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Discussion on the Texture Features of Quartz Grains and Their Origin in the Xining Loess

LI Zhen 1 ZHANG Jia wu 2 MA Hai zhou 1 1(Department of Geography,Qinghai Normal University,Xining 810008) 2(Department of Geography,Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000)  
It has been proved that quartz grains of different sources are characterized with different surface textures and features,which has been successfully applied in distinguishing the original source of Chinese loess.Seven groups of loess samples were retrieved from Dadunling loess section in Xining basin,Qinghai Province,Norhtwest China. Quartz grains were seperated by chemical processes and their surface texures and features were observed under SEM in this study to discover the original source of loess on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau. It is found that the quartz grains in Xining loess since 1.2 Ma are mainly angular and subangular in features which are different form those of ordinary desert sands. Besides, these quartz grains display a distinct set of surface features including typical sheering fractures(with a frequency of 31%),big conchoidal breakages(occurred on 50% of grains that are 1μm) and oriented striations(3%),which is generally considered to be the markers of glacial actions.At the same time,the sub-rounded quartz sands with typical V-shaped pits(12% in frequency)and polished surface(21%)under water environment are also found in the samples.All the above information indicates that the Xining loess material is not mainly originated from desert but from glacial and periglacial environment of the Tibetan plateau. It could be explained that a quantity of detrital material was formed by glacial grindings and freezing and melting processes when the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau reached an average altitude of 3 000 m 1.1Ma~ 0.7Ma ago,when most of the Plateau reached the cryosphere.Under the Plateau winter monsoon or the westerly,the fine grains were transported eastward and deposited in relatively lower basins such as Xining Basin.The quartz grains in Xining loess have documented not only the information of global change but also the history of glacial actions on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.
【Fund】: 国家自然科学基金
【CateGory Index】: P642.131
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