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New Dating Results of Quaternary Glaciations in China

ZHOU Shang-zhe~{1, 2}, LI Ji-jun~2(1. Department of Geography, South China Normal University, Guangzhou Guangdong 510080, China;2. Department of Geography, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou Gansu 730000, China)  
There are broad planation surfaces, basins, and mountain ranges in the Tibetan Plateau. Research in the past several decades demonstrates that Quaternary glaciations developed around high mountains on the plateau only, not the whole plateau. In recent years, the oldest moraines in several mountain ranges are dated by ESR. The relative ages of these moraines were first confirmed based on their geomorphologic position and degree of weathering. It is revealed that the oldest glaciation, Zhonglianggan Glaciation, in the Qilian Mountains occurred at about 462.9 ka BP, and the high-elevation moraine of the Wangfeng Glaciation, the oldest one in the Tianshan Mountains, was dated at 477.1 and 459.7 ka BP. The oldest glaciation in the Hengduan mountains, Daocheng Glaciation, was dated at 571.2 ka BP, which is characterized by moraines with deeply weathered red soils with a SiO-2/Al-2O-3 ratio of about 2.42 and a SiO-2 /R-2O-3 ratio of about 2.35. This is reconfirmed by the age of 592.6 ka BP on the oldest moraine at Mount Yulong in the south Hengduan Mountains. The Wangkun glaciation, the oldest one in the Kunlun Mountains, was dated at 710 ka BP by ESR. This is similar to the {~{36}Cl} age of the bottom ice of a 309-m ice core from the Guliya Ice Cap. The Liuhuangshan Glaciation, the oldest one in the Nyainqêngtanglha Rang, was dated at 678 ka BP. These dating results of the oldest moraines in several mountain ranges suggest that glaciers began to develop during MIS12 in the Qilian Mountains and Tianshan Mountains, MIS14 in the Hengduan Mountains and, perhaps, MIS16 in the Kunlun Mountains and Nyainqêngtanglha Rang. Cui Zhijiu and Li Jijun suggest that there was a widespread and rapid uplift of the plateau (Kunlun-Huanghe Tectonic Movement) from 1.1 to 0.6 Ma BP. It is believed that uplift of mountain ranges on the plateau during this period initiated a widespread mountain glaciation.
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