EGU21-2697, updated on 03 Mar 2021
EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Orbital-scale climatic record in the North China across the Pliocene-Pleistocene transition

Ze Zhang, Zhixiang Wang, and Chunju Huang
Ze Zhang et al.
  • State Key Laboratory of Biogeology and Environmental Geology, School of Earth Sciences, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, China (

The Pliocene - Pleistocene period (3.6-1.8 Ma) was a significant global cooling time, from very warm, equable climates to high-amplitude glacial-interglacial cycles. The origin of glaciers in the Northern Hemisphere, and the mechanisms by which glacial cycles have expanded since the late Pliocene, remain a subject of ongoing discussion. The studies of the Pliocene orbital scale climate evolution mainly are focused on marine sediments and loess-paleosoil sequences, however, there are few records of continental lacustrine facies during this period. Here we present a 37.6 m high-resolution Sanmen lacustrine sequences during the Pliocene-Pleistocene transition period that indicates the astronomically controlling East Asian climate transition and the Sanmen paloelake evolution. The Rb/Sr series evolution was divided into two parts for astronomical analysis based on the obvious changes observed in curve shape and Evolutionary spectral analysis through the section: 7.4-19 and 19-45 m. Based on evaluation of average accumulation rates from paleomagnetic results, the dominated ~99-cm cycles in the 7.4 to 19 m intervals represent ~41 kyr obliquity cycles. The 19 to 45 m intervals show obvious cycles at ~232-cm, interpreting as ~100 kyr eccentricity. Astronomical tuning combined with paleomagnetic results has been used to establish the 3.83-2.32 Ma high-precision astronomical scale. Rb/Sr series reveals that ~100 kyr eccentricity was the dominant control on lake expansion for Sanmen paleolake evolutionary before 2.75 Ma, after that, dominant obliquity control. Based on re-established the meridional sea surface temperature (SST) gradient between polar Atlantic borehole ODP 982 and the equatorial Atlantic borehole ODP 662, results show that the meridional sea surface temperature gradients increased significantly at 2.75 Ma, with cyclicity changing from the dominant ~140 kyr and ~95 kyr cycles to ~41 kyr at 2.75 Ma, and is coeval with our Rb/Sr record in the Weihe Basin. Crossspectral analysis show that the Rb/Sr and meridional SST gradient are strongly coherent and almost in-phase at these primary orbital periods in the past between 3.83-2.32 Ma. Thus, we conclude that the reorganization of the East Asian climate system at ~2.75 Ma, which coincided with the expansion of Arctic ice sheet, was a response to a dramatic cooling of the global climate and obliquity-driven changes in meridional SST gradients.

How to cite: Zhang, Z., Wang, Z., and Huang, C.: Orbital-scale climatic record in the North China across the Pliocene-Pleistocene transition, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-2697,, 2021.

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