Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 71, Issue 3, pp 1227–1237

An assessment and comparison of 230Th and AMS 14C ages for lacustrine sediments from Qarhan Salt Lake area in arid western China

  • QiShun Fan
  • HaiZhou Ma
  • ZhiBang Ma
  • HaiCheng Wei
  • FengQing Han
Original Article

Abstract

The age framework of Qarhan Salt Lake in arid western China is still controversial due in part to (1) age discrepancy between conventional 14C and 230Th dating results, and (2) no AMS 14C ages of organic carbon from drilling cores in Qarhan Salt Lake were reported until now. In order to discuss these chronological problems, upper 54.50 m lacustrine sediments from a drilling core (ISL1A) recovered from Qarhan Salt Lake were dated based on 230Th and AMS 14C dating techniques. Results show that (1) AMS 14C ages of total organic carbon (TOC) from 4.65 to 30.29 m are almost in stratigraphic order and consistent with 230Th ages of halite in the corresponding layers; (2) AMS 14C ages of TOC from 30.29 to 54.50 m are younger with increasing depth. This phenomenon was also found in Shell Bar in the study area, suggesting that AMS 14C ages from upper 30.29 m are more reliable while those from lower 24.21 m in ISL1A may be underestimated; (3) 230Th ages of halite from lower 24 m lacustrine sediments are obviously older than AMS 14C ages of TOC in the corresponding layers, which results into different age framework of salt lake sediments in Qarhan Salt Lake; (4) if extrapolating these reliable AMS 14C ages in ISL1A, similar age framework with 230Th ages in this core confirms that 230Th ages are much close to the true ages of these sediments, which suggests that the forming timing of the bottom salt layer is ~50 ka.

Keywords

230Th and AMS 14C dating The forming timing of the bottom salt layer Qarhan Salt Lake Qaidam Basin 

References

  1. An ZS, Colman SM, Zhou WJ, Li XQ, Brown ET, Jull AJT, Cai YJ, Huang YS, Lu XF, Chang H, Song YB, Xu H, Liu WG, Jin ZD, Liu XD, Cheng P, Liu Y, Ai L, Li XZ, Liu XJ, Yan LB, Shi ZG, Wang XL, Wu F, Qiang XK, Dong JB, Lu FY, Xu XW (2012) Interplay between the Westerlies and Asian monsoon recorded in Lake Qinghai sediments since 32 ka. Sci Rep 2(619):1–7Google Scholar
  2. Bard E, Amold M, Fairbanks RG, Hamelin B (1993) 230Th–234U and 14C ages obtained by mass spectrometry on corals. Radiocarbon 35(1):191–199Google Scholar
  3. Bowler JM, Huang Q, Chen KZ, Head MJ, Yuan BY (1986) Radiocarbon dating of playa lake hydrologic changes: examples from northwestern China and central Australia. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol 54:241–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chen KZ, Bowler JM (1985) Preliminary study on sedimentary characteristics and evolution of palaeoclimate of Qarhan Salt Lake in Qaidam Basin. Sci Ch (Series B) 11:1218–1231Google Scholar
  5. Chen KZ, Bowler JM (1986) Late Pleistocene evolution of Salt Lakes in the Qaidam Basin, Qinghai Province, China. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol 54:87–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chen KZ, Bowler JM (1987) Evolution of Salt Lakes in Qaidam Basin, Qinghai Province, China since Late Pleistocene. In: Proceedings of the Sino-Australian Quaternary Meeting, pp 83–91 (in Chinese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  7. Chen FH, Huang XZ, Zhang JW, Holmes JA, Chen JH (2006) Humid little ice age in arid central Asia documented by Bosent Lake, Xinjiang, China. Sci Ch (D) 49:1280–1290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Colman SM, Jones GA, Rubin M, King JW, Peck JA, Orem WH (1996) AMS radiocarbon analysis from Lake Baikal, Siberia: challenges of dating sediments from a large, oligotrophic lake. Quat Sci Rev 15(7):669–684CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. De Bievre P, Lauer KF, Le Duigon Y, Moret H, Muschenborn G, Spaepen J, Spernol A, Vaninbroukx R, Verdingh V (1971) The half-life of 234U. In: Hurrell ML (ed) Proceedings of International Conference on Chemistry of Nuclear Data, Measurement and Applications Canterbury. Institute of Civil Engineers, London, pp 221–225Google Scholar
  10. Fan QS, Lai ZP, Long H, Sun YJ, Liu XJ (2010) OSL chronology for lacustrine sediments recording high stands of Gahai Lake in Qaidam Basin, northeastern Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau. Quat Geochronol 5:223–227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fan QS, Ma HZ, Hou GL (2012a) Late Pleistocene lake and glaciation evolution on the northeastern Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau: a review. Environm Earth Sci 66(2):625–634CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fan QS, Ma HZ, Cao GC, Chen ZY, Cao SK (2012b) Geomorphic and chronometric evidences for high lake level history in Gahai Lake and Toson Lake of northeastern Qaidam Basin, northeastern Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau. J Quat Sci 27(8):819–827CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Geyh MA, Grosjean M, Nunez L, Schotterer U (1999) Radiocarbon reservoir effect and the timing of the Late-Glacial/Early Holocene humid phase in the Atacama Desert (northern Chile). Quatern Res 52:143–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Herzschuh U, Winter K, Wünnemann B, Li SJ (2006) A general cooling trend on the central Tibetan Plateau throughout the Holocene recorded by the Lake Zigetang pollen spectra. Quat Int 154–155:113–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hou H (2001) Vegetation atlas of China. Science Press China: Science Press, Beijing, pp 20–80Google Scholar
  16. Hou XH, Zheng MP, Zhang CJ, Shi LF, Wang YD (2010) Sedimentary characteristics and paleoenvironmental of Dalangtan Salt Lake in Western Qaidam Basin, since 140 ka BP. Acta Geological Sinica 84:1623–1630Google Scholar
  17. Hou JZ, D’Andrea WJ, Liu ZH (2012) The influence of 14C reservoir age on interpretation of paleolimnological records from the Tibetan Plateau. Quat Sci Rev 48:67–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Huang Q, Cai BQ (1987) A preliminary study on ages for Qarhan Salt Lake. In: Proceedings of the Sino-Australian Quaternary Meeting, pp 106–114 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  19. Huang Q, Han FQ (2007) Paleoclimatic fluctuation and evolution of slat lakes in Qaidam Basin. Science Press, Beijing, pp 52–146Google Scholar
  20. Huang Q, Cai BQ, Yu JQ (1980) The 14C age and cycle of sedimentation of some saline lakes on the Qinghai–Xizang Plateau. Chin Sci Bull 26:66–70Google Scholar
  21. Huang Q, Bowler JM, Plach HA, Head J (1985) Carbon isotopic studies of the sediments in Lakes Qarhan and Frome. Oceanologia et Limnologia Sinica 16(2):81–91Google Scholar
  22. Huang Q, Meng ZQ, Liu HL (1991) The study on features of palaeoclimatic variation of dry and cold areas. Ch Sci (Series B) 34(3):338–351Google Scholar
  23. Kaufman A, Broecker WS (1965) Comparison of 230Th and 14C ages for carbonate materials from Late Lahontan and Bonneville. J Geophys Res 70:4039–4054CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Li MH, Kang SC, Ge J, Yi CL, Fang XM (2010) Saline rhythm and climatic change since 20.6 kyr BP from the Qiulinanmu Playa Lake in Tibet. Carbonates Evaporites 25:5–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Liang QS, Huang Q (1995) Salt–forming ages of the Dabuxun and Bieletan regions in Qarhan playa. Qinghai. Acta Sedimentologica Sinica 13(3):126–131Google Scholar
  26. Liu KX, Ding XF, Fu DP, Pan Y, Wu XH, Zhou LP, Guo ZY (2007a) The AMS measurement of VIRI samples at Peking University. Quat Sci 27(3):469–473 (in Chinese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  27. Liu XQ, Shen J, Wang SM, Wang YB, Liu WG (2007b) Southwest monsoon changes indicated by oxygen isotope evidence of ostracode shells from sediments in Qinghai Lake since the late Glacial. Chin Sci Bull 52:539–544CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Liu XQ, Dong HL, Rech JA, Matsumoto R, Yang B, Wang YB (2008a) Evolution of Chaka Salt Lake in NW China in response to climatic change during the Latest Pleistocene–Holocene. Quat Sci Rev 27:867–879CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Liu XQ, Herzschuh U, Shen J, Jiang QF, Xiao XY (2008b) Holocene environmental and climatic changes inferred from Wulungu Lake in northern Xinjiang, China. Quat Res 70:412–425CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Liu XQ, Dong HL, Yang XD, Herzschuh U, Zhang EL, Stuut JW, Wang YB (2009) Late Holocene forcing of the Asian winter and summer monsoon as evidenced by proxy records from the northern Qinghai–Tibetan plateau. Earth Planet Sci Lett 280:276–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Ludwig KR (1991) ISOLOPT a plotting and regression program for radiogenic-isotope data, U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 91–445, 41Google Scholar
  32. Luo SD, Ku TL (1991) U-series isochronal dating: a generalized method employing total–sample dissolution. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 55:555–564CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Ma HZ (1996) Aspects of desert loess, lacustrine shorelines and fluvial terraces in the Qaidam Basin and Huang Shui valley. Unpublished PhD Dissertation, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, pp 80–110Google Scholar
  34. Ma ZB, Wang ZH, Liu JQ, Yuan BY, Xiao JL, Zhang GP (2004) U-series chronology of sediments associated with Late Quaternary fluctuations, Blikun Lake, northwest China. Quat Int 121:89–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Ma ZB, Zheng MP, Wu ZH, Ma NN (2010a) U-Th isochron dating of impure carbonates and the possible effect of isotopic fractionation during leaching. Acta Geol Sinica 84(8):1146–1153 (in Chinese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  36. Ma ZB, Ma NN, Zhang XF, Wang Y (2010b) 230Th/U chronology of late Pleistocene lacustrine deposits in Zhabuye salt lake, Tibetan Plateau. Acta Geologica Sinica 84(11):1641–1651 (in Chinese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  37. Ma NN, Zheng MP, Ma ZB, Chen WX, Kong FJ, Shi LF (2011) Forming age of surface mirabilite in Dalangtan, Qaidam Basin and its environmental significance. Acta Geol Sinica 85(3):433–444 (in Chinese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  38. Ma NN, Ma ZB, Zheng MP, Wang HL (2012) 230Th dating of stem carbonate deposits from Tai Cuo lake, western Tibetan Plateau, China. Quat Int 250:55–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Mallick R, Frank N (2002) A new technique for precise uranium-series dating of travertine micro-samples. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 66(24):4261–4272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Meadows JW, Armani RJ, Callis EL, Essling AM (1980) Half-life of 230Th. Phys Rev C 22:750–754CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Mischke S, Herzschuh U, Zhang C, Bloemendal J, Riedel F (2005) A late Quaternary lake record from the Qilian Mountains (NW China): lake level and salinity changes inferred from sediment properties and ostracod assemblages. Glob Planet Chang 46:337–359CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Morrill C, Overpeck JT, Cole JE, Liu KB, Shen C, Tang L (2006) Holocene variations in the Asian monsoon inferred from the geochemistry of lake sediments in central Tibet. Quat Res 65:232–243CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Owen LA, Finkel RC, Ma HZ, Barnard PL (2006) Late Quaternary landscape evolution in the Kunlun Mountains and Qaidam Basin, Northern Tibet: a framework for examining the links between glaciation, lake level changes and alluvial fan formation. Quat Int 154–155:73–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Peng TH, Goddard JG, Broecker WS (1978) A direct comparison of 14C and 230Th ages at Searles Lake, California. Quat Res 9:319–329CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Peng ZC, Liu WG, Zhang PX, Zhang CF, Zhou J (2001) Precise timing of lacustrine gypsum in Luobopo, Xinjiang using the thermal ionization mass spectrometry U–series method. Chin Sci Bull 46(18):1538–1541CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Phillips FM, Zreda MG, Ku TL, Luo SD, Huang Q, Elmore D, Kubik PW, Sharma P (1993) 230Th/234U and 36Cl dating of evaporite deposits from the western Qaidam Basin, China: implications for glacial-period dust export form Central Asia. Geol Soc Am Bull 105:1606–1616CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Qiang MR, Chen FH, Zhang JW, Gao SY, Zhou AF (2005) Climatic changes documented by stable isotopes of sedimentary carbonate in Lake Sugan, northeastern Tibetan Plateau of China, since 2 ka BP. Chin Sci Bull 50(17):1930–1939CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Ren G (1998) A finding of the influence of “hard water” on radiocarbon dating for lake sediments in Inner Mongolia, China. J Lake Sci 10:80 (in Chinese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  49. Sanna L, Forti P, Lauritzen SE (2011) Preliminary U/Th dating and the evolution of gypsum crystals in Naica caves (Mexico). Acta Carsologica 40(1):17–18Google Scholar
  50. Schramm A, Stein M, Goldstein SL (2000) Calibration of the 14C time scale to >40 ka by 234U–230Th dating of Lake Lisan sediments (last glacial Dead Sea). Earth Planet Sci Lett 178(1–2):27–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Shen J, Liu XQ, Wang SM, Matsumoto R (2005) Palaeoclimatic changes in the Qinghai Lake area during the last 18,000 years. Quat Int 136:131–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Stuiver M, Reimer PJ, Reimer R (2005) CALIB 5.0 Radiocarbon calibration program. http://calib.qub.ac.uk/calib/
  53. Wedepohl KH (1995) The composition of the continental crust. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 59:1217–1232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Yang Q, Wu BH, Wang SZ (1993) Geological characteristics of potash deposits in Qarhan Salt Lake. Geological Press, Beijing, pp 50–92Google Scholar
  55. Yang WB, Spencer RJ, Krouse HR, Lowenstein TK, Casas E (1995) Stable isotopes of lake and fluid inclusion brines, Dabusun Lake, Qaidam Basin, western China: hydrology and paleoclimatology in arid environments. Palaeogergr, Palaeoclimatol, Palaeoecol 117:279–290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Yu SS, Liu XQ, Tan HB, Cao GC (2009) Sustainable utilization of Qarhan Salt Lake resources. Science Press, Beijing, pp 27–265Google Scholar
  57. Yuan JQ, Huo CY, Cai KQ (1983) The high mountain-deep basin saline environment—A new genetic model of salt deposits. Geol Rev 29:159–165 (in chinese)Google Scholar
  58. Yuan JQ, Yang Q, Sun DP, Huo CY (1995) The forming conditions of potash deposits in Qarhan Salt Lake. Geological Press, Beijing, pp 153–165Google Scholar
  59. Zhang PX (1987) Salt Lake in Qaidam Basin. Science Press, Beijing, pp 1–235Google Scholar
  60. Zhang PX, Zhang BZ, Lowenstein TK, Pancer RJ (1993) Origin of ancient potash evaporites: examples from the formation of potash of Qarhan Salt Lake in Qaidam Basin. Science Press, Beijing, pp 27–121Google Scholar
  61. Zhang HC, Ming QZ, Lei GL, Zhang WX, Fan HF, Chang FQ, Wünnemann B, Hartman K (2006) Dilemma of dating on lacustrine deposits in a hyperarid inland basin of NW China. Radiocarbon 48(2):219–226Google Scholar
  62. Zhang HC, Lei GL, Chang FQ, Fan HF, Yang MS, Zhang WX (2007) Age determination of Shell Bar section in Salt Lake Qarhan, Qaidam Basin. Quat Sci 27(4):511–521Google Scholar
  63. Zhang HC, Fan HF, Chang FQ, Zhang WX, Lei GL, Yang MS, Lei YB, Yang LQ (2008) AMS dating on the Shell Bar section from Qaidam Basin, NE Tibetan Plateau, China. Radiocarbon 50(2):255–265Google Scholar
  64. Zhao Y, Yu ZC, Liu XM, Zhao C, Chen FH, Zhang K (2010) Late Holocene vegetation and climate oscillations in the Qaidam Basin of the northeastern Tibetan Plateau. Quat Res 73:59–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • QiShun Fan
    • 1
  • HaiZhou Ma
    • 1
  • ZhiBang Ma
    • 2
  • HaiCheng Wei
    • 1
  • FengQing Han
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory for Geology and Environment of Salt Lake, Qinghai Institute of Salt LakesChinese Academy of SciencesXiningChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Cenozoic Geology and Environment, Institute of Geology and GeophysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations