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Holocene geomorphic evolution of Taiyuan Basin in Shanxi Province and its influence on ancient human settlement distribution

Jiang Jiaqi;Mo Duowen;Lü Jianqing;Liao Yinan;Lu Peng;Ren Xiaolin;Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes Ministry of Education,College of Urban and Environment,Peking University;Institute of Geographical Sciences,Henan Academy of Sciences;  
Human-environment interreaction is an important research subject of modern geography,and geomorphic prcesses is one key environmental factor of ancient culture evolution. Based on field investigation,optical dating,and GIS analysis,we try to discuss the evolution of the Holocene geomorphic evolution,human settlement distribution and the relationship between them in Taiyuan Basin,Shanxi Province. The results indicate that from Yangshao Period to Xia and Shang Period,the inside plain of Taiyuan Basin was full of rivers and lakes,which is not suitable for human living. Thus,archaeological sites were distributed on the loess plateau,which annularly spreaded around the basin. During the Late Pleistocene,abundance sediments is doposited via alluvial processes at the edge of the basin,developed some higher topographical area at the basin edge. From the Late Pleistocene to Early Holocene,due to intense tectonic activity and humid climate,the edge area of the basin developed into loess hill and loess terrace. During the Early Longshan Period,the edge of plain of eastern basin also developed into less higher loess terrace,which is over flood level and suitable for human living. Meanwhile,at the western part of the basin,just like Qingxu-Wenshui area,also began to develop into low terrace. During the Late Longshan Period,due to aggradation of river in the basin,flood level was rising,which could affect the edge of plain,and human went back to the higher loess terrace. During the Xia and Shang Period,human at Qingxu-Wenshui area left the low terrace. After 3 ka BP,because of the cut of Fen River in Lingshi uplift,the edge area and plain area of Taiyuan Basin were cut in different degrees,human settlements began to expand to plain area. The ancient human settlement distribution of Taiyuan basin is mainly controlled by geomorphic evolution during the Holocene.
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