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Journal of Arid Land  2012, Vol. 4 Issue (3): 231-240    DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1227.2012.00231
Research Articles     
Pleniglacial millennium-scale climate variations in northern China based on records from the Salawusu River Valley
FengNian WANG1, BaoSheng LI1,2, JiangLong WANG3, XiaoHao WEN1, DongFeng NIU1, ZhiWen LI4, YueJun SI1, YiHua GUO1, ShuHuan DU5
1 School of Geography, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China;
2 State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an 710061, China;
3 Chenghai Middle School, Shantou 510601, China;
4 College of Earth Science, East China Institute of Technology, Nanchang 330013, China;
5 Key Laboratory of Marginal Sea Geology, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510301, China
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Abstract  Situated in the Salawusu River Valley, southeast of China’s Mu Us Desert, the MGS2 (Milanggouwan section) portion of the Milanggouwan stratigraphic section records 5.5 sedimentary cycles consisting of alternations between dune sand deposits and fluvial or lacustrine facies. We analyzed the grain-size and CaCO3 distributions in MGS2, and found that Mz (mean particle diameter) and σ (standard deviation) displayed clear variations in peaks and valleys within different sedimentary facies. The CaCO3 content averaged 0.4% in the dune sand deposits, 1.43% in the fluvial facies, and 8.82% in the lacustrine facies. Both the grain-size distribution and CaCO3 contents, which equal the indicators for the alternation among the sedimentary facies, suggest the occurrence of 5.5 cycles. These results suggest that the observed cycles mainly resulted from fluctuations between a cold and dry winter monsoon climate and a warm and humid summer monsoon climate, and that the MGS2 portion experienced at least 5.5 fluctuations between these two extremes. This high-frequency climatic fluctuation indicates a strong influence of millennium-scale variations in the strength of the East Asian winter and summer monsoons in our study area during the Pleniglacial.

Received: 12 January 2012      Published: 03 September 2012

National Basic Research Pro-gram of China (2010CB833405, 2004CB720206), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (40772118, 49971009), Foundation of the State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quater-nary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Acad-emy of Sciences (SKLLQG0309), the Research Grants Council Grant of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKU7243/04H), and the Knowledge Innovation Project of Chinese Academy of Sciences (KZCX2-SW-118).

Corresponding Authors: BaoSheng LI     E-mail:
Cite this article:

FengNian WANG, BaoSheng LI, JiangLong WANG, XiaoHao WEN, DongFeng NIU, ZhiWen LI, YueJun SI, YiHua GUO, ShuHuan DU. Pleniglacial millennium-scale climate variations in northern China based on records from the Salawusu River Valley. Journal of Arid Land, 2012, 4(3): 231-240.

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