polymineral fine grains. Radiation Measurements 33, (2001). 7394.
Björck, S., Hjoft, C., Ingolfsson, O., and Skog, G. Radiocarbon dates from the Antarctic Peninsula region: problems and potentia1. Quarternary Proceedings 1, (1991). 5565.
BNCR (Bureau of National Cultural Relics), Atlas of Chinese Cultural Relics-Fascicule of Qinghai Province. (1996). China Cartograghic Publishing House Press, Beijing. (In Chinese)
Botzen, W.J.W., and Van Den Bergh, J.C.J.M. Managing natural disaster risks in a changing climate. Environmental Hazards 8, (2009). 209225.
Cai, Y.J., Zhang, H.W., Cheng, H., An, Z.S., Edwards, R.L., Wang, X.F., Tan, L.C., Liang, F.Y., and Wang, J. The Holocene Indian monsoon variability over the southern Tibetan Plateau and its teleconnections. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 335, (2012). 135144.
Chen, F.H., Qiang, M.R., Zhou, A.F., Xiao, S., and Chen, J.H. A 2000-year dust storm record from Lake Sugan in the dust source area of arid China. Journal of Geophysical Research 118, (2013). 21492160. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jgrd.50140
Cheng, H., Edwards, R.L., Broecker, W.S., Denton, G.H., Kong, X.G., Wang, Y.J., Zhang, R., and Wang, X.F. Ice age terminations. Science 326, (2009). 248252.
Colinan, S.M., Jones, G.A., Rubin, M., King, J.W., Peck, J.A., and Orem, W.H. AMS radiocarbon analyses from Lake Baikal, Siberia: challenges of dating sediments from a large, oligotrophic lake. Quaternary Geochronology 15, (1996). 669684.
de Moel, H., van Alphen, J., and Aerts, J.C.J.H. Flood maps in Europe-methods, availability and use. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences 9, (2009). 289301.
Dietze, E., Wünnemann, B., Hartmann, K., Diekmann, B., Jin, H.J., Stauch, G., Yang, S.Z., and Lehmkuhl, F. Early to mid-Holocene lake high-stand sediments at Lake DonggiCona, northeastern Tibetan Plateau, China. Quaternary Research 79, (2013). 325336.
Dong, G.H., Jia, X., Robert, E., Chen, F.H., Li, S.C., Wang, L., Cai, L.H., and An, C.B. Spatial and temporal variety of prehistoric sites and its influencing factors in the upper Yellow River valley, Qinghai Province, China. Journal of Archaeological Science 40, (2013). 25382546.
Dong, G.H., Wang, L., Cui, Y.F., Robert, E., and Chen, F.H. The spatiotemporal pattern of the Majiayao cultural evolution and its relation to climate change and variety of subsistence strategy during late Neolithic period in Gansu and Qinghai Provinces, northwest China. Quaternary International 316, (2013). 155161.
Dong, G.H., Zhang, F.Y., Ma, M.M., Fan, Y.X., Wang, Z.L., Zhang, J.W., and Chen, F.H. Ancient landslide-dam events in the Jishi Gorge, upper Yellow River valley, China. Quaternary Research 81, (2014). 445451.
Dykoski, C.A., Edwards, R.L., Cheng, H., Yuan, D.X., Cai, Y.J., Zhang, M.L., Lin, Y.S., Qing, J.M., An, Z.S., and Revenaugh, J. A high resolution, absolute-dated Holocene and deglacial Asian monsoon record from Dongge Cave, China. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 233, (2005). 7186.
Fleitmann, D., Burns, S.J., Mudelsee, M., Neff, U., Kramers, J., Mangini, A., and Matter, A. Holocene forcing of the Indian monsoon recorded in a stalagmite from Southern Oman. Science 300, (2003). 17371739.
Galbraith, R.F., Roberts, R.G., Laslett, G.M., Yoshida, H., and Olley, J.M. Optical dating of single grain and multiple grains of quartz from Jinmium rock shelter, Northern Australia: part I, experimental design and statistical models. Archaeometry 41, (1999). 339364.
Gao, H., Zhu, C., and Xu, W. Environmental change and cultural response around 4200 cal. yr BP in the Yishu River Basin, Shandong. Journal of Geographical Sciences 17, (2007). 285292.
Guedes, J., Lu, H.L., Li, Y.X., Spengler, R., Wu, X.H., and Aldenderfer, M. Moving agriculture onto the Tibetan plateau: the archaeobotanical evidence. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences (2013). http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12520-013-0153-4
Han, W.X., Yu, L.P., Lai, Z.P., Madsen, D., and Yang, S.L. The earliest well-dated archaeological site in the hyper-arid Tarim Basin and its implications for prehistoric human migration and climatic changes. Quaternary Research 82, (2014). 6672.
Hou, G.L., Lai, Z.P., Sun, Y.J., and Ye, M.L. Luminescence and radiocarbon chronologies for the Xindian Culture site of Lamafeng in the Guanting Basin on the NE edge of the Tibetan Plateau. Quaternary Geochronology 10, (2012). 394398.
Huang, C.C., Pang, J.L., Zha, X.C., Zhou, Y.L., Su, H.X., and Li, Y.Q. Extraordinary floods of 4100–4000 a BP recorded at the late Neolithic ruins in the Jinghe River gorges, middle reach of the Yellow River, China. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 289, (2010). 19.
IPCC, Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation. Field, C.B. et al. (2012). Cambridge Univ. Press,
Ji, J.F., Shen, J., Balsam, W., Chen, J., Liu, L.W., and Liu, X.Q. Asian monsoon oscillations in the northeastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau since the late glacial as interpreted from visible reflectance of Qinghai Lake sediments. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 233, (2005). 6170.
Jia, X. Cultural Evolution Process and Plant Remains During Neolithic-bronze Age in Northeast Qinghai Province. (PhD thesis) (2012). Lanzhou University, Lanzhou. (in Chinese)
Jia, X., Dong, G., Li, H., Brunson, K., Chen, F., Ma, M., Wang, H., An, C., and Zhang, K. The development of agriculture and its impact on cultural expansion during the mid-late Neolithic in the western loess plateau, China. The Holocene 23, (2013). 8390.
Kidder, T.R., Liu, H.W., and Li, M.L. Sanyangzhuang: early farming and a Han settlement preserved beneath Yellow River flood deposits. Antiquity 86, (2012). 3047.
Kidder, T.R., Liu, H.W., Xu, Q.H., and Li, M.L. The alluvial geoarchaeology of the Sanyangzhuang site on the Yellow River Floodplain, Henan Province, China. Geoarchaeology 27, (2012). 324343.
Lai, Z.P., Kaiser, K., and Brückner, H. Luminescence dated aeolian deposits of late Quaternary age in the southern Tibetan Plateau and their implications for landscape history. Quaternary Research 72, (2009). 421430.
Lai, Z.P., Mischke, S., and Madsen, D. Paleoenvironmental implications of new OSL dates on the formation of the “Shell Bar” in the Qaidam Basin, northeastern Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau. Journal of Paleolimnology 51, (2014). 197210.
Li, S.H., Chen, Y.Y., Li, B., Sun, J.M., and Yang, L.R. OSL dating of sediments from deserts in northern China. Quaternary Geochronology 2, (2007). 2328.
Liu, X.Q., Shen, J., Wang, S.M., Yang, X.D., Tong, G.B., and Zhang, E.L. A 16000-year pollen record of Qinghai Lake and its paleoclimate and paleoenvironment. Chinese Science Bulletin 47, (2002). 19311936.
Ma, M.M., Dong, G.H., Chen, F.H., Meng, X.M., Wang, Z.L., Elston, R., and Li, G.Q. Process of paleofloods in Guanting basin, Qinghai Province, China and possible relation to monsoon strength during the mid-Holocene. Quaternary International 321, (2014). 8896.
Markey, B.G., Bøtter-Jensen, L., and Duller, G.A.T. A new flexible system for measuring thermally and optically stimulated luminescence. Radiation Measurements 27, (1997). 8389.
Miao, Q., Qian, F., Zhao, Z.Z., and Liu, X.G. Terraces and evolution of the Yellow River in the Guide Segment. Geological Survey and Research 35, (2012). 3438. (In Chinese with English abstract)
Milly, P.C.D., Wetherald, R.T., Dunne, K.A., and Delworth, T.L. Increasing risk of great floods in a changing climate. Nature 415, (2002). 514517.
Min, S.-K., Zhang, X.B., Zwiers, F.W., and Hegerl, G.C. Human contribution to more-intense precipitation extremes. Nature 470, (2011). 378381.
Murray, A.S., and Wintle, A.G. Luminescence dating of quartz using an improved single aliquot regenerative dose protocol. Radiation Measurements 32, (2000). 5773.
Murray, A.S., and Wintle, A.G. The single aliquot regenerative dose protocol: potential for improvements in reliability. Radiation Measurements 37, (2003). 377381.
Pall, P., Aina, T., Stone, D.A., Stott, P.A., Nozawa, T., Hilberts, A.G.J., Lohmann, D., and Allen, M.R. Anthropogenic greenhouse gas contribution to flood risk in England and Wales in autumn 2000. Nature 470, (2011). 382385.
Peng, Y.J., Xiao, J.L., Nakamura, T., Liu, B.L., and Inouchi, Y. Holocene East Asian monsoonal precipitation pattern revealed by grain size distribution of core sediments of Daihai Lake in Inner Mongolia of north-central China. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 233, (2005). 467479.
Prescott, J.R., and Hutton, J.T. Cosmic ray contributions to dose rates for luminescence and ESR dating: large depths and long-term time variations. Radiation Measurements 23, (1994). 497500.
Przegiętka, K.R., and Chruścińska, A. Analysis of optical bleaching of OSL signal in sediment quartz. Radiation Measurements 56, (2013). 257261.
Qiang, M.R., Chen, F.H., Zhang, J.W., Zu, R.P., Jin, M., Zhou, A.F., and Xiao, S. Grain size in sediments from Lake Sugan: a possible linkage to dust storm events at the northern margin of the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau. Environmental Geology 51, (2006). 12291238.
Qiang, M.R., Song, L., Chen, F.H., Li, M.Z., Liu, X.X., and Wang, Q. A 16-ka lake-level record inferred from macrofossils in a sediment core from Genggahai Lake, northeastern Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau (China). Journal of Paleolimnology 49, (2013). 575590.
Reimer, P.J., Baillie, M.G.L., Bard, E., Bayliss, A., Beck, J.W., Blackwell, P.G., Bronk Ramsey, C., Buck, C.E., Burr, G.S., Edwards, R.L., Friedrich, M., Guilderson, T.P., Hajdas, I., Heaton, T.J., Hogg, A.G., Hughen, K.A., Kaiser, K.F., Kromer, B., McCormac, G., Manning, S.W., Reimer, R.W., Richards, D.A., Southon, J.R., Talamo, S., Turney, C.S.M., van der Plicht, J., and Weyhenmeyer, C.E. IntCal09 and Marine09 radiocarbon age calibration curves, 0–50,000 years Cal BP. Radiocarbon 51, (2009). 11111150.
Rittenour, T.M. Luminescence dating of fluvial deposits: applications to geomorphic, palaeoseismic and archaeological research. Boreas 37, (2008). 613635.
Robertson, A.R. The CIE 1976 color-difference formulate. Color Research and Application 2, (1977). 711.
Rodnight, H. How many equivalent dose values are needed to obtain a reproducible distribution?. Ancient TL 26, (2008). 39.
Shen, J., Liu, X.Q., Wang, S.M., and Matsumoto, R. Palaeoclimatic changes in the Qinghai Lake area during the last 18,000 years. Quaternary International 136, (2005). 131140.
Shi, X.M. Progress of research on palaeofloods. Journal of China Hydrology 27, (2007). 2428. (in Chinese)
Stuiver, M., and Reimer, P.J. Extended 14C database and revised CALIB radiocarbon calibration program. Radiocarbon 35, (1993). 215230.
Stuiver, M., Grootes, P.M., and Braziunas, T.F. The GISP2 ä18O climate record of the past 16500 years and the roles of the sun, ocean and volcanos. Quaternary Research 44, (1995). 341354.
Sun, Y.J., Lai, Z.P., Long, H., Liu, X.J., and Fan, Q.S. Quartz OSL dating of archaeological sites in Xiao Qaidam Lake of the NE Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau and its implications for palaeoenvironmental changes. Quaternary Geochronology 5, (2010). 360364.
Sun, Y.J., Lai, Z.P., Madsen, D., and Hou, G.L. Luminescence dating of a hearth from the archaeological site of Jiangxigou in the Qinghai Lake area of the northeastern Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau. Quaternary Geochronology 12, (2012). 107110.
Thompson, L.G., Yao, T.D., and Davis, M.E. Tropical climate instability: the last glacial cycle from a Qinghai–Tibetan ice core. Science 276, (1997). 18211825.
Wang, N.L., Yao, T.D., Thompson, L.G., Henderson, K.A., and Davis, M.E. Evidence for cold events in the early Holocene from Guliya ice core, TP, China. Chinese Science Bulletin 47, (2002). 14221427.
Wang, R.L., Scarpitta, S.C., Zhang, S.C., and Zheng, M.P. Later Pleistocene/Holocene climate conditions of Qinghai—Xizang Plateau (Tibet) based on carbon and oxygen stable isotopes of Zabuye Lake sediments. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 203, (2002). 461477.
Wang, Y., Chan, H., Edwards, R.L., He, Y., Kong, X., An, Z., Wu, J., Kelly, M.G., and Dykoski, C.A. The Holocene Asian monsoon: links to solar changes and North Atlantic climate. Science 308, (2005). 854857.
Wilby, R.L., Beven, K.J., and Reynard, N.S. Climate change and fluvial flood risk in the UK: more of the same?. Hydrological Processes 22, (2008). 25112523.
Yang, D., Yu, G., Xie, Y., Zhan, D., and Li, Z. Sedimentary records of large Holocene floods from the middle reaches of the Yellow River, China. Geomorphology 33, (2000). 7388.
Yang, X.Y., Xia, Z.K., and Ye, M.L. Prehistoric disasters at Lajia site, Qinghai, China. Chinese Science Bulletin 48, (2003). 18771881.
Yin, Z.Q., Qin, X.G., Wu, J.S., and Ning, B. The multimodal grain-size distribution characteristics of loess, desert, lake and river sediment in some areas of northern China. Acta Sedimentologica Sinica 27, (2009). 343351. (in Chinese with English abstract)
YRCC (Yellow River Conservancy Commission), The People's Yellow River. (1959). Water Resources and Electric Power Press, Beijing. (in Chinese)
Yu, L.P., and Lai, Z.P. Holocene climate change inferred from stratigraphy and OSL chronology of aeolian sediments in the Qaidam Basin, northeastern Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau. Quaternary Research 81, (2014). 488499.
Yu, X.F., Zhou, W.J., Franzen, Lars G., Xian, F., Cheng, P., and Tim Jull, A.J. High-resolution peat records for Holocene monsoon history in the eastern Tibetan Plateau. Science in China Series D: Earth Sciences 49, (2006). 615621.
Zhan, D.J., and Xie, Y.B. Palaeoflood Study. (2001). China Water Power Press, Beijing. (in Chinese)
Zhang, J.F., and Zhou, L.P. Optimization of the ‘double SAR’ procedure for polymineral fine grains. Radiation Measurements 42, (2007). 14751482.
Zhang, J.F., Liu, C.L., Wu, X.H., Liu, K.X., and Zhou, L.P. Optically stimulated luminescence and radiocarbon dating of sediments from Lop Nur (LopNor), China. Quaternary Geochronology 10, (2012). 150155.
Zhao, H., Chen, F.-H., Li, S.-H., Wintle, A.G., Fan, Y.X., and Xia, D.S. A record of Holocene climate change in the Guanzhong Basin, China. The Holocene 17, (2007). 10151022.
Zhao, H., Li, G.-Q., Sheng, Y.-W., Jin, M., and Chen, F.H. Early-middle Holocene Paleolake-desert evolution in northern Ulan-Buh desert, China. Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology 331–332, (2012). 3138.

Keywords

Overbank flooding and human occupation of the Shalongka site in the Upper Yellow River Valley, northeast Tibet Plateau in relation to climate change since the last deglaciation

  • Guoqiang Li, Guanghui Dong, Lijuan Wen and Fahu Chen

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed