Journal of Paleolimnology

, Volume 62, Issue 3, pp 229–244 | Cite as

Environmental magnetic record of a ~ 3000-years subalpine peat core from the western Nanling Mountains, South China

  • Susu Ye
  • Wei ZhongEmail author
  • Zhiqiang Wei
  • Shengtan Shang
  • Xiaowen Tang
  • Chan Zhu
  • Jibin Xue
  • Jun Ouyang
  • Junyu Pan
Original paper


A 95-cm subalpine peat core from the Daping Swamp, located in the transition zone between the middle and southern subtropical regions of China, provides an environmental mineral magnetism record over the past ~ 3000 years. Magnetic concentration-dependent parameters [i.e. magnetic susceptibility (χlf), anhysteretic susceptibility (χARM), and saturation isothermal remanent magnetization (SIRM)] and grain size-dependent parameters [i.e. percentage frequency-dependent susceptibility (χfd%), SIRM/χlf, and χARMlf] of core and catchment sediments were measured to characterize provenance and catchment processes. Multi-magnetic parameters revealed that the primary magnetic minerals in the peat samples were mainly detrital magnetic minerals, which originated from catchment surface soil erosion. Changes in vegetation coverage as well as pedogenesis induced by rainfall variation play an important role in controlling the input of magnetic materials. Therefore, we infer that variations of magnetic features in the core bear potential to elucidate the history of environmental changes in the past ~ 3000 years, which are closely related to Asian summer monsoon evolution. Multiple parameters revealed that in three periods (i.e. 2700–2500, 1600–1000, and 500–300 cal year BP), decreased pedogenesis intensity and increased erosion induced by decline in vegetation coverage under dry conditions led to increased input of magnetic minerals, especially the coarser minerals in peat samples. However, in the two periods (i.e. 2500–1600, and 1000–500 cal year BP), multi-magnetic proxies indicate increased pedogenesis and decreased input of magnetic minerals dominated by fine-grained magnetic minerals caused by increased vegetation coverage under relatively wet and warm conditions. These climatic periods are of broad regional consistence across the world. The general trend of the late Holocene climate revealed by magnetic parameters confirms the sensitivity of environmental magnetism in this peat succession from the subalpine western Nanling Mountains to the climatic/environmental variability in the Asian summer monsoon region.


Peat succession Environmental magnetism Paleoenvironment changes Late Holocene Rainfall 



Measurement of conventional 14C dates was carried out at the Key Lab of Western China’s Environmental Systems (Ministry of Education of China), Lanzhou University. The magnetic measurements were finished in the Rock magnetic laboratory of the Institute of Guangzhou Geochemistry (CAS) and the Laboratory of Paleomagnetism of Sun Yat-Sen University (SYSU). We thank Prof. Ouyang Tinping of South China Normal University and Prof. Yang Xiaoqiang of SYSU for their help in magnetic measurements. Thanks are given to Prof. Roberts A.P. and Dr. Zhao Xiang of Australian National University for their help to measure and interpret the FORCs diagram. We are grateful to three anonymous reviewers and Prof. Steffen Mischke (the Associate Editor of this Journal) for their constructive comments. Liwen Bianji, Edanz Group China (, helps to edit the English text of this manuscript. This work was supported by the NSF of China (Grant Nos. 41571187 and 41071137) and the NSF of Guangdong Province (Grant Nos. 2014A030313435 and S2011010003413).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susu Ye
    • 1
  • Wei Zhong
    • 1
    Email author
  • Zhiqiang Wei
    • 1
  • Shengtan Shang
    • 1
  • Xiaowen Tang
    • 1
  • Chan Zhu
    • 1
  • Jibin Xue
    • 1
  • Jun Ouyang
    • 1
  • Junyu Pan
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Geography SciencesSouth China Normal UniversityGuangzhou CityChina

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