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Late Miocene–Quaternary rapid stepwise uplift of the NE Tibetan Plateau and its effects on climatic and environmental changes

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Jijun Li
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Western China's Environmental Systems, Ministry of Education of China & Research School of Arid Environment and Climate Change, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
Xiaomin Fang
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Western China's Environmental Systems, Ministry of Education of China & Research School of Arid Environment and Climate Change, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China Key Laboratory of Continental Collision and Plateau Uplift, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
Chunhui Song
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Western China's Environmental Systems, Ministry of Education of China & Research School of Arid Environment and Climate Change, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China School of Earth Sciences & Key Laboratory of Mineral Resources in Western China (Gansu Province), Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
Baotian Pan
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Western China's Environmental Systems, Ministry of Education of China & Research School of Arid Environment and Climate Change, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
Yuzhen Ma
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Western China's Environmental Systems, Ministry of Education of China & Research School of Arid Environment and Climate Change, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China Academy of Disaster Reduction and Emergency Management, Ministry of Civil Affairs & Ministry of Education, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
Maodu Yan
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Continental Collision and Plateau Uplift, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

The way in which the NE Tibetan Plateau uplifted and its impact on climatic change are crucial to understanding the evolution of the Tibetan Plateau and the development of the present geomorphology and climate of Central and East Asia. This paper is not a comprehensive review of current thinking but instead synthesises our past decades of work together with a number of new findings. The dating of Late Cenozoic basin sediments and the tectonic geomorphology of the NE Tibetan Plateau demonstrates that the rapid persistent rise of this plateau began ~8 ± 1 Ma followed by stepwise accelerated rise at ~3.6 Ma, 2.6 Ma, 1.8–1.7 Ma, 1.2–0.6 Ma and 0.15 Ma. The Yellow River basin developed at ~1.7 Ma and evolved to its present pattern through stepwise backward-expansion toward its source area in response to the stepwise uplift of the plateau. High-resolution multi-climatic proxy records from the basins and terrace sediments indicate a persistent stepwise accelerated enhancement of the East Asian winter monsoon and drying of the Asian interior coupled with the episodic tectonic uplift since ~8 Ma and later also with the global cooling since ~3.2 Ma, suggesting a major role for tectonic forcing of the cooling.

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Articles
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University of Washington

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