Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Dependence of Near-Surface Magnetic Susceptibility on Dust Accumulation Rate and Precipitation on the Chinese Loess Plateau

  • Stephen C. Porter (a1), Bernard Hallet (a1), Xihao Wu (a2) and Zhisheng An (a2)

Magnetic susceptibility (MS) of surface sediment varies systematically across the Loess Plateau in central China, decreasing exponentially from >200×10−8 m3/kg at the northern margin of the Qinling Shan to ≤30×10−8 m3/kg near the southern margin of the Mu Us Desert. MS correlates highly with loess median grain size (r2=0.79), which decreases south-southeastward across the plateau. It also correlates with mean annual temperature (MAT) and mean annual precipitation (MAP) (r2=0.58 and 0.60, respectively), and with their product MAT×MAP (r2=0.83), which is considered a measure of potential pedogenic activity. Because regional isopleths depicting grain size and the primary meteorological parameters are nearly parallel, it is difficult to determine their relative influence on MS. A simple MS model, based on the observed spatial variation in loess thickness, permits quantitative assessment of the effect of the dust accumulation rate on the MS signal of surface sediment and isolates the likely role of climate in the production of magnetic minerals. The model suggests that 84% of the loess MS variance is dictated by the diluting effect of dust and 10–11% is associated with meteorological factors, primarily precipitation. The observed and modeled relationships support hypotheses that attribute variations in MS in the loess-paleosol succession to varying rates of dust deposition and in situ production of magnetic minerals in the accretionary soils, both of which are controlled by monsoon climate.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Z.S. An , G.J. Kukla , S.C. Porter , J.L. Xiao , (1991). Magnetic susceptibility evidence of monsoon variation on the Loess Plateau of central China during the last 130,000 years.. Quaternary Research, 36, 2936.

Z.S. An , S.C. Porter , J.E. Kutzbach , X.H. Wu , S.M. Wang , X.D. Liu , X.Q. Li , W.J. Zhou , (2000). Asynchronous Holocene optimum of the East Asian monsoon.. Quaternary Science Reviews, 19, 743762.

R.S. Anderson , B. Hallet , (1996). Simulating magnetic susceptibility profiles in loess as an aid in quantifying rates of dust deposition and pedogenic development.. Quaternary Research, 45, 116.

F. Heller , T.-S. Liu , (1986). Palaeoclimatic and sedimentary history from magnetic susceptibility of loess in China.. Geophysical Research Letters, 13, 11691172.

F. Heller , C.D. Shen , J. Beer , X.M. Liu , T.S. Liu , A. Bronger , M. Suter , G. Bonani , (1993). Quantitative estimates of pedogenic ferromagnetic mineral formation in Chinese loess and palaeoclimatic implications.. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 114, 385390.

G. Kukla , (1987). Loess stratigraphy in central China.. Quaternary Science Reviews, 6, 191219.

G. Kukla , Z.S. An , (1989). Loess stratigraphy in central China.. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 72, 203225.

G. Kukla , F. Heller , X.M. Liu , T.C. Xu , T.S. Liu , Z.S. An , (1988). Pleistocene climates in China dated by magnetic susceptibility.. Geology, 16, 811814.

G. Kukla , Z.S. An , J.L. Melice , J. Gavin , J.L. Xiao , (1990). Magnetic susceptibility record of Chinese loess.. Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh: Earth Sciences, 81, 263288.

B.A. Maher , R.M. Taylor , (1988). Formation of ultrafine-grained magnetite in soils.. Nature, 336, 368370.

B.A. Maher , R. Thompson , (1991). Mineral magnetic record of the Chinese loess and paleosols.. Geology, 19, 36.

B.A. Maher , R. Thompson , (1992). Paleoclimatic significance of the mineral magnetic record of the Chinese loess and paleosols.. Quaternary Research, 37, 155170.

B.A. Maher , R. Thompson , (1995). Paleorainfall reconstructions from pedogenic magnetic susceptibility variations in the Chinese loess and paleosols.. Quaternary Research, 44, 383391.

B.A. Maher , R. Thompson , L.P. Zhou , (1994). Spatial and temporal reconstructions of changes in the Asian palaeomonsoon: A new mineral magnetic approach.. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 125, 462471.

S.C. Porter , (2001). Chinese loess record of monsoon climate during the last glacial–interglacial cycle.. Earth Science Reviews, .

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Quaternary Research
  • ISSN: 0033-5894
  • EISSN: 1096-0287
  • URL: /core/journals/quaternary-research
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Abstract views

Total abstract views: 42 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 20th January 2017 - 26th June 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.