Sciences in Cold and Arid Regions ›› 2020, Vol. 12 ›› Issue (6): 371–379.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2020.00371

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  • 收稿日期:2020-07-02 接受日期:2020-10-29 出版日期:2020-12-31 发布日期:2021-01-14

Holocene precipitation δ18O as an indicator of temperature history in arid central Asia: an overview of recent advances

ZhiGuo Rao(),YiPing Tian,YunXia Li,HaiChun Guo,XinZhu Zhang,Guang Han,XinPing Zhang   

  1. College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Hunan Normal University, Changsha, Hunan 410081, China
  • Received:2020-07-02 Accepted:2020-10-29 Online:2020-12-31 Published:2021-01-14
  • Contact: ZhiGuo Rao
  • Supported by:
    the National Science Foundation of China(41772373);the Hunan Provincial Natural Science foundation of China(2018JJ1017);the National Key R&D Program of China(2018YFA0606404);the Construction Program for First-Class Disciplines (Geography) of Hunan Province, China(5010002)


Holocene δ18O records from various archives (ice cores, cave stalagmites, and peat sediments) from the Xinjiang region of northwestern China, in arid central Asia (ACA), are all derived ultimately from local precipitation δ18O (δ18Op). Nevertheless, they have been proposed as indicators of different climatic parameters, such as wetness and temperature changes. This article summarizes previously reported records of moisture sources for the Xinjiang region and the results of modern observations conducted at an ice core site and a peat site in the Altai Mountains. The findings are used to propose that the overall positive trends in Holocene δ18O records from the various archives from the Xinjiang region primarily reflect the Holocene's long-term warming trend. It is concluded that more site-specific modern observations are needed to further elucidate the environmental significance of Holocene δ18O records from this region, especially for the separation of different seasonal temperature signals present within δ18O records.

Key words: arid central Asia, precipitation δ18O, Holocene temperature history, ice core, stalagmite, peat



Site codeLocationLongitudeLatitudeAltitude
1Western Belukha Plateau (WBP)86°33′E49°48′N4,115 m
2Big Black peatland (BBP)87°11′E48°40′N2,168 m
3Sahara sand peatland (SSP)88°21′46.78″E48°6′46.70″N2,446 m
4Kesang Cave81°45′E42°52′N2,070 m
5Baluk Cave84°44′E42°26′N2,752 m
6Tonnel?naya Cave67°14′E38°24′N3,226 m
7Fedchenko glacier72°15′E38°15′E5,206/5,365 m
8Kinderlinskaya Cave56°54′E52°12′N240 m
9Lena River Delta125°00′-127°15′E72°00′-72°45′N25 m
10Shar-khana Cave45°35′23.1″E108°19′18.8″E1,200 m
11Gurvan Ze'zerd Cave42°30′15.7″E107°27′00.1″E1,075 m
12Lovon Chombo Cave42°35′18.4″E107°49′32.0″E1,195 m




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