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postgraduate thesis: Biomarker based holocene climatic reconstruction in Northwestern China

TitleBiomarker based holocene climatic reconstruction in Northwestern China
Authors
Advisors
Advisor(s):Liu, ZZong, Y
Issue Date2014
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
He, Y. [何毓新]. (2014). Biomarker based holocene climatic reconstruction in Northwestern China. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5185924
AbstractHolocene hydrological changes in regions influenced by the mid-latitude westerly and the tropical/subtropical Asian monsoon differ from each other. The arid/semi-arid northeastern Tibetan Plateau, lying in between, is very sensitive to climatic changes. It thus becomes a climatologically important region to disentangle the interactions between the two circulations. Yet, limited high-quality Holocene paleoclimatic reconstructions are available in this region. This thesis presents multi-biomarker proxy records from lakes in the Qaidam Basin on the northeastern Tibetan Plateau to investigate the nature of Holocene climate variability. Firstly, late-Holocene paired alkenone-based temperature (U_37^K' ) and moisture (%C37:4) records from Lake Gahai and Lake Sugan were reconstructed. Paired temperature and moisture records confirm the warm-dry (e.g. Medieval Warm Period) and cold-wet (e.g. Little Ice Age) periods on the arid northeastern Tibetan Plateau over the late Holocene, opposite to the warm-wet and cold-dry association in Asian monsoonal regions. The records also suggest substantially warmer and drier conditions during the Medieval Warm Period than the current warm period. Further, a possible link between solar forcing and natural climate variability (both temperature and moisture) during the late Holocene is found on the northeastern Tibetan Plateau. This thesis also studied the late-Holocene grain size-based dust storm history from Lake Gahai to encode possible mechanism of dust storm interacting with hydrological parameters. Intensified dust storm events were identified in periods of 500 BC to 250 BC, 50 BC to AD 250 and AD 1100 to present. In multi-centennial to millennial scales, dust storm events might be caused by the intensified wind induced by strong westerlies or/and Asian winter monsoon. In multi-decadal to centennial scales, moisture and vegetation coverage might have impacted on the dust storm intensity and frequency. Further, Holocene lake level history of Lake Gahai was reconstructed by multiple n-alkane and alkenone proxies. Combined biomarker results provide unambiguous evidence of relatively low lake level at 7-2 ka, probably lowest at ~6 ka. Considering the chronological uncertainty, Holocene lake level changes in this marginal region thus display a different pattern from either of the core regions dominated by the westerlies (anti-phase) and the Asian summer monsoon (out-of-phase). The temperature-induced evaporation in the arid marginal region could significantly affect regional hydrological balance, resulting in the discrepancy with the long-term decreasing trend in precipitation in Asian monsoon-dominated regions. Lastly, n-fatty acid δD variation from Lake Hurleg over the past 10.5 ka was investigated. The C26 δD and C16 δD values can indicate water δD changes in terrestrial and aquatic sources, respectively. The heavier C26 δD values during cold and wet conditions suggest that terrestrial water δD changes might be caused by factors other than temperature and moisture, such as glacial melted water input and vegetation type change. The difference between C16 δD and C26 δD was used as an indicator of evaporation at the lake surface. At millennial timescale, less evaporation occurred during cold-wet periods in this region.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectPaleoclimatology - China - Tsaidam Basin
Paleoclimatology - Holocene
Dept/ProgramEarth Sciences
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/197088

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorLiu, Z-
dc.contributor.advisorZong, Y-
dc.contributor.authorHe, Yuxin-
dc.contributor.author何毓新-
dc.date.accessioned2014-05-07T23:15:25Z-
dc.date.available2014-05-07T23:15:25Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationHe, Y. [何毓新]. (2014). Biomarker based holocene climatic reconstruction in Northwestern China. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5185924-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/197088-
dc.description.abstractHolocene hydrological changes in regions influenced by the mid-latitude westerly and the tropical/subtropical Asian monsoon differ from each other. The arid/semi-arid northeastern Tibetan Plateau, lying in between, is very sensitive to climatic changes. It thus becomes a climatologically important region to disentangle the interactions between the two circulations. Yet, limited high-quality Holocene paleoclimatic reconstructions are available in this region. This thesis presents multi-biomarker proxy records from lakes in the Qaidam Basin on the northeastern Tibetan Plateau to investigate the nature of Holocene climate variability. Firstly, late-Holocene paired alkenone-based temperature (U_37^K' ) and moisture (%C37:4) records from Lake Gahai and Lake Sugan were reconstructed. Paired temperature and moisture records confirm the warm-dry (e.g. Medieval Warm Period) and cold-wet (e.g. Little Ice Age) periods on the arid northeastern Tibetan Plateau over the late Holocene, opposite to the warm-wet and cold-dry association in Asian monsoonal regions. The records also suggest substantially warmer and drier conditions during the Medieval Warm Period than the current warm period. Further, a possible link between solar forcing and natural climate variability (both temperature and moisture) during the late Holocene is found on the northeastern Tibetan Plateau. This thesis also studied the late-Holocene grain size-based dust storm history from Lake Gahai to encode possible mechanism of dust storm interacting with hydrological parameters. Intensified dust storm events were identified in periods of 500 BC to 250 BC, 50 BC to AD 250 and AD 1100 to present. In multi-centennial to millennial scales, dust storm events might be caused by the intensified wind induced by strong westerlies or/and Asian winter monsoon. In multi-decadal to centennial scales, moisture and vegetation coverage might have impacted on the dust storm intensity and frequency. Further, Holocene lake level history of Lake Gahai was reconstructed by multiple n-alkane and alkenone proxies. Combined biomarker results provide unambiguous evidence of relatively low lake level at 7-2 ka, probably lowest at ~6 ka. Considering the chronological uncertainty, Holocene lake level changes in this marginal region thus display a different pattern from either of the core regions dominated by the westerlies (anti-phase) and the Asian summer monsoon (out-of-phase). The temperature-induced evaporation in the arid marginal region could significantly affect regional hydrological balance, resulting in the discrepancy with the long-term decreasing trend in precipitation in Asian monsoon-dominated regions. Lastly, n-fatty acid δD variation from Lake Hurleg over the past 10.5 ka was investigated. The C26 δD and C16 δD values can indicate water δD changes in terrestrial and aquatic sources, respectively. The heavier C26 δD values during cold and wet conditions suggest that terrestrial water δD changes might be caused by factors other than temperature and moisture, such as glacial melted water input and vegetation type change. The difference between C16 δD and C26 δD was used as an indicator of evaporation at the lake surface. At millennial timescale, less evaporation occurred during cold-wet periods in this region.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.lcshPaleoclimatology - China - Tsaidam Basin-
dc.subject.lcshPaleoclimatology - Holocene-
dc.titleBiomarker based holocene climatic reconstruction in Northwestern China-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5185924-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEarth Sciences-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5185924-

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