Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2009, Vol. 19 ›› Issue (5): 587-599.doi: 10.1007/s11442-009-0587-x

• Climate and Environmental Change • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Influence of climate and tectonic movements on granite landforms in China

CHEN Yixin1, CUI Zhijiu1, YANG Jianqiang2   

  1. 1. College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China|
    2. Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, CAS, Beijing 100085, China
  • Received:2009-02-24 Revised:2009-05-11 Online:2009-10-25 Published:2009-10-25
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40701017


Present granite landform characteristics and distribution are the integrated result of climate, tectonics and lithology. Various types of granite landforms in China signify climate zonality and differential vertical movement of earth surface, while published research results on Chinese granite landforms are very rare, especially in international journals. Based on the process analysis of chemical weathering and physical disintegration, four granite landform regions in China are classified according to the present climate regime. On the Tibetan Plateau, the cold and freezing climate induced periglacial landscapes; the northeast region is characterized by physical disintegration and low round mounds are widespread; in the northwest region controlled by arid climate, wind-carved minor landscapes are extremely prominent. The most spectacular granite landscapes in China are presented in southeast as a result of longtime chemical weathering under humid and warm conditions, as well as the differential uplift after Neogene. Correlating the weathering crust in southern China, Tibetan Plateau and India, a possible unified planation surface in Neogene is proposed. With corestones as indicators of original weathering front, the differential uplift extent of dissected planation surfaces can be estimated. At least three landforms implying uplift can be identified in southeastern China, with elevations of 300–400 m, 2000 m and 3600 m above the sea level respectively.

Key words: granite landform, weathering, planation surface, climate, uplift, China