Science China Earth Sciences

, Volume 58, Issue 8, pp 1404–1419 | Cite as

Holocene vegetation change in relation to fire and volcanic events in Jilin, Northeastern China

  • HongLi Zhao
  • XiaoQiang LiEmail author
  • Valerie A. Hall
Research Paper


Volatiles erupted from large-scale explosive volcanic activities have a significant impact on climate and environmental changes. As an important ecological factor, the occurrence of fire is affected by vegetation cover, and fire can feed back into both vegetation and climatic change. The causes of fire events are diverse; and can include volcanic eruptions. The amount of charcoal in sediment sequences is related to the frequency and intensity of fire, and hence under good preservation conditions fire history can be reconstructed from fossil charcoal abundance. Until now, little research on the role of fire has been carried out in northeastern China. In this study, through research on charcoal and tephra shards from Gushantun and Hanlongwan, Holocene vegetation change in relation to fire and volcanic events in Jilin, Northeastern China, was investigated. Where tephra shards are present in Gushantun it is associated with low level of both conifers and broadleaved trees, and is also associated with a pronounced charcoal peak. This suggests forest cover was greatly reduced from a fire caused by an eruption of the Tianchi volcano. We also detected one tephra layer in Hanlongwan, which also has the almost same depth with low level forest pollen values and one charcoal peak. This was caused probably by an eruption of the Jinlongdingzi volcano.


Holocene vegetation change fire history tephra shards volcanic events Northeastern China 


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth EnvironmentChinese Academy of SciencesXi’anChina
  2. 2.Laboratory of Vertebrate Evolution and Human Origins, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and PaleoanthropologyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.School of Geography, Archaeology and PalaeoecologyQueen’s UniversityBelfastUK

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