Holocene monsoon dynamics at Kunlun Pass on the northeastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

Peng Chen, Zhongbo Yu, Markus Czymzik, Ala Aldahan, Jinguo Wang, Peng Yi, Göran Possnert, Xuegao Chen, Minjie Zheng, Huijun Jin, Dongliang Luo, Qingbai Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Various proxy records have been used for the understanding of environmental and climate variations during the Holocene. Here, for the first time, we use meteoric 10Be isotope measurements performed on sediments from a drill core collected at the Kunlun Pass (KP) on the northeastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (NETP) to investigate hydroclimate changes during the Holocene. The 10Be flux suggests relative low levels in the Early Holocene, followed by a sharp increase to high values at around 4 ka BP (4 ka BP = 4000 years before present). Afterwards, the 10Be flux remains on a high level during the Late Holocene, but decreases slightly towards today. These 10Be deposition patterns are compared to moisture changes in regions dominated by the Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM), East Asian Summer Monsoon (EASM), and the Westerlies. Different from the gradual changes in monsoon patterns, the 10Be data reveal low levels during the Early Holocene until ~4 ka BP when an obvious increase is indicated and a relative high level continues to this day, which is relatively more in agreement with patterns of the Westerlies. This finding provides a new evidence for a shift in the dominant pattern of atmospheric circulation at the KP region from a more monsoonal one to one dominated by the Westerlies. Our results improve the understanding of non-stationary interactions and spatial relevance of the EASM, the ISM and the Westerlies on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

Original languageEnglish
Article number145369
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2021


  • Asian Summer Monsoon
  • Atmospheric circulations
  • Beryllium-10
  • Moisture variation
  • The Westerlies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


Dive into the research topics of 'Holocene monsoon dynamics at Kunlun Pass on the northeastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this