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Chinese Science Bulletin

, Volume 50, Issue 9, pp 910–918 | Cite as

Grain-size evidence for multiple origins of the reticulate red clay in southern China

  • Hu Xuefeng
  • Zhu Yu
  • Shen Mingneng
Articles

Abstract

Grain-size distributions of the reticulate red clay in Xuancheng, Anhui Province, and Jiujiang, Taihe and Ganzhou, Jiangxi Province, are analyzed. The results are as follows: (1) Generally fine and uniform, grain-size characteristics of the reticulate red clay in Xuancheng and Jiujiang are much similar, with no >2 mm gravels, 0.30% and 1.14% of >63 μm fraction on average, respectively, and 34.65% and 37.20% of 10–50 μm fraction, which is apparently accumulated. The patterns of the grain-size distribution curves of the uppermost yellow-brown earth of the profiles in the two areas much resemble those of the loess in northern China and the Xiashu loess in southeastern China, while the patterns of the other layers also apparently show some attributes inherited from the above. The grain-size distribution patterns of the quartz separated from the whole profiles in the areas are almost identical, which could also be compared with those of the loess and the Xiashu loess. All the features above reveal aeolian characteristics of the reticulated red clay in these two areas. (2) The reticulate red clay in Taihe and Ganzhou is much coarser than that in Xuancheng and Jiujiang, with high content of >63 μm fraction and relatively low content of 10–50 μm fraction. The variations in grain-size distributions of the profiles are also observed. The grain-size distribution patterns of both the original samples and the quartz of the red clay could hardly be compared with those of the loess and the Xiashu loess. All the features above reveal their alluvial or diluvial origins. (3) The multiple origins of the reticulate red clay in the areas reflect the diversity and complexity of the Quaternary environment in southern China. The existence of the reticulate red clay with aeolian characteristics brings forth objective evidence for the occurrence of large-scale dust deposition in southern China during the Quaternary glacial periods. Further investigation and study on the regional distribution of this kind of the red clay will be conducive to revealing the southern border of the large-scale dust deposition in southern China during the Quaternary glacial periods.

Keywords

reticulate red clay grain-size distribution aeolian characteristics quartz Quaternary environment 

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Copyright information

© Science in China Press 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental Science and EngineeringShanghai UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Department of GeographyEast China Normal UniversityShanghaiChina

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