Advertisement

Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 708–721 | Cite as

Tracing the provenance of aeolian loess in the Yangtze River Delta through zircon U–Pb age and geochemical investigations

  • Peng Qian
  • Xiang-min Zheng
  • Jun Cheng
  • Yu-jie Han
  • Yan Dong
  • Jian-guo Zhang
Article
  • 34 Downloads

Abstract

Given the conflicts over the proposed formation mechanisms of Xiashu loess, the question of the provenance of sediments comprising the Xiashu loess in the Yangtze River Delta has not been satisfactorily resolved. In this study, the provenance of aeolian sediments of the Yangtze River Delta, China was examined by applying the detrial zircon U–Pb dating technique, Sr–Nd isotopic and trace element compositional analysis. U-Pb dating analysis was conducted on the Xiashu loess at three locations over the Yangtze River Delta, including Huangnishan (HNS) hill, Shengshan (SS) island and the Xuancheng (XC) area. The Xiashu loess and the sediments of the Yangtze River Valley share considerable similarity in their zircon U-Pb age spectra with the same main age peak and comparable age distribution. By contrast, significant differences in the age spectra, exist between the Xiashu loess and loess deposits of Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP). Coarse grains of the Yangtze River Delta loess may have a proximal material source identical to the sediments from the Yangtze River valley. Sr–Nd isotopic values of the Xiashu loess match those from the northern margin of the Tibetan Plateau. Rare earth element ratios independent of grain size illustrate that the values from loess of the Yangtze River Delta mostly overlap with those of CLP loess. This feature implies that loess from the Yangtze River Delta has a dominant source of distant material similar as the CLP loess. As such, we conclude that multi-proxy analysis of sediments can shed new light on tracing the provenance of aeolian loess in the Yangtze River Delta.

Keywords

Aeolian loess Provenance tracing Zircon U–Pb age Geochemistry Yangtze River Delta 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41371032, 41671003, 41601189, 41672349). Thanks are also extend to Prof. YANG Shou-ye, DENG Kai and ZHANG Wen-fang for providing constructive suggestions.

References

  1. Andersen T (2014) The detrital zircon record: Supercontinents, parallel evolution–or coincidence? Precambrian Research 244: 279–287. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.precamres.2013.10.013CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bird A, Stevens T, Rittner M, et al. (2015) Quaternary dust source variation across the Chinese Loess Plateau. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 435: 254–264. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2015.06.024CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Che XD, Li GJ (2013) Binary sources of loess on the Chinese Loess Plateau revealed by U-Pb ages of zircon. Quaternary Research 80: 545–551. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yqres.2013.05.007CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chen J, Wang HT, Lu HY (1996) Behaviors of REE and other trace elements during pedological weathering: Evidence from chemical leaching of loess and paleosol from the Luochuan section in Central China. Acta Geologica Sinica 9 (3): 209–302.https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1755-6724.1996.mp9003006.xGoogle Scholar
  5. Chen J, Li GJ, Yang JDet al. (2007) Nd and Sr isotopic characteristics of Chinese deserts: implications for the provenances of Asian dust. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 71 (15): 3904–3914.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gca.2007.04.033CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cullers RL, Barrett T, Carlson R, et al. (1987) REE and mineralogic changes in Holocene soil and stream sediment: A case study in the Wet Mountains, Colorado, U.S.A.. Chemical Geology 63 (3): 275–297. https://doi.org/10.1016/0009-2541(87)90167-7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fan DD, Wang YY, Wu YJ (2012) Advances in provenance studies of Changjiang Riverine sediments. Advances in Earth Science 27 (5): 515–528. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  8. Ferrat M, Weiss DJ, Strekopytov S, et al. (2011) Improved provenance tracing of Asian dust sources using rare earth elements and selected trace elements for palaeomonsoon studies on the eastern Tibetan Plateau. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 75: 6374–6399. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gca.2011.08.025CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Formenti P, Schutz L, Balkanski Y, et al. (2011) Recent progress in understanding physical and chemical properties of African and Asian mineral dust. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 11: 8231–8256. https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-11-8231-2011CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gallet S, Jahn BM, Torii M (1996) Geochemical characterization of the Luochuan loess-paleosol sequence, China, and paleoclimatic implications. Chemical Geology 133: 67–88. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0009-2541(96)00070-8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gallet S, Jahn BM, Lanoe BVV, et al. (1998) Loess geochemistry and its implications for particle origin and composition of upper continental crust. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 156: 157–172. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0012-821X(97)00218-5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gi YJ, Stephen H, Rob AK (2008) Quantitative bulk and singleparticle mineralogy of a thick Chinese loess-paleosol section: implications for loess provenance and weathering. Quaternary Science Reviews 27: 1271–1287. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2008.02.006CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Grousset FE, Biscaye PE (2005) Tracing dust sources and transport patterns using Sr, Nd and Pb isotopes. Chemical Geology 222: 149–167. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemgeo.2005.05.006CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Guan HC, Zhu C, Zhu TX, et al. (2016) Grain size, magnetic susceptibility and geochemical characteristics of the loess in the Chaohu lake basin: Implications for the origin, palaeoclimatic change and provenance. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 117: 170–183. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jseaes.2015.12.013CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hao QZ, Guo ZT, Qiao YS, et al. (2010) Geochemical evidence for the provenance of middle Pleistocence loess deposits in southern China. Quaternary Science Reviews 29: 3317–3326. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2010.08.004CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Huang JH, Fang JH, Shao JJ (1988) Study on the depositional age of the Xiashu loess in Nanjing. Geological Review 34 (3): 240–247. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  17. Jacobsen SB, Wasserburg GJ (1980) Sm-Nd isotopic evolution of chondrites. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 50: 139. https://doi.org/10.1016/0012-821X (80)90125-9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Jahn BM, Gallet S, Han JM (2001) Geochemistry of the Xining, Xifeng and Jixian sections, Loess Plateau of China: eolian dust provenance and paleosol evolution during the last 140 Ka. Chemical Geology 178 (1-4): 71–94. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0009-2541 (00)00430-7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lai ZP, Zhou J, Xia YF, et al. (2001) Luminescence geochronology of Xiashu Loess near Nanjing. Progress in Natural Science 21 (2): 116–121. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  20. Lai ZP, Zhang WG, Chen X, et al. (2010) OSL chronology of loess deposits in East China and its implications for East Asian monsoon history. Quaternary Geochronology 5: 154–158. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quageo.2009.02.006CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Li FC, Xie CR, Pan GX (2002) Paleoclimatic implication of distribution of Rb, Rb/Sr and magnetic susceptibility in loess and paleosols from Laohushan profile, Nanjing. Marine Geology & Quaternary Geology 22 (4): 47–52. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  22. Li FC, Pan GX, Xie CR (2004) REE geochemical distributions of different grain-size fractions in Xiashu loess-paleosol profile, Nanjing. Quaternary Science 24 (4): 477–478. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  23. Li FC, Jin ZD, Xie CR (2007) Roles of sorting and chemical weathering in the geochemistry and magnetic susceptibility of Xiashu loess, East China. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 29: 813–822. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jseaes.2005.05.011CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Li XS, Yang DY (2002) Magnetic susceptibility features and environmental records of the Xiashu loess in Zhengjiang, Jiangshu province. Journal of Desert Research 22 (1): 27–32. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  25. Li XS., Han ZY, Yang DY, et al. (2006) REE geochemistry of Xiashu loess in Zhengjiang, Jiangsu province. Acta Pedologiea Sini 43 (1): 1–7. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  26. Li XS, Yang DY, Lu HY (2001) Grain size features and genesis of the Xiashu Loess in Zhenjiang. Marine Geology & Quaternary Geology 21 (1): 25–32. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  27. Liu F, Li GJ, Chen J (2014) U-Pb ages of zircon grains reveal a proximal dust source of the Xiashu loess, Lower Yangtze River region, China. Chinese Science Bulletin 59 (20): 2391–2395. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11434-014-0318-2CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Liu SM, Zhang WG, He Q, et al. (2010) Magnetic properties of East China Sea shelf sediments off the Yangtze Estuary: Influence of provenance and particle size. Geomorphology 119 (3-4): 212–220. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2010.03.027CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Liu TS (1985) Loess and Environment. Beijing: Science Press. pp 1–412. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  30. Liu YS, Hu ZC, Gao S, et al. (2008) In situ analysis of major and trace elements of anhydrous minerals by LA-ICP-MS without applying an internal standard. Chemical Geology 257: 34–43. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemgeo.2008.08.004CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Liu YS, Gao S, Hu ZC, et al. (2010a) Continental and oceanic crust recycling-induced melt-peridotite interactions in the Trans-North China Orogen: U-Pb dating, Hf isotopes and trace elements in zircons of mantle xenoliths. Journal Petroleum Technology 51: 537–571. https://doi.org/10.1093/petrology/egp082Google Scholar
  32. Liu YS, Hu ZC, Zong K, et al. (2010b) Reappraisement and refinement of zircon U-Pb isotope and trace element analyses by LA-ICP-MS. Chinese Science Bulletin 55 (15): 1535–1546. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11434-010-3052-4CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Ma L, Sun YB, Ryuji T, et al. (2015) Provenance fluctuations of aeolian deposits on the Chinese Loess Plateau since the Miocene. Aeolian Research 18: 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j. aeolia.2015.05.002CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Marković SB, Stevens T, Kukla GJ, et al. (2015) Danube loess stratigraphy - Towards a pan-European loess stratigraphic model. Earth-Science Reviews 148: 228–258. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.earscirev.2015.06.005CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Nagashima K, Tada R, Matsui H, et al. (2007) Orbital- and millennial-scal variations in Asian dust transport path to the Japan Sea. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 247 (1-2): 144–161. https://doi.org/10.1016/j. palaeo.2006.11.027CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Nesbitt H (1979) Mobility and fraction of REE during weathering of a granodiorite. Nature 279: 206–210. https://doi.org/10.1038/279206a0CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Nie JS, Horton BK, Saylor JE, et al. (2012) Integrated provenance analysis of a convergent retroarc foreland system: U–Pb ages, heavy minerals, Nd isotopes, and sandstone compositions of the Middle Magdalena Valley basin, northern Andes, Colombia. Earth Science Reviews 110 (1-4): 111–126. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.earscirev.2011.11.002CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Nie JS, Peng, WB., Moller, A, et al. (2014) Provenance of the upper Miocene-Pliocene Red Clay deposits of the Chinese loess plateau. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 407: 35–47. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2014.09.026CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Nie JS, Stevens T, Rittner M, et al. (2015) Loess plateau storage of Northeastern Tibetan Plateau-derived Yellow River sediment. Nature. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms9511Google Scholar
  40. Pullen A, Kapp P, McCallister AT, et al. (2011) Qaidam Basin and northern Tibetan Plateau as dust sources for the Chinese Loess Plateau and paleoclimatic implications. Geology 39: 1031–1034. https://doi.org/10.1130/G32296.1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Qian P, Zheng XM, Wang XY, et al. (2010) Particle sizes, magnetic properties and origins of loess deposits from huangnishan hill in Nantong, Jiangsu Province. Marine Geology & Quaternary Geology 30 (1): 109–114. (In Chinese)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Qiao YS, Hao QZ, Peng SS, et al. (2011) Geochemical characteristics of the eolian deposits in southern China, and their implications for provenance and weathering intensity. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 308: 513–523. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2011.06.003CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Rao WB, Chen J, Tan HB, et al. (2014) Nd-Sr isotopic and REE geochemical compositions of Late Quaternary deposits in the desert-loess transition, north-central China: Implications for their provenance and past wind systms. Quaternary International 3334-35: 197–212. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2013.06.009CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Stevens T, Palk C, Carter A, et al. (2010) Assessing the provenance of loess and desert sediments in northern China using U-Pb dating and morphology of detrital zircons. Geological Society of America Bulletin 122: 1331–1344. https://doi.org/10.1130/B30102.1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Sun YB, Tada R, Chen J, et al. (2007) Distinguishing the sources of Asian dust based on electron spin resonance signal intensity and crystallinity of quartz. Atmospheric Environment 41: 8537–8548. https://doi.org/10.1016/j. atmosenv.2007.07.014CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Sun YB, Chen HY, Tada R, et al. (2013) ESR signal intensity and crystallinity of quartz from Gobi and sandy deserts in East Asia and implication for tracing Asian dust provenance. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 14. https: //doi.org/10.1002/ggge.20162Google Scholar
  47. Taylor S, McLennan S (1985) The continental crust: Its composition and evolution. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford. pp 1–312. https://doi.org/10.1086/629067Google Scholar
  48. Toyoda S, Nagashima K, Yamamoto Y (2015) ESR signals in quartz: Applications to provenance research- A review. Quaternary International https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2015.05.048Google Scholar
  49. Ujvari G, Varga A, Ramos F, et al. (2012) Evaluating the use of clay mineralogy, Sr-Nd isotopes and ziron U-Pb ages in tracking dust provenance: An example from loess of the Carpathian Basin. Chemical Geology 304: 83–96. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemgeo.2012.02.007CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Vavra G, Gebauer D, Schmid R (1996) Multiple zircon growth and recrystallization during plyphase Late Carboniferous to Triassic metamorphism in granulites of the Ivrea Zone (Southern Alps): An ion microprobe (SHRIMP) study. Contrib Mineral Petrol 122: 337–358. https://doi.org/10.1007/s004100050132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Vermeesch P (2012) On the visualisation of detrital age distributions. Chemical Geology 312-313: 190–194. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemgeo.2012.04.021CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Wang AP, Yang SY, Li CX (2001) Elemental Geochemistry of the Nanjing Xiashu Loess and the Provenance study. Journal of Tongji University 29 (6): 654–661. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  53. Wang YX, Yang JD, Chen J et al. (2007) The Sr and Nd isotopic variations of the Chinese Loess Plateau during the past 7 Ma Implications for the East Asian winter monsoon and source areas of loess. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 249: 351–361. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo. 2007.02.010CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Wu CL, Zhu C, Lu HY, et al. (2006) Magnetostratigraphical dating of the Xiashu loess in Nanjing area and its paleoenvironmental interpretation. Journal of Stratigraphy, 30 (2): 116–123. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  55. Xiao GQ, Zong KQ, Li GJ, et al. (2012) Spatial and glacialinterglacial variations in provenance of the Chinese Loess Plateau. Geophysical Research Letters 39: L20715. https://doi.org/10.1029/2012GL05334 (In Chinese)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Xie J, Yang SL, Ding ZL (2012) Methods and application of using detrital zircons to trace the provenance of loess. Science China (Earth Sciences) 55 (11): 1837–1846. (In Chinese)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Yan Y, Sun YB, Chen HY, et al. (2014) Oxyen isotope signatures of quartz from major Asian dust sources: Implications for changes in the provenance of Chinese loess. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 139: 399–410. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gca.2014.04.043CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Yang DY (1994) The quaternary dust-fall accumulation and the monsoon variability in Eastern China. Quaternary Sciences 4: 354–360. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  59. Yang JD, Chen J, Tao XC, et al. (2001) Sr isotope ratios of the acid-leached loess residues from Luochuan, China: a tracer of continental weathering intensity over the past 2.5 Ma. Geochemical Journal 35: 403–412. https://doi.org/10.2343/geochemj.35.403CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Yang R, Seward D, Zhou ZY (2010) Provenance study by U-Pb dating of the detrital zircons in the Yangtze River. Marine Geology & Quaternary Geology 30 (6): 73–83. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  61. Yang SY, Jiang SY, Ling HF, et al. (2007a) Sr-Nd isotopic compositions of the Changjiang sediments: Implications for tracing sediment sources. Science in China Series D: Earth Sciences 50 (10): 1556–1565. (In Chinese)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Yang SY, Li CX, Jung HS (2003) Further understanding of REE condition and tracing indices significance from the Yellw River sediments. Advance in Nature Science 13 (4): 365–371. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  63. Yang SY, Li CX, Yang DY (2004) Chemical weathering of the loess deposits in the lower Changjiang Valley, China, and paleoclimatic implications. Quaternary International 117: 27–34. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1040-6182(03)00113-7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Yang XP, Liu YS, Li CZ (2007b) Rare Earth Elements of Aeolian Deposits in Northern China and Their Implications for Determining the Provenance of Dust Storms in Beijing. Geomorphology 87 (4): 365–377. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2006.10.004CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Yang XP, Zhang F, Fu XD, et al. (2008) Oxygen isotopic compositions of quartz in the sand seas and sandy lands of northern China and their implications for understanding the provenances of aeolian sands. Geomorphology 102: 278–285. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2008.05.007CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Yokoo Y, Nakano T, Nishikawa M, et al. (2004) Mineralogical variation of Sr-Nd isotopic and elemental compositions in loess and desert sand from the central Loess Plateau in China as a provenance tracer of wet and dry deposition in the northwestern Pacific. Chemical Geology 204: 45–62. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemgeo.2003.11.004CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Yu H (1999) A new exploration on the origin of loess in the shelf aria of the Eastern China Seas. Quaternary Sciences (4): 366–372. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  68. Zhang HY, Lu HY, Jiang SY (2012) Vandenberghe Jef, Wang Shejiang, Cosgrove Richard. Provenance of loess deposits in the Eastern Qinling Mountains (central China) and their implications for the paleoenvironment. Quaternary Science Reviews 43: 94–102. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2012.04.010Google Scholar
  69. Zhang HZ, Lu HY, Xu XS (2016) Quantitative estimation of the contribution of dust sources to Chinese loess using detrital zircon U-Pb age patterns. Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface 121: 2085–2099. https://doi.org/10.1002/2016JF003936CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Zhang Q, Zhu C, Jiang T, et al. (2005) Mid-Pleistocene environmental reconstruction based on Xiashu loess deposits in the Yangtze River Delta in China. Quaternary International 35: 131–137. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2004.10.028CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Zhang WG, Yu LZ, Lu M (2007) Magnetic properties and geochemistry of the Xiashu Loess in the present subtropical area of China, and their implications for pedogenic intensity. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 260: 86–97. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2007.05.018CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Zheng HB, Clift PD, Wang P, et al. (2013) Pre-Miocene birth of the Yangtze River. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110: 7556–7561. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1216241110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Zheng LP, Hu XF, Fang XM (2002) A review of the study on the origin of Xiashu loess in the Middle and lower reaches of Yangtze River. Bulletin of Mineralogy, Petrology and Geochemistry 21 (1): 54–5 https://doi.org/10.3969/j.issn.1007-2802.2002.01.012 (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  74. Zheng XM, Yan QS (1995) Aeolian loess deposition during the last glacial period in the northern Jiangsu Plian of the Yangtze Dleta and western areas of the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea. Quaternary Sciences 3: 258–266. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  75. Zheng XM (1999) Aeolian deposit and environment in Yangtze River Delta and East China Sea area. Shanghai: East China Normal University Press. pp 1–174. (In Chinese)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of GeographyNantong UniversityNantongChina
  2. 2.Department of GeographyEast China Normal UniversityShanghaiChina
  3. 3.School of GeosciencesUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA

Personalised recommendations