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Age constraints on the late Quaternary evolution of Qinghai Lake, Tibetan Plateau

  • David B. Madsen (a1), Ma Haizhou (a2), David Rhode (a3), P. Jeffrey Brantingham (a4) and Steven L. Forman (a5)...
Abstract

Dating and geomorphology of shoreline features in the Qinghai Lake basin of northwestern China suggest that, contrary to previous interpretations, the lake likely did not reach levels 66–140 m above modern within the past ∼ 90,000 yr. Maximum highstands of ∼ 20–66 m above modern probably date to Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5. MIS 3 highstands are undated and uncertain but may have been at or below post-glacial highs. The lake probably reached ∼ 3202–3206 m (+ 8–12 m) during the early Holocene but stayed below ∼ 3202 m after ∼ 8.4 ka. This shoreline history implies significantly different hydrologic balances in the Qinghai Lake basin before ∼ 90 ka and after ∼ 45 ka, possibly the result of a more expansive Asian monsoon in MIS 5.

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*Corresponding author.E-mail address: madsend@mail.utexas.edu (D.B. Madsen).
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Quaternary Research
  • ISSN: 0033-5894
  • EISSN: 1096-0287
  • URL: /core/journals/quaternary-research
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