Abstract

This paper presents a new record of monsoon changes that occurred in China during the late Pleistocene. Study of terrestrial mollusks from the loess sequence in Luochuan indicates alternating strengthened summer and winter paleomonsoons. These variations—based on the content of xerophilous, hygrophilous, and oriental species—are in very good agreement with the variation inferred from pedology, sedimentology, and climate modeling. The three occurrences of currently southeastern species in the sequence indicate that the climate conditions were warmer and wetter than today at about 88, 60, and 10 ka. The main occurrence of xerophilous taxa between 75 and 65 ka is interpreted as drier than today, in agreement with other proxy data. These results demonstrate that fossil terrestrial mollusk data can provide reliable information on past monsoon variability in Asia.

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