Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2009, Vol. 64 ›› Issue (11): 1303-1318.doi: 10.11821/xb200911003

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Climatic and Environmental Changes as well as Ancient Culture Response in the Yangtze Gorges Region

SHI Wei1,3, ZHU Cheng2, LI Shi-jie1, MA Chun-mei2   

  1. 1. Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology,CAAS,Nanjing 210008,China;
    2. Institute of Oceanology & Geography Sciences,Nanjing University,Nanjing 210093,China;
    3. Department of Geography,Jiangsu Institute of Education,Nanjing 210013,China
  • Received:2009-08-30 Revised:2009-09-20 Online:2009-11-25 Published:2009-11-25
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40701190; No.90411015


Yuxi and Dajiuhu profiles in the Three Gorges Region are chosen in this study, and based upon AMS14C dating (calibrated CY), we establish the high-resolution curves of various proxy indicators (δ13C, K, humification coefficient, total concentration of spore-pollen, Rb, Sr and Rb/Sr) during 9.3-2 kaBP. Besides we synthetically compare and analyze the records of climatic and environmental changes in Holocene sediments in the surrounding areas, we also obtain the materials of prosperity, decline and transition of ancient culture as well as the flood information from the Neolithic Age to historical periods by making statistical analysis of archaeological sites and paleoflood layers of the study area. The results show that: (1) Megatherma in Holocene appeared during 7.6-4 kaBP in the Three Gorges Region. During 9.3-7.6 kaBP, the climate in the study area was very unstable, drastically fluctuating, wet-cold in general, occurring cold or arid events more than once (approximately 9.1, 8.2 and 7.7 kaBP). During 4-2 kaBP, the climatic fluctuation was frequent, and trending slightly cold-dry than before. (2) The Megatherma during 7.6-4 kaBP can be divided into three stages: namely 1) the stage of 6-5 kaBP was the prime of Megatherma, when the climate was stable, warm-wet, with predominent vegetation and ecological environment as well as low frequency of flood events; 2) the stages of 7.6-6 kaBP and 5-4 kaBP were the transition periods with unstable characteristics in Megatherma, among them, during 5-4 kaBP as well as around 4 kaBP, the cold events were still remarkable and the flood events were also frequent. (3) The formation and development of ancient culture in the study area in prehistoric period was mainly corresponding to Megatherma, Daxi culture that the planting industry was the most prosperous appeared in the prime (6-5 kaBP) of Megatherma, other types of ancient culture before and after Daxi culture which were at the low tide or showing decline corresponded to the stages that the climate and environment were unstable. Response of ancient culture in study area to the climatic and environmental changes was achieved through altering the modes of subsistence.

Key words: The Three Gorges Region, Holocene, Yuxi and Dajiuhu profiles, climatic and environmental changes, high-resolution proxy indicators, ancient culture respons