Timing and style of Late Pleistocene glaciation in the Queer Shan, northern Hengduan Mountains in the eastern Tibetan Plateau

Liubing Xu*, Xianjiao Ou, Zhongping Lai, Shangzhe Zhou, Jie Wang, Yingchun Fu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Glacial landforms and sediments provide evidence for the existence of two Late Pleistocene major glacial advances in the Queer Shan, northern Hengduan Mountains in the eastern Tibetan Plateau. In the current study, optically stimulated luminescence and electron spin resonance dating results reveal that the two glacial advances occurred during Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 3 and the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) in MIS 2, respectively. Geomorphic evidence shows that the glacial advance during MIS 3 was more extensive than that in MIS 2. This glacial advance is synchronous with other glaciated areas in the Himalaya and Tibet, but contrasts with global ice volumes that reached their maximum extent during the LGM. Glaciers in the Queer Shan are of the summer accumulation type and are mainly fed by precipitation from the south Asian monsoon. Palaeoclimate proxies show that during MIS 3 the south Asian monsoon strengthened and extended further north into the Tibetan Plateau to supply more precipitation as snow at high altitudes. This in turn led to positive glacier mass balances and caused glaciers to advance. However, during the LGM, despite cooler temperature than in MIS 3, the weakened south Asian monsoon and the associated reduced precipitation were not as favourable for glacier expansion as in MIS 3. Copyright (C) 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)957-966
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Quaternary Science
Volume25
Issue number6
Early online date13 Apr 2010
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Sept 2010

Keywords

  • eastern Tibetan Plateau
  • glacial advance
  • south Asian monsoon
  • Marine Isotope Stages 2 and 3
  • OSL dating
  • ESR dating
  • LATE QUATERNARY GLACIATION
  • CHINESE LOESS
  • INDIAN MONSOON
  • GROWTH-CURVE
  • THAR DESERT
  • ICE CORE
  • LUMINESCENCE CHRONOLOGY
  • SOUTHERN MARGIN
  • SUMMER MONSOON
  • QUARTZ

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