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postgraduate thesis: Holocene paleo-environmental reconstruction in central Tibetan plateau inferred from a lacustrine sediment record

TitleHolocene paleo-environmental reconstruction in central Tibetan plateau inferred from a lacustrine sediment record
Authors
Issue Date2014
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Cheung, M. [張敏青]. (2014). Holocene paleo-environmental reconstruction in central Tibetan plateau inferred from a lacustrine sediment record. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5270537
AbstractPrevious studies on reconstructing the paleoclimate on the Tibetan Plateauare commonly based on a single proxy, and have thus limited the usage of their results. Therefore this study was designed firstly to evaluate the applicability of organic carbon isotopes from modern plants in the Tibetan Plateau as a paleo-environmental proxy, and secondly to apply palynology, organic geochemistry and biomarkers to the reconstructions ofpaleo-environmental history of central Tibet. The new, comprehensive records reveal the history of regional precipitation, temperature and vegetation change in responding to Holocene climatic changesin the region. Organic carbon isotope (δ13C) and lipid n-alkanes were measured from plant samples collected from various altitudes and environments across the study area. The δ13C results indicate the importance of availability of water to C3/C4 herbs distribution in this alpine region. The molecular distributions of trees, shrubs, herbs and submergent macrophytes show distinctive features in a number of indices. These indices are considered to be useful for paleo-environmental reconstructions. A 5.8m-long peat core, which were dated back to 95,000 yr BP was obtained from a river valley at an altitude of 4300 m above sea level. The pollen data from the core reveals a sparse herbaceous vegetation in the catchment area during early Holocene, suggesting non-favourable conditions for vegetation growth. The environment became wetter during the early mid-Holocene around 8100-7000 cal. yr BP, and since then a sedge-dominated wetland habitat was developed. This vegetation changed little until about 1100 cal. yr BP; from which an increase of drought-tolerant herbs was indicated by the pollen data, implying a slightly drier condition of the latter part of late Holocene. The pollen record suggests that the optimum precipitation in central Tibet occurred later and lasted longer than that in the East Asian Monsoon region. Finally, bulk sample carbon geochemistry(TOC, δ13C) as well as the biomarkers analysis on n-alkanes and GDGTs as paleo-limnology and paleo-temperature indicators respectively were applied to the core. Before 1500 cal. yr BP, the wetland was dominated by both vascular herbs as suggested by the δ13Cdata and aquatic floating/submerged macrophytes as indicated by mid-chain n-alkanes. The relative proportion of the two sources of organic matter input varied slightly, and vascular herbs increased in two episodes(5400 -4700 and 2800 -2300 cal. yr BP) indicated by the increase of long-chain n-alkanes (>n-C25). Considering of the soil water content variation by the ratios of iGDGTs to bGDGTs, the change between the two plant communities could to be caused by different lake status. GDGTs paleo-temperature reconstruction indicates a warm period from 6700 to 6000 cal. yr BP, which is believed to be the warmest and highly humid in central Tibetan region. Then the temperature decreased towards the late Holocene, consistent with other paleo climate records across the Plateau region, i.e. largely controlled by change of solar insolation. Along the decreasing trend, a warm episode at about 1200 yr BP that inferred from MAAT was suggested corresponding with the North Hemisphere Medieval Warming.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectPaleoecology - Tibet, Plateau of
Paleoecology - Holocene
Dept/ProgramEarth Sciences
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/211563

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorCheung, Man-ching-
dc.contributor.author張敏青-
dc.date.accessioned2015-07-17T23:11:13Z-
dc.date.available2015-07-17T23:11:13Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationCheung, M. [張敏青]. (2014). Holocene paleo-environmental reconstruction in central Tibetan plateau inferred from a lacustrine sediment record. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5270537-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/211563-
dc.description.abstractPrevious studies on reconstructing the paleoclimate on the Tibetan Plateauare commonly based on a single proxy, and have thus limited the usage of their results. Therefore this study was designed firstly to evaluate the applicability of organic carbon isotopes from modern plants in the Tibetan Plateau as a paleo-environmental proxy, and secondly to apply palynology, organic geochemistry and biomarkers to the reconstructions ofpaleo-environmental history of central Tibet. The new, comprehensive records reveal the history of regional precipitation, temperature and vegetation change in responding to Holocene climatic changesin the region. Organic carbon isotope (δ13C) and lipid n-alkanes were measured from plant samples collected from various altitudes and environments across the study area. The δ13C results indicate the importance of availability of water to C3/C4 herbs distribution in this alpine region. The molecular distributions of trees, shrubs, herbs and submergent macrophytes show distinctive features in a number of indices. These indices are considered to be useful for paleo-environmental reconstructions. A 5.8m-long peat core, which were dated back to 95,000 yr BP was obtained from a river valley at an altitude of 4300 m above sea level. The pollen data from the core reveals a sparse herbaceous vegetation in the catchment area during early Holocene, suggesting non-favourable conditions for vegetation growth. The environment became wetter during the early mid-Holocene around 8100-7000 cal. yr BP, and since then a sedge-dominated wetland habitat was developed. This vegetation changed little until about 1100 cal. yr BP; from which an increase of drought-tolerant herbs was indicated by the pollen data, implying a slightly drier condition of the latter part of late Holocene. The pollen record suggests that the optimum precipitation in central Tibet occurred later and lasted longer than that in the East Asian Monsoon region. Finally, bulk sample carbon geochemistry(TOC, δ13C) as well as the biomarkers analysis on n-alkanes and GDGTs as paleo-limnology and paleo-temperature indicators respectively were applied to the core. Before 1500 cal. yr BP, the wetland was dominated by both vascular herbs as suggested by the δ13Cdata and aquatic floating/submerged macrophytes as indicated by mid-chain n-alkanes. The relative proportion of the two sources of organic matter input varied slightly, and vascular herbs increased in two episodes(5400 -4700 and 2800 -2300 cal. yr BP) indicated by the increase of long-chain n-alkanes (>n-C25). Considering of the soil water content variation by the ratios of iGDGTs to bGDGTs, the change between the two plant communities could to be caused by different lake status. GDGTs paleo-temperature reconstruction indicates a warm period from 6700 to 6000 cal. yr BP, which is believed to be the warmest and highly humid in central Tibetan region. Then the temperature decreased towards the late Holocene, consistent with other paleo climate records across the Plateau region, i.e. largely controlled by change of solar insolation. Along the decreasing trend, a warm episode at about 1200 yr BP that inferred from MAAT was suggested corresponding with the North Hemisphere Medieval Warming.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.subject.lcshPaleoecology - Tibet, Plateau of-
dc.subject.lcshPaleoecology - Holocene-
dc.titleHolocene paleo-environmental reconstruction in central Tibetan plateau inferred from a lacustrine sediment record-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5270537-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEarth Sciences-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5270537-

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