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A late Miocene ostracod record from the northeastern Tibetan Plateau

  • Fengyan Lu
  • Zhisheng An
  • John Dodson
  • Xiangzhong Li
  • Hong Yan
Original Paper
  • 11 Downloads

Abstract

Lake Qinghai, the largest inland brackish lake in China, is located on the northeastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau and is affected by both the Asian Monsoon and Westerlies climate systems. It is very sensitive to climate and environmental changes. Moreover, its sediments accumulated over the Cenozoic Era and contain abundant information about past tectonics and environmental changes. Here we present a record of late Miocene ostracods from Lake Qinghai sediment cores. A taxonomic analysis of the ostracods yielded 7 families, 14 genera, and 31 species. Six distinct sediment facies were recognized and their corresponding paleolimnological and paleoenvironmental changes were inferred from the ostracod assemblages. The first appearance of ostracod shells at about 7.60 Ma reflects a switch from an eolian sedimentation facies (ca. 8.10–7.60 Ma) to a shallow lacustrine environment (ca. 7.60–5.85 Ma). Ostracod shells were absent from ca. 5.85 to 4.64 Ma in eolian sediments. A transition to a deep lacustrine facies began at ca. 4.64 Ma, and ended at ca. 3.58 Ma. Thus, Lake Qinghai existed in the late Miocene and became larger and deeper in the early Pliocene (ca. 4.64 Ma). During the time interval ca. 3.58–0.70 Ma, littoral lacustrine sedimentation occurred at the core sites. After ca. 0.70 Ma, there were alternating shallow lacustrine and lakeshore environments at the sites, until ca. 0.12 Ma. Changes in ostracod assemblages and their abundance during the intervals ca. 4.64–3.56 Ma and ca. 0.70–0.12 Ma indicate that the sedimentary environment fluctuated over short time scales. Given Lake Qinghai’s sensitivity to environmental and tectonic changes, related to its special location, we concluded that changes in the relative and absolute abundances of ostracods reflect the evolution of the Asian monsoon-arid environment and Plateau growth, as well as global climate changes.

Keywords

Ostracoda Tibetan Plateau Late Miocene Taxonomy Paleolimnology 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Numbers 41602191, 41290250, and 41420104008), the National Key Funds of China (Grant Number 2013CB955900), and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant Numbers QYZDY-SSW-DQC001 and ZDBS-SSW-DQC001). Many thanks to the Lake Qinghai Drilling Program for obtaining the valuable material, and to Prof. Zhencheng Sun from the University of Petroleum for his expert knowledge and instruction on ostracod taxonomy. We also thank editor M. Brenner and the reviewers for their critical comments which greatly improved the manuscript.

Supplementary material

10933_2018_60_MOESM1_ESM.docx (61 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 62 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fengyan Lu
    • 1
  • Zhisheng An
    • 1
  • John Dodson
    • 1
  • Xiangzhong Li
    • 1
  • Hong Yan
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth EnvironmentChinese Academy of SciencesXi’anChina

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