Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2012, Vol. 67 ›› Issue (5): 657-670.doi: 10.11821/xb201205008

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Quaternary Glacier Development and Environmental Evolution in Qianhu Mountain, Northwestern Yunnan Province

ZHANG Wei1, LIU Beibei1, LI Yonghua1, FENG Jun2, ZHANG Bing3, WANG Zhilin1, LI Dapeng1   

  1. 1. College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Liaoning Normal University, Dalian 116029, Liaoning, China;
    2. College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China;
    3. School of International Programs, Kunming Science and Technology University, Kunming 650093, China
  • Received:2011-12-29 Revised:2012-01-28 Online:2012-05-20 Published:2012-05-20
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40971010; No.40961001

Abstract: The Qianhu Mountain, one of the regions with Quaternary glacial remains in the Hengduan Mountains, is intensively influenced by the southwestern monsoon and has the important scientific significance in the research not only on glacial characteristics in western and eastern China, but also on the relationship between the climate change and tectonic uplift in the bordering mountains of eastern Tibetan Plateau. Field investigations show that the Quaternary erosion and sediment geomorphology are preserved above 3500 m in the main peak of the Qianhu Mountains and its surrounding areas. Glaciers mainly depended on the planation surface (3900-4000 m) and its relevant valleys, and the glacier type belongs to the small ice cap and the valley glacier entered the branch valley. Using geomorphology method and the lab optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating of glacial periods, this paper confirms the glacial advance only occurred during the last glacial cycle (LGC), that is, last glacial maximum (LGM, 22.2 ± 1.9 kaBP) in the mid-last glacial cycle (MIS3b, 37.3 ± 3.7 kaBP, 45.6 ± 4.3 kaBP), and in the early stage of last glacial cycle (MIS4). The glacial extent of the MIS3b is larger than that of last glacial maximum. This might be caused by different climate events alternated with wet and dry conditions during different glacial stages. Compared with the multi-glacier sequences in the Hengduan Mountains, the Qianhu Mountain only experienced the glacial advance during the last glacial cycle. It is the tectonic uplift coupled with the climate change that led the Qianhu Mountain to the snowline and witnessed the glacial advance.

Key words: Qianhu Mountain, last glacial cycle, tectonic uplift, stimulated luminescence dating