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Seven million-year iron geochemistry record from a thick eolian red clay-loess sequence in Chinese Loess Plateau and the implications for paleomonsoon evolution

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Chinese Science Bulletin

Abstract

Recently, the Tertiary red clay sequence underlying Pleistocene loess has attracted much attention. The remarkable progress is the recognition that the Tertiary red clay sequence is also wind-blown in origin, thus providing a good opportunity to reconstruct long-term monsoon changes. In contrast to the loess deposits, the magnetic susceptibility and the pedogenic characteristics are almost independent of each other in the red clay, thus challenging the validity of the readily measurable magnetic susceptibility in describing the monsoon history recorded by the red clay. With the objective to address the long-term East Asia summer monsoon evolution, the free to total Fe2O3 ratios were calculated in a continuous eolian red clay-loess sequence at Lingtai, the Chinese Loess Plateau, which has a thickness of 305 m and a basal age of 7.0 Ma. The seven million-year Fe2O3 ratio record from the red clay-loess sequence indicates that (i) variations of the free to total Fe2O3 ratios of the loess can correlate generally with the alternations of the loess and paleosol horizons; (ii) the East Asia summer monsoon was stronger as a whole in Neogene than that in Quaternary; (iii) the strongest East Asia summer monsoon may occur between 4.0 and 4.8 Ma. The relatively small ice volume and high global temperature may be responsible for the strong summer monsoon during the early Pliocene.

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Yang, S., Ding, Z. Seven million-year iron geochemistry record from a thick eolian red clay-loess sequence in Chinese Loess Plateau and the implications for paleomonsoon evolution. Chin.Sci.Bull. 46, 337–340 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03187199

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03187199

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