Home > Chinese Dust > Results
More in this section Results

Results

The results presented here are from a small pilot study published in Stevens et al. 2010

which compares detrital zircon U-Pb ages from within the loess to the surrounding deserts. The full reference is given at the bottom of the page. 

Five samples were analysed, one from the northern part of the Loess Plateau, one from each of the Tengger, Mu Us, Otindog and Horquin deserts. The location of these samples is shown in the map below. 

China 

The stars represent the sample sites, the dashed line shows the boundary of the North China craton, the boundary with Mongolia is also shown. The oval shows the approximate extent of the Chinese Loess Plateau. 

Zircon were separated from the samples and were dated U-Pb on a LA ICPMS at UCL. The results are plotted on probability plots below, with some observations about the relative abundances of the various ages. 

Click the title for a larger image:

TenggerU-Pb-Cropped-277x216

TenggerU-Pb-Cropped-277x216
Uploaded
Mar 05, 2013

OtindagU-Pb-Cropped-277x216

OtindagU-Pb-Cropped-277x216
Uploaded
Feb 27, 2013

HorquinU-Pb-Cropped-277x214

HorquinU-Pb-Cropped-277x214
Uploaded
Feb 27, 2013

LoessU-Pb

LoessU-Pb
Uploaded
Oct 12, 2011

MuUsU-Pb

MuUsU-Pb
Uploaded
Oct 12, 2011

TenggerU-Pb

TenggerU-Pb
Uploaded
Oct 12, 2011

HorquinU-Pb

HorquinU-Pb
Uploaded
Oct 12, 2011

OtindagU-Pb

OtindagU-Pb
Uploaded
Oct 12, 2011
Displaying 1 to 8 of 8

The implications of this study show that zircon U-Pb ages can be used to distinguish between potential source areas. The loess sample shows zircon ages that could be associated with tectonic events in northern and western China. More specifically the Qilian Mountains and the Qaidam basin which have Paleozoic aged granitoids which would explain the significant number of Paleozoic aged grains within the loess sample. It also suggests that no one sandy land or desert is acting as a holding area for the loess. 

GSAAirflow

This project moves on from the pilot study described here by adding various techniques like heavy mineral analysis and zircon fission track dating in order to determine the source(s) of the loess. As many of the crust forming events in north China overlap in time it is important to use several techniques to compliment zircon U-Pb dating to obtain as full a picture as possible. 

Keep posted for more results to come soon!


Stevens, T., Palk,C., Carter, A., Lu, H. & Clift, P.D. 2010. Assessing the provenance of loess and desert sediments in northern China using U-Pb dating and morphology of detrital zircons. The Geological Society of America Bulletin, 122, 1331-1344. 


 
 
 
 
 

Comment on this page

Did you find the information you were looking for? Is there a broken link or content that needs updating? Let us know so we can improve the page.

Note: If you need further information or have a question that cannot be satisfied by this page, please call our switchboard on +44 (0)1784 434455.

This window will close when you submit your comment.

Add Your Feedback
Close