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Expansion of dust provenance and aridification of Asia since ~7.2 Ma revealed by detrital zircon U-Pb dating
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6662-6650
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2018 (English)In: Geophysical Research Letters, ISSN 0094-8276, E-ISSN 1944-8007, Vol. 45, no 24, p. 13,437-13,448Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The relative importance of global cooling and Tibetan Plateau uplift in driving the aridification of Asia during the late Cenozoic is debated, largely due to the lack of appropriate proxy indicators. Here we address this problem by investigating changes in the source of Chinese loess and Red Clay, which is directly controlled by changes in the extent and distribution of the arid zone of Asia and the intensity of the East Asian winter monsoon, using zircon U‐Pb dating of 27 levels in a near‐continuous eolian sedimentary sequence in southern Chinese Loess Plateau. The results show that source regions expanded stepwise at ~7.2, ~2.6, 1.2–0.9 Ma, and at the Last Glacial Maximum. These changes were synchronous with global cooling and ice cover expansion in the Northern Hemisphere, suggesting that the drivers of aridification of the Asian interior were intimately related to global cooling in the late Cenozoic.

Plain Language Summary

The arid and semiarid regions of Central Asia are one of the most important dust sources on Earth. Dust emitted from these regions is deposited in the Chinese Loess Plateau, the North Pacific Ocean, and even in Greenland, with broad environmental impacts. Although there is evidence that the drying of the Asian interior occurred gradually over several tens of million years, the driving factor remains unclear. Here we investigate the evolution of the sediment sources of the Chinese Loess Plateau and find that the changes in the source regions of wind‐blown sediment were synchronous with global cooling since ~7.2 Ma. This indicates that the long‐term aridification of the Asian interior was most likely driven by global cooling.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 45, no 24, p. 13,437-13,448
National Category
Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-372990DOI: 10.1029/2018GL079888ISI: 000456404600029OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-372990DiVA, id: diva2:1277282
Available from: 2019-01-10 Created: 2019-01-10 Last updated: 2019-03-04Bibliographically approved

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Stevens, Thomas

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