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Shrinking lakes in Tibet linked to the weakening Asian monsoon in the past 8.2 ka

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Expansion or shrinkage of closed lakes is a natural response to fluctuations in precipitation and evaporation, linked closely to changes in strength or position of atmospheric circulation. In Tibet, there are many such lakes with paleo-shorelines that can be used for reconstructions of climate history. Despite the fact that many paleo-shorelines are well preserved in Tibet, dating them has been seriously hindered by various difficulties. Here we present the first optical dating chronology for a series of paleo-shorelines in Zhari Namco, the third-largest inland lake in central Tibet. Our results indicate that the lake level has dropped 128 m over the past 8.2 ka. Younger shorelines are found at lower altitudes, indicating that the shorelines follow a geomorphic-chronological order and a broadly continuous trend of stepwise shrinkage. The surface area of Zhari Namco has shrunk in size from 4605 km2 at 8.2 ka ago to 996 km2 at present; 300 km3 of water has been lost from this lake. Such a loss in water implies a significant reduction in precipitation over the past 8.2 ka, a likely result of a weakening Asian monsoon. Following the decreasing precipitation since the early Holocene, this area has become increasingly arid.

UOW Authors


  •   Chen, Yiwei (external author)
  •   Zong, Yongqiang (external author)
  •   Li, Bo
  •   Li, Sheng-Hua (external author)
  •   Aitchison, Jonathan C. (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2013

Citation


  • Chen, Y., Zong, Y., Li, B., Li, S. & Aitchison, J. C. (2013). Shrinking lakes in Tibet linked to the weakening Asian monsoon in the past 8.2 ka. Quaternary Research, 80 (2), 189-198.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84883556720

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/1140

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 9

Start Page


  • 189

End Page


  • 198

Volume


  • 80

Issue


  • 2

Place Of Publication


  • United States

Abstract


  • Expansion or shrinkage of closed lakes is a natural response to fluctuations in precipitation and evaporation, linked closely to changes in strength or position of atmospheric circulation. In Tibet, there are many such lakes with paleo-shorelines that can be used for reconstructions of climate history. Despite the fact that many paleo-shorelines are well preserved in Tibet, dating them has been seriously hindered by various difficulties. Here we present the first optical dating chronology for a series of paleo-shorelines in Zhari Namco, the third-largest inland lake in central Tibet. Our results indicate that the lake level has dropped 128 m over the past 8.2 ka. Younger shorelines are found at lower altitudes, indicating that the shorelines follow a geomorphic-chronological order and a broadly continuous trend of stepwise shrinkage. The surface area of Zhari Namco has shrunk in size from 4605 km2 at 8.2 ka ago to 996 km2 at present; 300 km3 of water has been lost from this lake. Such a loss in water implies a significant reduction in precipitation over the past 8.2 ka, a likely result of a weakening Asian monsoon. Following the decreasing precipitation since the early Holocene, this area has become increasingly arid.

UOW Authors


  •   Chen, Yiwei (external author)
  •   Zong, Yongqiang (external author)
  •   Li, Bo
  •   Li, Sheng-Hua (external author)
  •   Aitchison, Jonathan C. (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2013

Citation


  • Chen, Y., Zong, Y., Li, B., Li, S. & Aitchison, J. C. (2013). Shrinking lakes in Tibet linked to the weakening Asian monsoon in the past 8.2 ka. Quaternary Research, 80 (2), 189-198.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84883556720

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/1140

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 9

Start Page


  • 189

End Page


  • 198

Volume


  • 80

Issue


  • 2

Place Of Publication


  • United States