Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2023, Vol. 78 ›› Issue (9): 2284-2298.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202309011

• Global Change Impact and Adaptation • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatio-temporal differences of enhanced aeolian sand activity in the northeastern Tibetan Plateau over the past 1500 years

TANG Daobin1,2(), YANG Kunmei2, ZENG Lanhua2, LIU Xiangjun2, XIN Cunlin1(), XU Yantian2   

  1. 1. College of Geography and Environmental Science, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China
    2. School of Geography and Tourism, Jiaying University, Meizhou 514015, Guangdong, China
  • Received:2023-02-08 Revised:2023-08-24 Online:2023-09-25 Published:2023-09-28
  • Contact: XIN Cunlin;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41972020);National Natural Science Foundation of China(42271010)


Based on previous studies, aeolian sand activity in northeastern Tibetan Plateau (NETP) had strengthened during the past 1500 years, but the reasons are still unknown, concerning climate change, human activities, or a combination of both. In this study, according to the natural environment and population distribution, the NETP is divided into two regions: Zone I, which mainly includes Qinghai Lake Basin, Gonghe Basin and Hehuang Valley, has better hydrothermal condition and the larger population than Zone II that is comprised of Yellow River source area and Qaidam Basin, with cold and dry climate and sparse population. Then, this paper summarizes the published ages of aeolian sand, aeolian sand activity records, paleoclimate proxy indicators and the related records of human activities in these two zones. Also, we analyze the spatio-temporal differences and influencing factors among the increasingly enhanced aeolian sand activity during the past 1500 years in the NETP. The results show that there are spatio-temporal differences of enhanced aeolian sand activity in the NETP over the past 1500 years. Aeolian sand activity in Zone I significantly strengthened during the relatively warm and humid period of 1.5~1.0 ka ago, while that in Zone II did not enhance until since 1.0 ka. The time when the aeolian sand activity began to strengthen in Zone I was 0.5 ka earlier than in Zone II. Through the comprehensive analysis, the study shows that the destruction of natural vegetation caused by increased human activities is the reason why the enhanced aeolian sand activity in Zone I was 0.5 ka earlier than that in Zone II. The enhanced aeolian sand activity in Zone II were mainly caused by climate change over the past 1.0 ka. This study provides an insight in the spatio-temporal differences of the enhanced aeolian sand activity in the NETP over the past 1500 years, as well as a reference for ecological environment governance and predicting the change of aeolian sand activity under the trend of global warming in the future.

Key words: aeolian sand activity, climate change, human activities, northeastern Tibetan Plateau, 1.5 ka