Quaternary Environment
Cenozoic Geology and Environment
---Quaternary Environment

Base on the Cenozoic Aeolian, fluvio-lacustrine sedimentary sections and tree rings, using sedimentological, paleopedological, biogeochemical and theoretical modeling studies, to better understand climate evolution on tectonic, orbital and suborbital timescales during the Cenozoic and its mechanisms in relationship with global climate changes. 

Main Achievements: 

1Through detailed sedimentological, paleopedological, geochemical studies and magnetostratigraphy dating on eight sedimentary sections, the loess-soil sequence in northern China has been extended to 22 Ma, almost 14 Ma longer than previously believed.

2) Systematic studies on the paleosols, on the inter-section grain-size gradients and on the dust provenances attested to the existence of extended deserts in the Asian interior, and the presence of seasonally alternative monsoonal circulations. These constrained the formation ages of the Asian monsoon climate and inland deserts, at least to 22 Ma ago, related with the uplift of the Himalayan-Tibetan complex at that time. The early history (22-8 Ma) of the monsoons and inland aridity changes were also documented.  

3) Studies on the Pleistocene paleosols and land-sea-ice correlations revealed a strong asymmetry of hemispheric climates ~500 kiloyears (ka) ago, which was previously unknown. This hemispheric asymmetry readily explains the observed monsoon strong-extremes in the northern hemisphere in association with the low methane concentrations.

4) A significant carbon loss was documented for the Holocene terrestrial carbon storage in China due to human activity intervention, as is partially responsible for the late Holocene CO2 rise. 

Head of Group

Prof. Guo Zhengtang

Division of Cenozoic Geology and Environment
   Tel:86 010 8299
No. 19, Beitucheng Western Road, Chaoyang District, 100029, Beijing, P.R.China
Tel:010-82998001 Fax:010-62010846 Email:suoban@mail.iggcas.ac.cn