Chinese Science Bulletin

, Volume 55, Issue 7, pp 621–627 | Cite as

Spatial pattern of modern sedimentation rate of Qinghai Lake and a preliminary estimate of the sediment flux

  • Hai XuEmail author
  • XiaoYan Liu
  • ZhiSheng An
  • ZhaoHua Hou
  • JiBao Dong
  • Bin Liu
Articles Geology


We investigated the spatiotemporal distribution of 137Cs radioactivity in surface sediment of Qinghai Lake, and developed the spatial pattern of sedimentation rate. The 137Cs inventory is higher near the estuary/bank area, but lower at the central lake. On the other hand, the average 137Cs activity is lower near the estuary/bank area, but higher at the central lake. The mass accumulation rate (MAR) and the fluxes and contents of the terrestrial detritus (e.g. SiO2, Fe2O3, and Ti) are higher near the estuary/bank area, but lower at the central lake. The chemical/biogenic deposits (e.g. the autogenic carbonates) take up higher fractions at the central lake. These suggest that the spatial pattern of recent sedimentation rate is dominated by the deposition of terrestrial detritus. The average MAR (0.0337g·cm−2·a−1) was estimated based on those of different cores of Qinghai Lake and was verified by a Ca mass-balance method. The fluxes of total lake sediments, terrestrial detritus, and direct atmospheric deposits were also estimated.


Qinghai Lake sedimentation rate 137Cs sediment flux 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    He Q, Walling D E, Owens P N. Interpreting the 137Cs profiles ob- served in several small lakes and reservoirs in southern England. Chem Geol, 1996, 129: 115–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Lu X X, Higgitt D L. Estimating erosion rates on sloping agricultural land in the Yangtze Three Gorges, China, from caesium-137 measurements. Catena, 2000, 39: 33–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Lu X. Application of the Weibull extrapolation to 137Cs geochronology in Tokyo Bay and Ise Bay, Japan. J Environ Radioact, 2004, 73: 169–181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bergan T D. Radioactive fallout in Norway from atmospheric nuclear weapons tests. J Environ Radioact, 2002, 60: 189–208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Abril J M. Constraints on the use of 137Cs as a time-marker to support CRS and SIT chronologies. Environ Pollut, 2004, 129: 31–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Wan G J. Progresses on 137Cs and 210Pbex dating of lake sediments (in Chinese). Adv Earth Sci, 1995, 10: 188–192Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Xu J Y, Wan G J, Wang C S, et al. Vertical distribution of 210Pb and 137Cs and their dating in recent sediments of Lugu Lake and Erhai Lake, Yunnan Province (in Chinese). J Lake Sci, 1999, 11: 110–116Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Chu G Q, Gu Z Y, Xu B, et al. Varve chronology and radiometric dating (137Cs, 210Pb) from the Sihailongwan maar, northeastern China (in Chinese). Quat Sci, 2005, 25: 202–207Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Xu H, Ai L, Tan L C, et al. Geochronology of a surface core in the northern basin of Lake Qinghai: Evidence from 210Pb and 137Cs radionuclides. Chin J Geochem, 2006, 25: 301–306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Huang Q. Sedimentation rate in Qinghai Lake and a pilot study of the paleoclimate (in Chinese). Chinese Sci Bull, 1988, 32: 1740–1744Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Shen J, Zhang E L, Xia W L. Records from lake sediments of the Qinghai Lake to mirror climatic and environmental changes of the past about 1000 years (in Chinese). Quat Sci, 2001, 21: 508–513Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Henderson A C G, Holmes J A, Zhang J W, et al. A carbon- and oxygen-isotope record of recent environmental change from Qinghai Lake, NE Tibetan Plateau. Chinese Sci Bull, 2003, 48: 1463–1468CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Lan zhou Institute of Geology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Qinghai Lake Monograph of the 1961 Expedition (in Chinese). Beijing: Science Press, 1979. 85Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Han Y R. Environmental deterioration at Lake Qinghai and the protecting policy (in Chinese). Soil Water Conserv Chin, 2000, 8: 18–19Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Yang X, Sun F, Ren N. The Eco-environmental problems and rehabilitation strategies in the area around Qinghai Lake (in Chinese). Areal Res Develop, 2003, 22: 39–42Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Lanzhou Branch of Chinese Academy of Sciences. Evolution of Recent Environment in Qinghai Lake and Its Prediction (in Chinese). Beijing: Science Press, 1994Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Xu H, Hou Z H, An Z S, et al. Major ion chemistry of waters in Lake Qinghai catchments, NE Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China. Quat Int, doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2008.11.001Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Fu J X, Zhang X B, Qi Y Q, et al. Penetration process model for 137Cs depth distribution in uncultivated soil without erosion (in Chinese). Nucl Tech, 2006, 29: 189–193Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Wang F S, Liu C Q, Liang X B, et al. An experimental study on the remigration of some trace metals in lake sediments influenced by microbe (in Chinese). J Lake Sci, 2006, 18: 49–56Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Cremers A, Elsen A, De Preter P, et al. Quantitative analysis of radio cesium retension in soil. Nature, 1988, 335: 247–249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Zapata F. Handbook for the Assessment of Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Using Environmental Radionuclides. Dordrecht/Boston/London: Kluwer Academic Publisher, 2002. 4Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Zeng Y, Zhang X B, Zhou W J, et al. Source of 137Cs in Lake Qinghai (in Chinese). J Lake Sci, 2007, 19: 516–521Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Yu J Q, Kelts K R. Abrupt changes in climatic conditions across the Late-glacial /Holocene transition on the N. E. Tibet-Qinghai Plateau: evidence from Lake Qinghai, China. J Paleolimnol, 2002, 28: 195–206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Gao H J, Li X Q, Zhang F, et al. Remote sensing monitory study on the dynamic change of ecological environment in Qinghai Lake area during 25 years (in Chinese). Chin J Geol Haz Contr, 2005, 16: 100–103Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Science in China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hai Xu
    • 1
    Email author
  • XiaoYan Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  • ZhiSheng An
    • 1
  • ZhaoHua Hou
    • 1
  • JiBao Dong
    • 1
  • Bin Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth EnvironmentChinese Academy of SciencesShaanxiChina
  2. 2.Graduate University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations