Optical dating has been used to obtain the ages of fossil-stabilized sand dunes from four sections in the northeastern deserts of China. Our results indicate that the optically stimulated luminescence ages of the four sections correlate well, even though the samples were collected from different deserts about 600 km apart. Our results also indicate that active dune formation in this region lasted from the Last Glacial Maximum to about 10 ka, and that the warm climate of the Holocene was interrupted by a cold/dry dune formation episode about 3.5–1.7 ka. The Holocene Optimum in this region is between 10 and 3.6 ka, and a later warm/humid dune stabilization phase lasted from at least 1.6 to 1.0 ka. The youngest age on the uppermost sand unit yielded an age of only 40 yr, supporting the previous argument that the existence of modern active eolian sands in the regions with a mean annual precipitation of up to 450 mm is not mainly due to drought, but to extensive land cultivation over historic time. From the luminescence properties of the quartz grains, it is hypothesized that the sands in most of the sections are probably derived from more than one source, with a minor source of quartz having a different thermal history before deposition.
"Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology" – Elsevier
Published: Jun 25, 2002
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