A Holocene dust record in arid central Asia inferred from Lake Barkol, northwest China

Yanbin Lu, Chengbang An, Jiawu Zhang, Zongli Wang, Shichen Tao, Jiaju Zhao

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Grain-size distributions and detrital minerals were investigated for modern dust and for lacustrine sediment in Lake Barkol region, northwest China. Characteristics of the modern dust and lacustrine sediments, principle component analysis, and changes of quartz contents all suggest grain size 45-138 μm in the core sediment is the dust sensitive component. It indicates that high dust flux climate occurred at mid-Holocene (5.5-4.5 cal ka BP), corresponding to the high dust flux record in northwest Pacific and the drought interval of deserts in northwest China during the mid-Holocene. The strong dust activity is in contradiction with the climatic optimum recorded by the lacustrine evidence in Xinjiang. Different responses of the dust source region and watershed to the regional climate may have led to the inconsistency between dust and climate records during the mid-Holocene in arid central Asia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-220
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Earth Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This research was jointly supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program) (2010CB950202), the Nation Natural Science Foundation of China under grants 40721067 and 40871006. We thank Robert Elston for language correction and helpful remarks.


  • Central Asia
  • Dust
  • Holocene
  • Lake Barkol


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