OSL dating of sediments from the Gobi desert, Southern Mongolia
In: Quaternary Geochronology, Jg. 5 (2010) ; Nr. 2-3, S. 107–113
Zeitschriftenaufsatz / Fach: Geowissenschaften
Rektorat und Verwaltung » Rektorat
The present study focuses on the chronological relationship between alternating dune sand and silty water-lain sediments in the central part of the Khongoryn Els dune field in the GobiDesert, SouthernMongolia. The 23 m high section evolved from the construction of a natural dam by west–east moving sand dunes and fluvial inundation by a river system from the mountain ranges in the south. To resolve the chronology of events, optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating was applied and from sedimentological and geochemical analysis the depositional processes could be characterised. Quartz OSLdating of these sediments is hindered by feldspar contamination. Thus, dating of coarse-grain K-feldspars is applied to provide a more reliable chronostratigraphy. As this fraction might be influenced by signal loss over geological time scales, the extent of fading is measured and corrected for. The resulting ages fit well in a supraregional reconstruction of Central Asian palaeoclimate. The data imply that the basal aeolian sediments were deposited 27 ka ago, while the major part of the profile was accumulated in a rather short period of time around ∼15 ka. The temporal differentiation implies that the stratification of aeolian and fluvial sediments is not caused by long term climatic variations. It rather represents arid conditions with episodical fluvial activity. Samples between 20 and 15 m depth could not be taken, but it is assumed that this part of the section represents an extremely arid time period with an intensive remobilisation of sand around LGM. A dune overlying the section was deposited during the Late Holocene and represents the ongoing aridity in this region.