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Mudflat/distal fan and shallow lake sedimentation (upper Vallesian–Turolian) in the Tianshui Basin, Central China: Evidence against the late Miocene eolian loess

Alonso-Zarza, Ana María and Zhao, Z. and Song, C. H. and Li, J. J. and Zhang, J. and Martín Pérez, Andrea and Martín García, Rebeca and Wang, X. X. and Zhang, Y. and Zhang, M. H. (2009) Mudflat/distal fan and shallow lake sedimentation (upper Vallesian–Turolian) in the Tianshui Basin, Central China: Evidence against the late Miocene eolian loess. Sedimentary Geology, 222 . pp. 42-51. ISSN 0037-0738

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Abstract

The Tianshui Basin in central China contains a thick sedimentary sequence (~1400 m) of continental
deposits, Aragonian to Villafranchian (Miocene-Pliocene) in age. Intense Himalayan movements around the
Paleogene/Miocene boundary triggered the uplift of mountain ranges around the Tianshui Basin, providing
the deposition site for continental sediments. The sedimentary infill of the basin consists of four stratigraphic units (I to IV). This paper focuses on Unit II. Most of the accommodation space was occupied by Unit I, so during the sedimentation of Unit II, the morphology of the basin was relatively flat, promoting the
development of wide distal fan/mudflat areas and wide shallow lakes. Deposits include: red mudstones,
pedogenic and groundwater calcretes, reworked calcrete deposits, sheet-floods, fluvial channels, rippled
sandstones/siltstones, ooidal/peloidal packstones, palustrine limestones, bioturbated marls and intraclastic
limestones/marls. The characteristics and organization of the deposits indicate the gradual transition from
alluvial to lake environments. Within the distal fan/mudflat, the deposition of reworked calcrete clasts as one
of the most striking facies of the basin may be attributed to substantial recycling of calcrete levels and red
clays. At the lake margins, the presence of ooids and palustrine limestones suggests the possibility of ramplike
margins within different energy settings. The origin of some of the deposits of the basin's QA-I section is
under discussion, and their consideration as eolian has been recently proposed. However, we believe this
possibility is precluded by the characteristics of the deposits. Our proposal has important implications for
revising the interpretation of Miocene paleoclimatic conditions in central Asia.


Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Tianshui basin, Lake deposits, Mudflat, Calcretes, Eolian deposits, Neogene
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Petrology
ID Code:9974
Deposited On:04 Feb 2010 09:18
Last Modified:02 Mar 2010 07:57

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