Taklimakan Desert, the largest arid landform in the Eurasia, is one of the most important dust sources in the world. Growing evidences shows that millennial-scale abrupt climate changes during the last glacial period in the region. However, records on millennial-scale climate and environmental changes remain poorly understood because dating eolian, lacustrine, and fluvial sediments and establishing the reliable environmental proxies from these records are always challenging. Here, we present 32 AMS 14C dates of bulk sediments, grain size, and Rb/Sr ratio parameters from the oasis sequence and dates of bulk loess and charcoal from the upstream source regions to examine the significance of oasis sediments on millennial-scale environmental changes in the Taklimakan Desert. We found that substantial reversal of radiocarbon dates on total organic carbon (TOC) was controlled by source region organic carbon input. Loess hills, alpine meadow north of the study region provided fluvial deposits along drainage system and deflation in the river valleys further provide eolian materials. We argue that early oasis deposits experienced deflation and re-deposition less severe than the younger oasis deposits. After refining radiocarbon age-depth relationships for an age model by Bacon package, proxy records show substantial abrupt fluctuations in climate and environments during the last glacial period, among which three wet intervals, two dry periods are identified. The wetter and warmer conditions during the Holocene facilitated human to occupy the oasis.
|Published - 2017