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《Acta Geological Sinica》 1977-01
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STUDY ON THE FOSSIL HUMAN STRATA——THE YUANMO FORMATION

Pu Qingyu and Qian Fang  
The Yuanmo Formation, formerly called Majie fossil horse beds, consisting of 100 m of fluvio-lacustrine deposits may be subdivided into four members from bottom to top as follows: The. first member——Chiefly of fresh variegated clay, alternated with subclay and thin-bedded sand and intercalated with greyish black carbonaceous clay (=lacustrine and paludal deposits), 109.7 m thick. The second member——Greyish black variegated clay, alternated with subclay, silty clay, silt and sand, occasionally with greyish green and greyish black humus clay, and some lignite layers, (=lacustropaludal deposits predominantly lacustrine), 314.4m thick. The third member Brownish grey, brownish yellow coarse sand layers, medium sand layers, fine sand layers, alternated with brown, brownish red silty subclay and subclay layers, intercalated with some greyish black and greyish green thin-bedded clay (=alternately fluvial and lacustrine but predominantly fluvial deposits), 149.1m. The fourth member ——an alternation of sandy gravel, silty subclay and clay layers (=fluvial deposits), 122.2m. Two teeth belonging to Homo erectus yuanmoensis were discovered in Bed 25 included in the fourth member. The Yuanmo Formation is underlain by glaeioaqueous deposits of the Lungchuan glacial stage and overlain by boulder clay of the Matoushan glacial stage (=Poyang Stage). The sporopollen assemblages of the third and fourth members of the same formation reflect a great drop in temperature, which might signify another glacial stage, equivalent to the European Danube Stage. According to palaeomagnetic dating and correlation, the Yuanmo Formation must have been formed 3.1—1.5 million years ago, corresponding to the Danube stage which occurred approximately 2.1—1.5 million years ago. The Yuanmo movement by which the Yuanmo Formation was deformed took place between the Danube stage and. pre-Poyang stage, so this explains why no deposits of this interglacial stage have been found in the Yuaumo Basin. Study of fossil mammals from the Yuanmo Formation shows that it is early Quaternary in age, slightly earlier than the Nihowan. This conclusion is supported by the study of both fossil ostracods and molluscans. The comprehensive study of the Yuanmo Formation indicates that the Lungchuan glacial stage marks the beginning of the Quaternary in China, hence, the Chinese Quarternary history dates back to more than three million years ago.
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