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Disentangling Geomagnetic and Precipitation Signals in an 80-kyr Chinese Loess Record of 10Be

  • Weijian Zhou (a1) (a2), Alfred Priller (a3), J Warren Beck (a4), Wu Zhengkun (a1), Chen Maobai (a1) (a5), An Zhisheng (a1), Walter Kutschera (a3), Xian Feng (a1), Yu Huagui (a1) and Liu Lin (a1)...


The cosmogenic radionuclide 10Be is produced by cosmic-ray spallation in Earth's atmosphere. Its production rate is regulated by the geomagnetic field intensity, so that its accumulation rate in aeolian sediments can, in principle, be used to derive high-resolution records of geomagnetic field changes. However, 10Be atmospheric fallout rate also varies locally depending on rainfall rate. The accumulation rate of 10Be in sediments is further complicated by overprinting of the geomagnetic and precipitation signals by 10Be attached to remobilized dust, which fell from the atmosphere at some time in the past. Here, we demonstrate that these signals can be deconvoluted to derive both geomagnetic field intensity and paleoprecipitation records of Asian Monsoon intensity in an 80,000-yr-long 10Be record from Chinese loess. The strong similarity between our derived paleomagnetic intensity record and the SINT 200 (Guyodo and Valet 1996) and NAPIS 75 (Laj et al. 2002) stacked-marine records suggests that this method might be used to produce multimillion-yr-long records of paleomagnetic intensity from loess. This technique also reveals a new method for extracting quantitative paleoprecipitation records from continental interior regions. Our derived precipitation record is broadly similar to the speleothem δ18O-based records of paleo-Asian Monsoon intensity from Dongge (Yuan et al. 2004) and Hulu (Wang et al. 2001) caves, and suggests that the paleo-Asian Monsoon intensity may be responding to a combination of both Northern and Southern Hemisphere insolation forcing.

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