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Lake Level and Climate Changes between 42,000 and 18,000 14C yr B.P. in the Tengger Desert, Northwestern China

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Hucai Zhang*
Affiliation:
National Laboratory of Western China's Environmental Systems, MOE, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, China Institut D'astronomie et de Géophysique G. Lemaı́tre, Université Catholique de Louvain, 2 Chemin du Cyclotron, B-1348 Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgique zhang@astr.ucl.ac.be or hucaizhang@yahoo.com
Bernd Wünnemann
Affiliation:
Geolab, Institute of Geographical Sciences, Free University of Berlin, Malteser Strasse 74-100, 12249, Berlin, Germany
Yuzhen Ma
Affiliation:
National Laboratory of Western China's Environmental Systems, MOE, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, China
Jinlan Peng
Affiliation:
Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palentology, Academia Sinica, Nanjing, 210008, China
Hans-J. Pachur
Affiliation:
Geolab, Institute of Geographical Sciences, Free University of Berlin, Malteser Strasse 74-100, 12249, Berlin, Germany
Jijun Li
Affiliation:
National Laboratory of Western China's Environmental Systems, MOE, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, China
Yuan Qi
Affiliation:
National Laboratory of Western China's Environmental Systems, MOE, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, China
Guangjie Chen
Affiliation:
National Laboratory of Western China's Environmental Systems, MOE, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, China
Hongbing Fang
Affiliation:
National Laboratory of Western China's Environmental Systems, MOE, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, China
Zhaodong Feng
Affiliation:
National Laboratory of Western China's Environmental Systems, MOE, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, China Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Montclair State University, Upper Montclair, New Jersey, 07043
*
1To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Abstract

Multiple lines of stratigraphic, geochemical, and fossil data suggest that fresh-mesohaline paleolakes were widespread in the Tengger Desert of northwestern China and underwent major fluctuations during the late Pleistocene. The paleolakes started to develop at ca. 42,000 14C yr B.P. The lake levels were the highest between 35,000 and 22,000 14C yr B.P., during which Megalake Tengger dominated the landscape. The climatic conditions at this time were unique for this area and have no modern analogue. After an episode of decline between 22,000 and 20,000 14C yr B.P. and an episode of rebound between 20,000 and 18,600 14C yr B.P., the paleolakes started to desiccate and completely disappeared around 18,000 14C yr B.P. The environmental proxy data indicate that the Megalake Tengger formed under warm–humid climates. The reconstructed climatic variations appear to be correlative with the abrupt climatic events reconstructed for the North Atlantic.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
University of Washington

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