To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
SARS-CoV-2 rapidly spreads among humans via social networks, with social mixing and network characteristics potentially facilitating transmission. However, limited data on topological structural features has hindered in-depth studies. Existing research is based on snapshot analyses, preventing temporal investigations of network changes. Comparing network characteristics over time offers additional insights into transmission dynamics. We examined confirmed COVID-19 patients from an eastern Chinese province, analyzing social mixing and network characteristics using transmission network topology before and after widespread interventions. Between the two time periods, the percentage of singleton networks increased from 38.9$ \% $ to 62.8$ \% $$ (p<0.001) $; the average shortest path length decreased from 1.53 to 1.14 $ (p<0.001) $; the average betweenness reduced from 0.65 to 0.11$ (p<0.001) $; the average cluster size dropped from 4.05 to 2.72 $ (p=0.004) $; and the out-degree had a slight but nonsignificant decline from 0.75 to 0.63 $ (p=0.099). $ Results show that nonpharmaceutical interventions effectively disrupted transmission networks, preventing further disease spread. Additionally, we found that the networks’ dynamic structure provided more information than solely examining infection curves after applying descriptive and agent-based modeling approaches. In summary, we investigated social mixing and network characteristics of COVID-19 patients during different pandemic stages, revealing transmission network heterogeneities.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) asymptomatic cases are hard to identify, impeding transmissibility estimation. The value of COVID-19 transmissibility is worth further elucidation for key assumptions in further modelling studies. Through a population-based surveillance network, we collected data on 1342 confirmed cases with a 90-days follow-up for all asymptomatic cases. An age-stratified compartmental model containing contact information was built to estimate the transmissibility of symptomatic and asymptomatic COVID-19 cases. The difference in transmissibility of a symptomatic and asymptomatic case depended on age and was most distinct for the middle-age groups. The asymptomatic cases had a 66.7% lower transmissibility rate than symptomatic cases, and 74.1% (95% CI 65.9–80.7) of all asymptomatic cases were missed in detection. The average proportion of asymptomatic cases was 28.2% (95% CI 23.0–34.6). Simulation demonstrated that the burden of asymptomatic transmission increased as the epidemic continued and could potentially dominate total transmission. The transmissibility of asymptomatic COVID-19 cases is high and asymptomatic COVID-19 cases play a significant role in outbreaks.
Although luminescence sensitivity of quartz grains of desert sands has been used in discriminating provenance, it still remains unclear about its spatiotemporal variations and climatic implications. In this paper, the luminescence sensitivity of quartz grains from the northern margin of the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP) was studied using single-aliquot optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) and “pseudo” single-grain OSL measurements. Our results indicate that the OSL sensitivities have lower values in sand/loess beds and higher values in paleosols. We suggest that the variations in OSL sensitivity of quartz grains with depth on the CLP are mainly influenced by the origin of the quartz grains as they are related to the loess-sized material production processes and the migration of desert regions. More quartz grains of glacial origin with lower luminescence sensitivity, together with the reduced durations of irradiation and exposure cycles induced by shorter transport distance due to desert expansion, account for the lower luminescence sensitivity of glacial periods. Moreover, both the mountain processes and the retreat–advance of deserts are ultimately related to climatic changes, therefore, the orbital scale variations of luminescence sensitivity are controlled by glacial–interglacial oscillations on the CLP.
Geological records have shown that the deserts east of the Helan Mountains in northern China were covered by grass during the Holocene Optimum, whereas during marine oxygen isotope stages 2 and 4 distribution of the deserts was almost the same as at present. The wide advance–retreat cycles of the deserts may have exerted an important control on grain-size changes in the loess of the Loess Plateau by altering the distance between the source and the accumulation zone of the loess. This challenges the widely accepted model that winter monsoon winds were the sole factor responsible for spatial and temporal changes in loess texture. To observe spatial changes in sedimentological characteristics of loess during the last glacial–interglacial cycle, the texture of loess was measured along a north–south transect of the Loess Plateau. This transect consists of nine loess sections, starting at Yulin in the transitional region between the Loess Plateau and the Mu Us Desert and ending at Weinan in the southernmost part of the Loess Plateau. Southward changes in sand (>63 μm) content along the transect suggest that variations in desert extent have indeed played a significant role in loess grain-size distributions, particularly in the northern part of the Loess Plateau. It is proposed that sand content (>63 μm%) of loess in the loess–desert transitional zone may be used as a proxy indicator for proximity to the desert margin.
The thermoluminescence (TL) and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) sensitivities of quartz grains from deserts and loess–red clay sequences are used to trace eolian provenances in northern China. Our results indicate that the 110°C TL peak and OSL sensitivities of quartz grains show differences among Chinese deserts, which can be subdivided into four groups according to the spatial variations of luminescence sensitivities. Such differences are related mostly to the regional difference in rock types of mountains surrounding or adjacent to the deserts. We also examine the possible provenance changes between the Quaternary loess and the Tertiary eolian red clay, and the results indicate that the luminescence sensitivity of Tertiary red clay is higher than that of Quaternary loess (L1, L15, and L33), implying source materials of the eolian deposits changed relative to those of the Quaternary.
Uplift of the Tibetan Plateau is manifest not only in widespread denudation, but also by an increased deposition rate of sediment, near or far from the exhumed regions. Our results indicate that the mass accumulation rate (MAR) of eolian dust increased between ∼1.1 and ∼0.9 myr ago. We associate this increase in MAR and median grain size with uplift of the Tibetan Plateau and its adjacent regions during this period. This Middle Pleistocene uplift can also be evidenced by the age of volcanism in the marginal region, the existence of thick conglomerate deposits surrounding the uplifted plateau, and the increased sedimentation rate of lacustrine deposits in the Qaidam Basin (northeastern Tibetan Plateau) between ∼1.1 and ∼0.9 myr ago. The correlation between the loess and marine records indicates that after ∼0.9 myr ago, these two records correlate well. This good correlation probably suggest that the Middle Pleistocene upheaval event not only brought the plateau into the cryosphere, but also enhanced the coupling of regional-scale Chinese loess transportation and deposition to the global ice volume variations through its effects on glacial grinding, rock denudation, and east Asian monsoonal circulation.
Loess on the high mountains of northwestern China is largely controlled by the topographic features, distributed mainly on the northern slopes of the Tianshan and Kunlun Mountains as well as in the Ili Valley (between the northern and central Tianshan ranges). Loess distributed in different regions has different ages, with the oldest (early Pleistocene) loess occurring in the Ili Valley. Geochemical, mineralogical and granulometric analyses demonstrate that the loess in the three different regions has different provenance. The loess on the northern Tianshan and Kunlun Mountains is mainly derived from the Junggar and Taklimakan Deserts, respectively, whereas the loess in the Ili Valley is derived mainly from the Sary–Ishikotrau Desert located in the Republic of Kazakhstan. However, these deserts serve mostly as holding areas for the silts rather than original source regions. The production of the silt-sized particles is mainly associated with glacial abrasion and tectonic-induced rock denudation. Thus, the loess in the studied regions can be described as “mountainous” loess rather than simply “glacial” loess or “desert” loess. It is unlikely that the mechanisms of loess formation are the same in different regions, given their dependence on specific geomorphological conditions and associated processes.
Eolian sand dunes and sand sheets are extensive in the semiarid regions of northern-central China. Previous studies indicated that these eolian sands mainly formed during historical times. However, the sand sources and their reworking processes have not been well studied, and even the reasons for their occurrence are still controversial. Field investigation and sedimentary evidence indicate that both the inner Mu Us Desert and its southern marginal region, both sources of modern eolian sand, are largely associated with reworking of sands of the last glaciation. Based on geological, documentary, and archaeological data, three phases of land cultivation during the past 2300 years, together with historical droughts, high wind energy, and the easily reworked sand sources, largely account for the occurrence of active sand dunes and sand sheets in the Mu Us Desert.
The desert–loess transitional zone in north-central China has long been thought sensitive to Quaternary climatic change. However, reconstruction of Quaternary climates in this area has been hindered by incompleteness of geological sections. Here we report the analytical results of two recently found sand–loess–soil sections. Both sections have thick eolian deposits from the last interglacial–glacial cycle and can be correlated with one another. Field observations, thermoluminescence dating, and other laboratory analyses show that the last interglacial period produced three paleosols and two intercalated loess layers. Loess from the last glacial period is interbedded with three sand horizons that represent desert extension. The expansion and contraction of desert in northern China may have been forced by the east Asia monsoon.
Knowing when the Tibetan Plateau reached its present elevation is important for understanding the uplift history of Tibet. Recently, Rowley & Currie (2006) suggested that central Tibet exceeded 4000 m from 35 Ma to the Pliocene using the oxygen-isotope composition of calcareous minerals in Lunpola basin sediments. However, they adopted a poor age assignment for the Dingqing Formation in the Lunpola basin based on previous microfossil studies. In this study, we present SIMS U–Pb zircon dates from a bentonite layer intercalated within the middle to lower Dingqing Formation. Twenty-six measurements yield a highly reliable U–Pb age of 23.5 ± 0.2 Ma (2σ, MSWD = 1.1), suggesting that the deposition age of the Dingqing Formation is late Oligocene to early Miocene, much older than the Miocene–Pliocene age used by Rowley & Currie (2006). This age robustly constrains the age of Cenozoic sedimentary strata in central Tibet, and hence provides an important basis for estimating the palaeoelevation in the high Tibet during the geological past.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.