Quartz OSL dating of sand dunes of Late Pleistocene in the Mu Us Desert in northern China

Zhong He, Jie Zhou, Zhongping Lai, LinHai Yang, JianMin Liang, Hao Long, Xianjiao Ou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (SciVal)


The Mu Us Desert, located in the northwestern fringe of the East Asian monsoon region, is sensitive to climate variability. The desert is characterized by mobile, semi-fixed and fixed sand dunes. Alternating units of dune sands and sandy palaeosols in the Mu Us Desert imply multiple episodes of dune building and stabilization, in response to the ebb and flow of the East Asian monsoon. Desert evolution and climatic change of high-resolution in the Mu Us Desert are still poorly understood due to limited numerical dating results. In the present study, 19 samples collected from five sand dune sections along a northwest-southeast transect in the Mu Us Desert were dated using quartz optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) and single aliquot regenerative-dose (SAR) protocol. Internal checks of the OSL dating indicate that the SAR protocol is appropriate for equivalent dose (De) determination for the samples under study. Combined with the lithologic stratigraphy and the luminescence chronology, the sand dune development in the Mu Us Desert during the Late Pleistocene is discussed. Our results indicate that the sand was mobilized approximately at 91 ka, 71 ka, 48-22 ka, 5 ka, 1 ka, and 0.44 ka; the sand was fixed approximately at 65 ka and Holocene Optimum period in the interior Mu Us Desert. The Mu Us Desert formed at least before 144 ka, and has shown increasing aridity in the Late Pleistocene. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-106
Number of pages5
JournalQuaternary Geochronology
Issue number2-3
Early online date21 Feb 2009
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2010
Event12th International Conference on Luminescence and Electron Spin Resonance - Beijing
Duration: 18 Sept 200822 Sept 2008


  • Mu Us Desert
  • Late Pleistocene
  • Luminescence dating
  • Sand dune activity
  • AGE


Dive into the research topics of 'Quartz OSL dating of sand dunes of Late Pleistocene in the Mu Us Desert in northern China'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this