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Magnetostratigraphic evidence of a mid-Pliocene onset of the Nihewan Formation - implications for early fauna and hominid occupation in the Nihewan Basin, North China
author: source: Time:2013-10-23 font< big medium small >

The fluvio-lacustrine sediments in the Nihewan Basin of North China, known as the Nihewan Formation, are well-known for an abundance of Early Pleistocene mammalian fossils (known as the Nihewan Fauna sensu lato) and Paleolithic sites. The age at which the sedimentation started is thus crucial for our understanding of early fauna and hominid occupation and infilling history of the basin, but it is poorly constrained to date. Here we report on a detailed paleomagnetic investigation of the Yangshuizhan section that crops out in the northeastern Nihewan Basin, supplemented by rock magnetic analyses into the carriers of the natural remanent magnetization. Magnetite and hematite are shown to be the main carriers of the characteristic remanent magnetization. Magnetostratigraphic correlation to the geomagnetic polarity timescale indicates that the onset of the Nihewan Formation in this section occurs at ~3.7 Ma, just below the Gilbert-Gauss boundary and ca 1-Myr earlier than previously established evidence. This pushes the lower limit of the Nihewan Formation back in time from very late Pliocene (<2.8 Ma) to (at least) the mid-Pliocene. Combining the previously established magnetostratigraphic data with the present study, we arrive at a better understanding of the chronological framework and spatio-temporal history of the deposition of the terrestrial Nihewan Formation. Furthermore, it provides new perspectives of early fauna and hominid occupation in the Nihewan Basin.

Ao, H; Dekkers, MJ; An, ZS; Xiao, GQ; Li, YX; Zhao, H; Qiang, XK; Chang, H; Chang, QF; Wu, DC. Magnetostratigraphic evidence of a mid-Pliocene onset of the Nihewan Formation - implications for early fauna and hominid occupation in the Nihewan Basin, North China. Quaternary Science Reviews. 59: 30-42.

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