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Six million years of magnetic grain-size records reveal that temperature and precipitation were decoupled on the Chinese Loess Plateau during ~ 4.5–2.6 Ma

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Junsheng Nie*
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Western China's Environment System, Ministry of Education, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an, P.O. Box 17, 710075, China Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, South Ferry Road, Narragansett, RI 02882, USA Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 2871, Beijing 100085, China
Yougui Song
Affiliation:
State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an, P.O. Box 17, 710075, China
John W. King
Affiliation:
Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, South Ferry Road, Narragansett, RI 02882, USA
Rui Zhang
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Western China's Environment System, Ministry of Education, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China
Xiaomin Fang
Affiliation:
Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 2871, Beijing 100085, China
*
*Corresponding author at: Key Laboratory of Western China's Environment System, Ministry of Education, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China. E-mail addresses:jnie@lzu.edu.cn, niejunsheng@yahoo.com.cn (J. Nie).

Abstract

Magnetic grain-size variations have been used as sensitive paleoclimate proxies to investigate the evolution of the East Asian summer monsoon, but their relationship with temperature and precipitation is not entirely clear. Here we find that two magnetic grain-size proxy records (χARMLF and χARM/SIRM, where χARM, χLF and SIRM are anhysteretic remanent magnetization susceptibility, magnetic susceptibility measured at 470 Hz and saturation isothermal remanent magnetization, respectively) of Chinese loess and red-clay sediments co-vary during the last 6 Ma, except between ~ 4.5 and 2.6 Ma, when these two records had opposite trends. We attribute this disparate behavior to the different responses of χARMLF and χARM/SIRM to temperature and precipitation during ~ 4.5–2.6 Ma, when temperature and precipitation on the Chinese Loess Plateau were decoupled. A comparison of the loess and red-clay χARMLF and χARM/SIRM records with the global ice-volume proxy records reveals that χARMLF is more sensitive to temperature variations than χARM/SIRM. The results suggest that temperature on the Chinese Loess Plateau had a cooling trend from ~ 4.5 to ~ 2.6 Ma, whereas rainfall tended to increase. Our studies demonstrate that joint analysis of loess χARMLF and χARM/SIRM records can reveal paleoclimatic information that cannot be revealed by a single parameter.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
University of Washington

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