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Oxygen isotopic composition of bulk carbonates in recent sediments from Lake Kuhai (NW China) and implications for hydroclimatic changes in headwater areas of the Yellow River
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Title

Oxygen isotopic composition of bulk carbonates in recent sediments from Lake Kuhai (NW China) and implications for hydroclimatic changes in headwater areas of the Yellow River on the northeastern Tibetan Plateau.

Authors

Li, XZ; Zhou, X; Liu, WG; Fan, GQ; Cheng, P; Xu, LM

Abstract

The water resource issue is one of the most significant problems in the Yellow River basin, and has received much attention from the public and government because of the dramatically decreased Yellow River streamflow in the last several years. In this study, oxygen isotopic compositions of bulk carbonates from Lake Kuhai in the headwaters of the Yellow River were evaluated as an indirect proxy of past Yellow River streamflow in order to place the recent flow reduction in a long-term context. The results indicated that δ18O values of bulk carbonates from core KHC14-1 generally vary with changes in the Yellow River streamflows related to the precipitation/evaporation (temperature) ratio above the Tangnaihai hydrological station over the past 50 years. In general, the Yellow River streamflow in the headwaters area continued to decrease from the early 1980s to the late 1990s because of decreased precipitation and increased temperature. Then, the streamflow increased with enhancing precipitation over the last two decades. In addition, δ18O values of bulk carbonates in the Lake Kuhai core roughly correlate with the streamflows of the upper reaches of the Yellow River recorded by tree ring width over the past 800 years. The enriched δ18OBC values showed that the precipitation/evaporation (P/E) ratio or streamflow was very low and the climate might be very dry in the middle of the 1400s CE in the headwaters of the Yellow River over the past 800 years. Our results suggested that changes in the P/E ratio or streamflow of the upper reaches of the Yellow River were dominated by variations in Indian Summer Monsoon precipitation over a long time scale, consistent with other records from the northeastern Tibetan Plateau.

Corresponding author

Li Xiangzhong

Volume

134

Issue

 

Page

150-159

Pub year

2017

Publication name

JOURNAL OF ASIAN EARTH SCIENCES

Details

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1367912016303182

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