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Provenance of the Late Neogene Lingtai Red Clay Using Detrital Rutile Geochronology, Thermometry and Geochemistry

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Title: Provenance of the Late Neogene Lingtai Red Clay Using Detrital Rutile Geochronology, Thermometry and Geochemistry
Author(s): Stark, Piritta
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science
Degree program: Master's Programme in Geology and Geophysics
Specialisation: Palaeontology and Global Change
Language: English
Acceptance year: 2022
In this study, single-grain rutile techniques (rutile U-Pb geochronology, Zr-in rutile thermometry, rutile Nb-Cr systematics and trace element composition) are applied on Red Clay samples from Lingtai, central-southern Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP), to reveal more detailed information on provenance of the Red Clay and wind regimes responsible for transporting the particles from source to sink between 7 Ma and 2.6 Ma. The new rutile data are combined with previous zircon U-Pb data from Lingtai and nearby Chaona to strengthen the interpretations with multi-proxy approach. The results suggest that from 7.05 Ma to 6.23 Ma the westerlies and the East Asian Winter Monsoon (EAWM) were relatively equally responsible for the sediment transportation to the CLP. At 5.55 Ma, the Red Clay was mostly derived from the westerly sources. At 3.88 Ma, contribution from northeastern Tibetan Plateau was most dominant suggesting enhanced East Asian Summer Monsoon (EASM) and surficial drainage from the source regions. At 3.20 Ma, the Red Clay was mainly sourced from proximal areas and fluctuation between EAWM and EASM had begun. This study demonstrates that single-grain rutile techniques have strong potential to aid a more precise distinction between individual primary and secondary sources for aeolian dust in the CLP region, especially when combined with zircon geochronology or other single-grain techniques. However, at present the applicability of rutile in provenance studies is hindered by scarcity of rutile data from the potential primary as well as secondary source regions, and lack of truly homogenous rutile standards for the analysis.
Keyword(s): single-grain mineral techniques Zr-in rutile thermometry rutile Nb-Cr systematics rutile U-Pb geochronology Red Clay loess aeolian dust provenance Miocene-Pliocene Chinese Loess Plateau

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