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《Quaternary Sciences》 2008-06
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GEOCHEMICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF SEDIMENTS DEPOSITED IN THE DONGDONG CAVE AND THEIR ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATION

Wang Haizhi ①② Cheng Jie ②(①Beijing Institute of Geology,Beijing 100011;②China University of Geoscience,Beijing 100083)  
The reconstruction of paleo-environment in Zhoukoudian region of Beijing is critical not only to unraveling the underlying mechanism of environmental changes in North China,but also to understand the relationship between the environment and the human evolution.However,most previous studies concentrated on environment changes in the Middle Pleistocene,few in the Early Pleistocene,during which well-preserved sediments were rarely deposited.The studies on sediments of the Dongdong Cave in the Zhoukoudian region,which began in the 1980s,show that the deposition is well-preserved and of the age of Early Pleistocene,providing an ideal site for reconstructing the environmental changes in that time.In order to characterize the pattern of environment changes,major element compositions of the sediments(SiO_2,Al_2O_3,Fe_2O_3,CaO)have been analyzed by XRF with a high-resolution.At the same time,the content of FeO is also analyzed by traditional titrimetric method.Our result shows that SiO_2 is the dominant mineral of the sediments in the Dongdong Cave with a range of 41.6%~58.9%.Al_2O_3 and Fe_2O_3 are the second and third important components,ranging from 13.69% to 29.63% and 5.00% to 9.81%,respectively.The contents of Al_2O_3 and Fe_2O_3 display an obvious mirror variation with that of SiO_2 along the Dongdong profile,indicating the dilution of Fe_2O_3 and Al_2O_3 to the SiO_2 concentration in the sediments.Fe_2O_3 shows a well correlation with Al_2O_3,suggesting that Fe_2O_3 is mainly enriched in Al-enriched minerals.Three big perturbations of the elemental compositions are identified in the Dongdong profile,which are characterized by high concentration of SiO_2 and FeO,and low contents of Al_2O_3 and Fe_2O_3.These three perturbations occur individually in the intervals of 15.3~14.6m,11.0~9.9m,and 8.40~7.84m.Coinciding to the perturbations of the major element concentrations,Si/Al(SiO_2/Al_2O_3)and FeO/Fe_2O_3 ratios,which have close associations with degree of weathering intensity and temperature,also increase.The high ratios of SiO_2/Al_2O_3 and FeO/Fe_2O_3,together with the increase of SiO_2 and the decrease of Al_2O_3content,suggest a cold and dry environment,and three big clod and dry events occurring in the Early Pleistocene are recorded in the Dongdong sediments.In addition,the values of SiO_2/Al_2O_3 and FeO/Fe_2O_3 ratios are relatively high and display high-frequent vibrations in the upper section(10.00~7.84m,after second event).This pattern suggests that environment become more unstable,cold and dry after the second event.The chemical records(SiO_2/Al_2O_3 and FeO/Fe_2O_3 ratios)of the Dongdong section display a well correlation with the grain size curve of the Jingchuan loess sequence,supporting that the chemical compositions of sediments in the Dongdong Cave are controlled by similar mechanisms to that for Chinese loess.The comparison of the elemental ratios of the Dongdong section with the grain size curve of the Jingchuan shows that the three cold and dry events individually correspond to the L 26,L 15,and L 13 in time.
【Fund】: 国家自然科学基金项目(批准号:40672118)资助
【CateGory Index】: K878
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