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Stratigraphic Division of Holocene Loess in China

  • Weijian Zhou (a1), Zhisheng An (a1) and M. J. Head (a2)

Abstract

Loess deposition within the Loess Plateau of China records the history of environmental change over the last 2.5 Myr. Loess-paleosol sequences of the last 10 ka, which have preserved information of global climate change, relate closely to human occupation of the area. Hence, studies of the deposition and development of Holocene loess are significant for studying environmental change and problems associated with engineering geology. We present here stratigraphic relations among four profiles from the south, west and center of the Loess Plateau. On the basis of 14C radiometric and AMS dates of organic material extracted from the paleosols, together with magnetic susceptibility measurements down each profile, we discuss Holocene stratigraphic divisions within the Loess Plateau, and suggest that the Holocene optimum, characterized by paleosol complexes, occurred between 10 and 5 ka bp. From 5 ka BP to the present, neoglacial activity is characterized by recently deposited loess.

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References

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