Journal of Paleolimnology

, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 777–788 | Cite as

Last glacial climate variations on the tropical Leizhou Peninsula, South China

  • Wei Zhong
  • Jibin Xue
  • Jun Ouyang
  • Yanming Zheng
  • Qiaohong Ma
  • Xuefeng Yu
Original paper


Two cores were recovered from raised peat bogs on the tropical northern Leizhou Peninsula, south China. Multiple sediment variables including organic matter (OM) content, the stable carbon isotope signature of OM, low-frequency magnetic susceptibility and degree of humification, indicate that the regional paleoclimate played an important role in determining the nature of peat that accumulated. Based on comparison with other climate proxies, the bulk peat δ13C record was interpreted as an indicator of variation in the East Asian (EA) summer monsoon, and to a lesser extent, the Indian summer monsoon, during the last glacial period between ~49 and 10 cal ka BP. More negative bulk δ13C values reflect wetter and warmer conditions, and thus a strong EA summer monsoon. More positive values indicate drier and cooler conditions. A warm and wet period occurred between ~46 and 28 cal ka BP, implying a strengthening of the EA summer monsoon. A climate shift occurred at ~22 cal ka BP and the driest and coldest period appeared between ~19 and 16 cal ka BP, suggesting weakening of the EA summer monsoon. After ~12 cal ka BP, climate shifted towards wetter and warmer conditions again. It has been suggested that variations in orbitally induced solar insolation played a role in the last glacial climate of the study region. Several millennial—scale arid and cold phases characterized by C4 plants, or by more positive δ13C values during periods when C3 plants dominated, show agreement with the Greenland GISP2 ice core and the Chinese stalagmite records. Interactions between high northern latitude cold air advection and summer moisture transported across the tropical ocean, and the migration of the mean position of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) would have favored these millennial–scale phases. Additionally, changes in heat transport to the North Atlantic would also have influenced climate in the region.


Peat bog Organic carbon isotope East Asian monsoon Last glacial period 



Measurement of conventional 14C dates and pretreatment of AMS 14C samples were done at the Key Lab of Western China’s Environmental Systems (Ministry of Education of China), Lanzhou University. AMS 14C dating was done at Beijing University. Stable carbon isotopes in organic matter were analyzed at the State Key Lab of Gas Geochemistry, Lanzhou Institute of Geology, CAS. We are grateful to Professors JX Cao, CJ Zhang and Dr. H Yang for their help with laboratory analyses. Thanks are also due Professor HY Zhou and Chief Editor of JOPL, Professor M Brenner for language improvement of this manuscript. We sincerely thank two anonymous reviewers, Chief Editor M Brenner, and Associate Editor I Larocque for their thorough comments and constructive suggestions, which significantly improved the manuscript. This work was supported by the NSF of China (No. 40671189), NSF of Guangdong Province (No. 8151063101000044 and 06025042) and the Open Foundation of State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, CAS (No. SKLLQG0803).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wei Zhong
    • 1
  • Jibin Xue
    • 1
  • Jun Ouyang
    • 1
  • Yanming Zheng
    • 1
  • Qiaohong Ma
    • 1
  • Xuefeng Yu
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Geography SciencesSouth China Normal UniversityGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary GeologyInstitute of Earth Environment, CASXi’anChina

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