Desertification and dust emission history of the Tarim Basin and its relation to the uplift of northern Tibet
Ryuji Tada, Hongbo Zheng, Naomi Sugiura, Yuko Isozaki, Hitoshi Hasegawa, Youbin Sun, Wengang Yang, Ke Wang, Shin Toyoda, 2010. "Desertification and dust emission history of the Tarim Basin and its relation to the uplift of northern Tibet", Monsoon Evolution and Tectonic–Climate Linkage in Asia, P. D. Clift, R. Tada, H. Zheng
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The potential links between uplift of the Himalaya and Tibetan Plateau and desertification of inland Asia have been a long-considered problem in geology. Although a close link between the two has been suggested by theoretical climatic simulations, not enough geological data has existed to test the theory. Here, we conducted semi-quantitative field observations of a Neogene fluvial sequence at the Yecheng section on the southwestern margin of the Tarim Basin in order to confirm the origin and mode of deposition of the aeolian siltstone, determine the onset timing, evaluate quantitatively the temporal evolution of its deposition and its relationship to the tectonically driven surface uplift of NW Tibet. The results suggest a close link between the uplift of northwestern Tibet, alluvial fan formation, dust emission from Taklimakan Desert and the deposition of loess on the alluvial fans.
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The Earth’s climate varies through geological time as a result of external, orbital processes, as well as the positions of continents, growth of mountains and the opening and closure of oceanic gateways. Climate modelling suggests that the intensity of the Asian monsoon should correlate, at least in part, with the uplift history of the Tibetan Plateau and the Himalaya, as well as the evolution of gateways and the retreat of shallow seas in Central Asia. Long-term reconstructions of both mountain building and monsoon activity are key to testing the proposed links. This collection of papers presents a series of new studies documenting the variations of the Asian monsoon on orbital and tectonic timescales, together with the impact this has had on environmental conditions. The issue of which proxies are best suited to measuring monsoons is addressed, as is the effect that the monsoon has had on erosion and the formation of the stratigraphic record both on and offshore.