Dune Evolution in Horqin Dunefield of China Since Late Glacical Period Inferred from Luminescence Dating and Pollen

  • 1. Key Laboratory of Desert and Desertification, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China;
    2. Key Laboratory of Salt Lake Resources and Chemistry, Qinghai Institute of Salt Lakes, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining, Qinghai 810008, China;
    3. State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an, Shaanxi 710075, China;
    4. Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China

Received date: 2010-10-15

  Revised date: 2010-12-08

  Online published: 2011-06-20


The Horqin dunefield is located in the northern frontier of East Asian Monsoon (EAM) zone, and its activation and stabilization is sensitive to the ebb and flow of the EAM. However, the activity of dunes in the Horqin dunefield is still poorly understood due to the limited numerical dating. The purpose of the present study is to explore the dune evolution using luminescence dating and pollen analysis in order to understand the relative role of climate and human activity. In the present study, 21 samples collected from seven sections in the Horqin dunefield were dated using quartz optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating method. Combined with the stratigraphy, pollen materials and the OSL chronology, the dune avolution in the Horqin dunefield since the late glacial period can be summarized that before 16-10 ka B.P., aeolian sand dunes were mobilized; during 10-3 ka B.P., dunes were stabilized, with dark sandy soil development; at around 3 ka B.P., dunes were mobilized again abruptly; since 3 ka B.P., there were multiple phases of dune stabilization/mobilization. Between 4 and 2 ka B.P., the vegetation of Horqin dunefield degenerated gradually from the meadow steppe to steppe. Dune activity was dominated by climate before 3 ka B.P. However, since 3 ka B.P., both climate variability and human impact have influenced dune evolution in the Horqin dunefield.

Cite this article

YANG Lin-hai, LAI Zhong-ping, ZHOU Jie, LONG Hao, ZHANG Jing-ran . Dune Evolution in Horqin Dunefield of China Since Late Glacical Period Inferred from Luminescence Dating and Pollen[J]. SCIENTIA GEOGRAPHICA SINICA, 2011 , 31(6) : 695 -701 . DOI: 10.13249/j.cnki.sgs.2011.06.695


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