Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 128–142 | Cite as

Paleomagnetic excursions recorded in the Yanchi Playa in middle hexi corridor, NW China since the last interglacial

  • Yang Taibao 
  • Yu Yongtao 
  • Li Jijun 
  • An Congrong 
  • Liu Jinfeng 
  • Zhang Junyan 


Paleomagnetic determinations on lithological profiles of two paralleled long drilling cores covering the past 130 kyr B.P., GT40 and GT60, from the Yanchi Playa in the arid Northwestern China, indicate that a series of pronounced paleomagnetic excursions have been documented. By correlating our results with published regional and worldwide reports, 4 excursion events out of 10 apparent reversal signals (labeled from GT-1 to GT-10) were identified as excursion events coeval with the Mono Lake Event (28.4 kyr–25.8 kyr), Laschamp Event (43.3 kyr–40.5 kyr), Gaotai Event (82.8 kyr–72.4 kyr) and the Blake Event (127.4 kyr–113.3 kyr), respectively. GT-9 correlates with the above-mentioned Gaotai Event, GT-7 and GT-6 correspond to two stages of the Laschamp Event and GT-5 to the Mono Lake Event. It is noteworthy that the so-called Gaotai Event has not been reported as a pronounced paleomagnetic excursion in the Northwestern China. Every magnetic excursion event corresponds to paleointensity minima, anteceding those established abrupt paleoclimatic change events, such as the Younger Drays and the Heinrich Events (H1–H6). Here, we tentatively propose that these geomagnetic excursions/reversals can be viewed as precursors to climate abruptness. During the transitional stages when the earth’s magnetic field shifted between a temporal normal and a negative period, the earth’s magnetic paleointensity fell correspondingly to a pair of minima. Although more precise chronology and more convincing rock magnetic parameter determinations are essentially required for further interpretation of their intricate coupling mechanism, these results may have revealed, to some extent, that the earth’s incessantly changing magnetic field exerts an strong influence on the onset of saw-tooth shaped abrupt climate oscillations through certain feedback chains in arid Central Asia or even North Hemispheric high latitude regions.


Paleomagnetism geomagnetic excursion the Late Pleistocene arid Northwestern China 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bonhommet & Zahbringer. 1969. Paleomagnetism and potassium-argon age determination of the Laschamp geomagnetic polarity event.Earth and Planetary Science Letters 6: 43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Carlo Laj, Catherine Kissel, Alain Mazaoudet al. 2002. Geomagnetic field intensity, North Atlantic Deep Water circulation and atmospheric δ14C during the last 50kyr.Earth and Planetary Science Letters 200: 177–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chen Fahu, Wang Sumin, Li Jijun et al. 1995. A magnetostratigraphical study on the Ruer’gai basin of east Tibetan Paleau.Science in China [Series B]25(7): 773–777. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  4. David A. Schneider. 1993. An estimate of late Pleistocene geomagnetic intensity variation from Sulu Sea sediments.Earth and Planetary Science Letters 120: 301–310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Denham & Cox. 1971. Evidence that the Laschamp polarity event did not occur 13300 – 30400 year ago.Earth and Planetary Science Letters 13: 181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Doake. 1977. A possible effect of ice ages on the Earth’s magnetic field.Nature 267: 415.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Doake. 1978. Climate change and geomagnetic field reversals: a statistical correlation. Earth and Planetary Science Letters38: 313CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Emmanuel Tric, Carlo Laj, Piotr Tucholka, et al. 1991. The Blake geomagnetic event: transition geometry, dynamical characteristics and geomagnetic significance.Earth and Planetary Science Letters 102: 1–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Emmanuel Tric, Jean-Pierre Valet, Piotr Tucholkaet al. 1992. Paleointensity of the Geomagnetic Field during the last 80,000 years.Journal of Geophysical Research 97 (B6): 9337–9351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fairbridge R W. 1977. Global climate change during the 13500a B.P. Gothenburg geomagnetic excursion.Nature 265: 430.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Guo Bin, Zhu Rixiang. 1999a. Magnetic polarity reversal and magnetic excursion.Proceeding of Geophysics 14 (2): 65–71. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  12. Guo Bin, Zhu Rixiang, Ding Zhongli,et al. 1999b. Characters of terrestrial magnetic field variations during the Upper Jaramillo polarity reversal and short-term polarity events.Science Bulletin 44 (14): 47–53. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  13. Harrison C G A, Prospero J M. 1974. Reversal of the Earth’s magnetic field and climatic changes.Nature 250: 563.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hecht A D. 1977. Geomagnetism and climate.Nature 268: 669.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Horst-Uhich Worm. 1997. A link between geomagnetic reversals and events and glaciations.Earth and Planetary Science Letters 147: 55–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Jan Mangerud, Reidar Løvlie and Steinar Gulliksen et al. 2003. Paleomagnetic correlations between Scandinavian Ice-Sheet fluctuations and Greenland Dansgaard-Oeschger events, 45,000–25,000 yr B.P.Quaternary Research 59: 213–222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. J.S. Stoner, C. Laj, J. E. T. Channell,et al. 2002. South Atlantic and North Atlantic geomagnetic paleointensity stacks(0–8 kyr): implications for inter-hemispheric correlation.Quaternary Science Reviews 21: 1141–1151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Laure Meynadier, Jean-Pierre Valet, Robin Weekset al. 1992. Relative geomagnetic intensity of the field during the last 140ka.Earth and Planetary Science Letters 114: 39–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Li Jijun, Fang Xiaomin, Pan Baotianet al. 2001. Late Cenozoic intensive uplift of Qinhai-Xizang Plateau and its impacts on environments in surrounding area.Quaternary Sciences 21(5): 381–391. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  20. Li Peiying, Wang Yongji & Liu Zhenxia. 1999. Chronostratigrapy of Chongsheng Sea and its sedimentary rate.Science in China, Series D 29(1): 50–55. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  21. Liddicoat & Coe. 1979. Mono Lake geomagnetic excursion.J. Geophysical Research 84: 261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Liu Qingsong, Zhu Rixiang, Panyongxinet al. 1999. Statistical models of the rapid geomagnetic reversals during polarity transitional period.Science in China [Series D]29(1): 56–61. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  23. Marcus Christl, Christopher Strobl & Augusto Mangini. 2003. Beryllium-10 in deep-sea sediments: a tracer for the Earth’s magnetic field intensity during the last 200,000 years.Quaternary Science Reviews 22: 725–739.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Meynadier L., Valet J., Bassinot F. C., et al. 1994. Asymmetrical saw-tooth pattern of the geomagnetic field intensity from equatorial sediments in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.Earth and Planetary Science Letters 126: 109–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Meynadier L., Jean-Pierre Valet, Robin Weeks,et al. 1992. Relative geomagnetic intensity of the field during the last 140 ka.Earth and Planetary Science Letters 114: 39–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Smith, J. D., Foster, J. H. 1969. Geomagnetic reversal in Brunhes normal polarity epoch.Science 163: 565–567.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Tauxe L, Hartl P. 1997. 11 million years of Oligocene geomagnetic field behavior.Geophysical Journal International 128: 217–229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Thompson & Berglund. 1976. Late Weichselian geomagnetic reversal as a possible example of the reinforcement syndrome.Nature 263: 490.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Wang Fei, Li Chunhong, Zhu Rixianget al. 2002. Late Quaternary incision rate of the mid Qinling Mtn and tectonic uplifts.Science Bulletin 47(13): 1032–1036. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  30. Yaskawa K, Nakajima T, Kawai N,et al. 1973. Paleomagnetism of a Core from Lake Biwa (I).Journal of Geomag. Geoelecter 25: 447–451.Google Scholar
  31. Yohan Guyodo & Jean-Pierre Valet. 1999. Global changes in intensity of the Earth’s magnetic field during the past 800 kyr.Nature 399: 249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Zhu Rixiang, Liu Qingsong, Pan Yongxin. 1999. Correlation of terrestrial magnetic polarity reversals with global geological events.Science Bulletin 44 (15): 23–28. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  33. Zhu Rixiang, Guo Bin, Pan Yongxinet al. 2000. Analysis on the reliability of geomagnetic field secular variations recorded by Lingtai loess profile, Gansu Province.Science in China [Series D]30(3): 324–330. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  34. Zhu Rixiang, Gu Zhaoyan, Huang Baochun,et al. 1993. Long-term terrestrial magnetic field variation and climate changes during the past 15000 a B.P. in Beijing.Science in China [series B]23(12): 1316–1321. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  35. Zhu Rixiang, Zhou Liping, Laj, C. 1994. The Blake geomagnetic polarity episode recorded in Chinese loess.Geophysical Research Letter 21: 697–700.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Institute of Moutain Hazards and Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Science Press 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yang Taibao 
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yu Yongtao 
    • 1
  • Li Jijun 
    • 1
    • 3
  • An Congrong 
    • 1
  • Liu Jinfeng 
    • 4
  • Zhang Junyan 
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geography, School of Resources and Environmental SciencesLanzhou UniversityLanzhouChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Western Environmental ChangesChinese Ministry of Education, Lanzhou UniversityLanzhouChina
  3. 3.Department of Geography, School of GeosciencesNanjing Normal UniversityNanjingChina
  4. 4.Institute of Geology and GeophysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations