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Provenance and paleoclimatic implications of loess deposits in Shandong Province, eastern China

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 January 2021

Yongda Wang
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Cenozoic Geology and Environment, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing100029, China CAS Center for Excellence in Life and Paleoenvironment, Beijing100044, China College of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing100049, China
Shiling Yang*
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Cenozoic Geology and Environment, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing100029, China CAS Center for Excellence in Life and Paleoenvironment, Beijing100044, China College of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing100049, China
Zhongli Ding
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Cenozoic Geology and Environment, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing100029, China
*
*Corresponding author at: Key Laboratory of Cenozoic Geology and Environment, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing100029, China. E-mail address: yangsl@mail.iggcas.ac.cn (S. Yang).

Abstract

The loess deposits in Shandong Province in eastern China potentially provide valuable insights into past environmental changes. However, their precise provenance and paleoclimatic implications are unclear. We studied three loess sections located in the piedmont of the Central Shandong Mountains (PCSM) and in an offshore island in Bohai Gulf. Both the glacial loess and interglacial paleosol units are characterized by a coarse grain size, indicating a proximal sediment source. Using the “grain size–transport distance” model established for the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP), the estimated source-sink distance is ~200–300 km for the PCSM loess and ~100–200 km for the coastal loess. This suggests that fluvial deposits of the Yellow River system in the North China Plain and sediments on the adjacent continental shelf are the major provenance for the Shandong loess. In contrast to the CLP, the Shandong loess does not show a consistent pattern of coarse grain size and low magnetic susceptibility values in glacial loess compared with interglacial paleosols, likely due to frequent changes in dust sources caused by diversions of the Yellow River and local hydroclimatic conditions. Nevertheless, the loess-paleosol alternations in the Shandong loess are a product of global glacial–interglacial cycles.

Type
Thematic Set: Eurasian Climate and Environment
Copyright
Copyright © University of Washington. Published by Cambridge University Press, 2021

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