Skip to main content Accessibility help

Dilemma of Dating on Lacustrine Deposits in an Hyperarid Inland Basin of NW China

  • H C Zhang (a1), Q Z Ming (a1) (a2), G L Lei (a1), W X Zhang (a1), H F Fan (a1), F Q Chang (a1), B Wünnemann (a3) and K Hartmann (a3)...


Conventional and accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon, TL, OSL, and IRSL dating results on samples from the cores D100 and I70 from Ejina Basin, one of the most important inland basins in arid-hyperarid NW China, show that it is difficult to determine the ages of sediments at different depths. AMS ages of core D100 samples demonstrate that the sediments at depths from 10 to 90 m were formed between 14 to 30 kyr BP. The inverted ages from both the D100 and I70 cores imply that there was a strong reworking of the sediments during and after deposition processes. The inverted ages also indicate drastic fluctuations of groundwater bearing soluble organic matters, which might be related to neotectonic activities and climate changes during the period. Consequently, it is impossible to establish an accurate and reliable chronology for the cores based only on these dates. All AMS ages, if they are reliable and acceptable, indicate a high deposition rate (5∼8 mm/yr), and since all TL, OSL, and IRSL ages are much older than those given by AMS, it makes these methods questionable for determining the ages of lacustrine-fluvial-alluvial deposits.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Dilemma of Dating on Lacustrine Deposits in an Hyperarid Inland Basin of NW China
      Available formats

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Dilemma of Dating on Lacustrine Deposits in an Hyperarid Inland Basin of NW China
      Available formats

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Dilemma of Dating on Lacustrine Deposits in an Hyperarid Inland Basin of NW China
      Available formats


Corresponding author

Corresponding author. Email:


Hide All
Becken, M, Hölz, S, Polag, D, Fiedler-Volmer, R, Burkhardt, H. 2003. Electromagnetic investigation in the Gaxun Nur Basin, Inner Mongolia, China. In: Mischke, S, Wünnemann, B, Riede, F, editors. International Symposium – Environmental Change in Central Asia. Dept. of Earth Sciences, Berlin. Abstracts. p 810.
Dickson Cunningham, W, Windley, BF, Dorjnamjaa, D, Badamgarov, J, Saandar, M. 1996. Late Cenozoic transpression in southwestern Mongolia and the Gobi Altai-Tien Shan connection. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 140:6781.
Geyh, MA, Grosjean, M, Nuñez, L, Schotterer, U. 1999. Radiocarbon reservoir effect and the timing of the Late-Glacial/Early Holocene humid phase in the Atacama Desert (northern Chile). Quaternary Research 52:143–53.
Gong, JD, Dong, GR, Li, S, Gao, SY, Xiao, HL, Shen, JY. 1998. Degradation of physical environment and its control in Ejina Oasis at the lower reaches of Heihe River. Journal of Desert Research 18(1):4450.
Hartmann, K. 2003. Spätpleistozäne und holozäne Morphodynamik im nördlichen Gaxun Nur Becken, Innere Mongolei, NW China [PhD dissertation]. Berlin: FU. 1123. In German.
Hetzel, R, Niedermann, S, Tao, M, Kubik, PW, Ivy-Ochs, S, Gao, B, Strecker, MR. 2002. Low slip rates and long-term preservation of geomorphic features in Central Asia. Nature 417(6887):428–32.
Jickells, TD, An, ZS, Andersen, KK, Baker, AR, Bergametti, G, Brooks, N, Cao, JJ, Boyd, PW, Duce, RA, Hunter, KA, Kawahata, H, Kubilay, N, laRoche, J, Liss, PS, Mahowald, N, Prospero, JM, Ridgwell, AJ, Tegen, I, Torres, R. 2005. Global iron connections between desert dust, ocean biogeochemistry and climate. Science 308(5718):6771.
Li, Y, Yang, J, Tan, L, Duan, F. 1999. Impact of tectonics on alluvial landforms in the Hexi Corridor, NW China. Geomorphology 28:299308.
Ma, YZ, Zhang, HC, Li, JJ, Pachur, HJ, Wünnemann, B. 1998. A study on the palynoflora and climatic environment during Late Pleistocene in Tengger Desert. Acta Botanica Sinica 40(9):871–9. In Chinese with English abstract.
Molnar, P, Taponnier, P. 1975. Cenozoic tectonics of Asia: effects of a continental collision. Science 189:419–26.
Pachur, HJ, Wünnemann, B, Zhang, HC. 1995. Lake evolution in the Tengger Desert, northwestern China, during the last 40,000 years. Quaternary Research 44(2): 171–81.
Peng, JL, Zhang, HC, Ma, YZ. 1998. Late Pleistocene limnic ostracods and their environmental significance in the Tengger Desert, northwestern China. Acta Micropalaeontologica Sinica 15(1):2230.
Pye, K, Zhou, LP. 1989. Late Pleistocene and Holocene eolian dust deposition in north China and the northwest Pacific Ocean. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 73:1123.
Schramm, A, Stein, M, Goldstein, SL. 2000. Calibration of the 14C time scale to >40 ka by 234U-230Th dating of Lake Lisan sediments (last glacial Dead Sea). Earth and Planetary Science Letters 175(1–2):2740.
Shi, YF, Yu, G. 2003. Warm-humid climate and transgressions during 40–30 ka B.P. and their potential mechanisms. Quaternary Sciences 1:111.
Shi, YF, Yu, G, Liu, XD, Li, B, Yao, T. 2001. Reconstruction of the 30–40 ka BP enhanced Indian monsoon climate based on geological records from the Tibetan Plateau. Palaeogeoraphy, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 169:6983.
Shi, YF, Jia, YL, Yu, G, Yang, DY, Fan, YQ, Li, SJ, Wang, YF. 2002. Features, impacts and causes of the high temperature and large precipitation event in the Tibetan Plateau and its adjacent area during 40–30 ka BP. Journal of Lake Sciences 14(1):111.
Wang, GX, Cheng, GD. 1998. Changes of hydrology and ecological environment during late 50 years in Heihe River Basin. Journal of Desert Research 18(3):233–8.
Wang, YQ, Zhang, XY, Arimoto, R, Cao, JJ, Shen, ZX. 2005. Characteristics of carbonate content and carbon and oxygen isotopic composition of northern China soil and dust aerosol and its application to tracing dust sources. Atmospheric Environment 39(14):2631–42.
Wünnemann, B. 1999. Untersuchungen zur Paläohydrographie der Endseen in der Badain Jaran- und Tengger Wüste, Innere Mongolei, Nordwest-China [Habilitation thesis] Berlin: FU. 236 p. In German.
Wünnemann, B, Hartmann, K. 2002. Morphodynamics and paleohydrography of the Gaxun Nur Basin, Inner Mongolia, China. In: Lehmkuhl, F, Busche, D, Wünnemann, B, editors. Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie , Supplementbände, Band 126. Stuttgart: E Schweizerbart'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Science Publishers. p 147–68.
Wünnemann, B, Pachur, H-J, Zhang, HC. 1998. Climatic and environmental changes in the deserts of inner Mongolia, China, since the Late Pleistocene. In: Alsharhan, AS, Gleenie, KW, Whittle, GL, editors. Quaternary Deserts and Climatic Changes. Rotterdaman and Brookfield: AA Balkema. p 381–94.
Yang, XP. 2000. Landscape types and its formation mechanism in the Badain Jaran Desert and its surrounding areas. Journal of Desert Research 20(2):166–70.
Yang, XP. 2002. Water chemistry of the lakes in the Badain Jaran Desert and their Holocene evolution. Quaternary Sciences 22(2):97104.
Yang, B, Shi, YF. 2003. Warm-humid climate in northwest China during the period of 40∼30 ka B.P.: geological records and origin. Quaternary Sciences 1:60–8.
Zhang, HC, Ming, QZ. 2006. Hydrology and lake evolution in hyperarid northwestern China and the mystery of megadune formation in Badain Jaran Desert. Advances in Earth Science 21(5):532–8. In Chinese.
Zhang, HC, Ma, YZ, Wünnemann, B, Pachur, H-J. 2000. A Holocene climatic record from arid northwestern China. Palaeogeoraphy, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 162:389401.
Zhang, HC, Ma, YZ, Li, JJ, Qi, Y, Chen, GJ, Fang, HB, Wünnemann, B, Pachur, H-J. 2001. Palaeolake evolution and abrupt climate changes during last glacial period in NW China. Geophysical Research Letters 28(16): 3203–6.
Zhang, HC, Wünnemann, B, Ma, YZ, Peng, J, Pachur, H-J, Li, J, Qi, Y, Chen, G, Fang, H, Fenge, Z. 2002. Lake level and climate change between 42,000 and 18,000 14C yr B.P. in the Tengger Desert, NW China. Quaternary Research 58(1):6272.
Zhang, HC, Peng, JL, Ma, YZ, Chen, GJ, Feng, Z-D, Li, B, Fan, HF, Chang, FQ, Lei, GL, Wünnemann, B. 2004. Late Quaternary palaeolake levels in Tengger Desert, NW China. Palaeogeoraphy, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 211:4558.
Zhang, HC, Li, B, Yang, MS, Lei, GL, Ding, H, Niu, J, Fan, HF, Zhang, WX, Chang, FQ. 2006. Dating paleosol and animal remains in loess deposits. Radiocarbon 48(1): 109–16.


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