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Evolution of permafrost in China during the last 20 ka TEXT SIZE: A A A
The formation and evolution of permafrost in China during the last 20 ka were reconstructed on the basis of large amount of paleo-permafrost remains and paleo-periglacial evidence, as well as paleo-glacial landforms, paleo-flora and paleofauna records. The results indicate that, during the local Last Glacial Maximum (LLGM) or local Last Permafrost Maximum (LLPMax), the extent of permafrost of China reached 5.3x10(6)-5.4x10(6) km(2), or thrice that of today, but permafrost shrank to only 0.80x10(6)-0.85x10(6) km(2), or 50% that of present, during the local Holocene Megathermal Period (LHMP), or the local Last Permafrost Minimum (LLPMin). On the basis of the dating of periglacial remains and their distributive features, the extent of permafrost in China was delineated for the two periods of LLGM (LLPMax) and LHMP (LLPMin), and the evolution of permafrost in China was divided into seven periods as follows: (1) LLGM in Late Pleistocene (ca. 20000 to 13000-10800 a BP) with extensive evidence for the presence of intensive ice-wedge expansion for outlining its LLPMax extent; (2) A period of dramatically changing climate during the early Holocene (10800 to 8500-7000 a BP) when permafrost remained relatively stable but with a general trend of shrinking areal extent; (3) The LHMP in the Mid-Holocene (8500-7000 to 4000-3000 a BP) when permafrost degraded intensively and extensively, and shrank to the LLPMin; (4) Neoglaciation during the late Holocene (4000-3000 to 1000 a BP, when permafrost again expanded; (5) Medieval Warming Period (MWP) in the late Holocene (1000-500 a BP) when permafrost was in a relative decline; (6) Little Ice Age (LIA) in the late Holocene (500-100 a BP), when permafrost relatively expanded, and; (7) Recent warming (during the 20th century), when permafrost continuously degraded and still is degrading. The paleo-climate, geography and paleopermafrost extents and other features were reconstructed for each of these seven periods.

Publication name

 SCIENCE CHINA-EARTH SCIENCES, 62 (8):1207-1223; 10.1007/s11430-018-9272-0 AUG 2019


 Jin, Huijun; Jin, Xiaoying; He, Ruixia; Luo, Dongliang; Chang, Xiaoli; Wang, Shaoling; Marchenko, Sergey S.; Yang, Sizhong; Yi, Chaolu; Li, Shijie; Harris, Stuart A.

Corresponding author(s) 

 JIN Huijun 
 Chinese Acad Sci, Northwest Inst Ecoenvironm & Resources, Northeast China Observat Stn Cold Reg Engn & Envi, State Key Lab Frozen Soils Engn, Lanzhou 730000, Gansu, Peoples R China.
 Harbin Inst Technol, Sch Civil Engn, Harbin 150090, Heilongjiang, Peoples R China.
 Univ Chinese Acad Sci, Sch Resources & Environm, Beijing 100049, Peoples R China.

Author(s) from IGCAS   LI Shijie

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