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Magneto- and litho-stratigraphic records of the Oligocene-Early Miocene climatic changes from deep drilling in the Linxia Basin, Northeast Tibetan Plateau

Wu, Fuli, Fang, Xiaomin, Meng, Qingquan, Zhao, Yan, Tang, Fenjun, Zhang, Tao, Zhang, Weilin, Zan, Jinbo
Global and planetary change 2017 v.158 pp. 36-46
Cambisols, basins, climate, climate change, drilling, floodplains, geophysics, hematite, magnetism, monsoon season, mudstone, paleosolic soil types, sandstone, sediments, tectonics, temperature, China
The East Asian monsoon is generally regarded to have initiated at the transition from the Late Oligocene to the Early Miocene. However, little is known about this process because of a lack of continuous strata across the boundary between the Late Oligocene and the Early Miocene in Asia. Based on previous drilling (core HZ-1) in the Miocene sediments in the southern Linxia Basin in NW China, we drilled a new 620m core (HZ-2) into the Late Oligocene strata and obtained 206m of continuous new core. The detailed paleomagnetism of the new core reveals eleven pairs of normal and reversed polarity zones that can be readily correlated with chrons 6Bn-9n of the geomagnetic polarity time scale (GPTS), define an age interval of 21.6–26.5Ma and indicate continuity from the Late Oligocene to Early Miocene. The core is characterized by the remarkable occurrence of brownish-red paleosols of luvic cambisols (brown to luvic drab soils) above reddish-brown floodplain siltstones and mudstones, which suggest that the East Asian monsoon likely began by 26.5Ma. In contrast to the siltstone and mudstone of the Late Oligocene strata, the Miocene strata begin with a thick fine sandstone bed, which marks sudden increases in erosion and loading that most likely reflect a response to tectonic uplift. The hematite content and redness index records of the core further demonstrate that the monsoonal climate in the Late Oligocene to Early Miocene in this area was mainly controlled by global temperature trends and events.