Timing of glacier fluctuations and trigger mechanisms in eastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau during the late Quaternary

XianJiao Ou, ZhongPing Lai*, ShangZhe Zhou, LanHua Zeng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

It is highly debated whether glacial advances on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) occurred as a response to temperature cooling, or whether they were forced by an increase in moisture brought by the intensive Indian summer monsoon. We here report a case study investigating this issue. Multiple moraine series in the Yingpu Valley, Queer Shan ranges of the Hengduan Mountains, and eastern QTP, provide an excellent archive for examining the timing and trigger mechanism of glacier fluctuations. Twenty-seven optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) samples of glacial sediments were collected from this valley. The quartz OSL ages show that the moraine series of Y-1, I, M and O were formed during the Late Holocene, Late Glacial, the global Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 3 (likely mid-MIS-3). The youngest Y-2 moraines probably formed during the Little Ice Age (LIA). The oldest H moraines formed before MIS-3. We found that glacial advances during the late Quaternary at the Yingpu Valley responded to cold stages or cold events rather than episodes of enhanced summer monsoon and moisture. As a result, glaciers in the monsoonal Hengduan Mountains were mainly triggered by changes in temperature. Millennial time scale temperature oscillations might have caused the multiple glacial advances. (C) 2013 University of Washington. Published by Elsevier Inc All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)464-475
Number of pages12
JournalQuaternary Research
Volume81
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2014

Keywords

  • OSL chronology
  • Glacier fluctuations
  • Late Quaternary
  • Trigger mechanisms
  • Eastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau
  • LATE PLEISTOCENE GLACIATION
  • URUMQI RIVER
  • TIANSHAN MOUNTAINS
  • NORTHERN PAKISTAN
  • COSMOGENIC BE-10
  • LAST GLACIATION
  • CHINESE LOESS
  • GROWTH-CURVE
  • HIMALAYA
  • MONSOON

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Timing of glacier fluctuations and trigger mechanisms in eastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau during the late Quaternary'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this