Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2010, Vol. 20 ›› Issue (3): 469-480.doi: 10.1007/s11442-010-0469-2

• Quaternary Research • Previous Articles    

Coastal dune rock development and Holocene climate changes in South China

WANG Wei, WU Zheng   

  1. Geography and Quaternary Environment Institute, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
  • Received:2009-10-11 Revised:2009-11-19 Online:2010-06-15 Published:2010-06-15
  • About author:Wang Wei (1956?), Ph.D and Professor, specialized in Quaternary geology and geomorphology. E-mail:


Coastal dune rocks in China are eolian sands cemented by calcium carbonate under subaerial conditions, widely distributing on the tropical and subtropical coasts of South China. Particular temperature and precipitation as well as local wave and landform conditions are required for the formation of the dune rocks. A correspondence was found between Holocene environmental changes and coastal dune rock development by comparing the features of the sea-level and climate changes in the Holocene period with the ages, scales, and cementation of the dune rocks on the South China coasts. The findings provide well grounded explanation for some problems unresolved in the past researches on the coastal dune rock in South China: (1) There were no dune rocks with ages older than 6000 years in South China because the dune rocks formed before 6000 a BP were covered by the sea water that rose in the later period; (2) the dune rocks with ages of around 3000 a BP were widely found in South China today because the coastal dunes were cumulated on a large scale at that time as a result of temperature falling after the end of Megathermal; (3) Medieval Warm Period was the main period for the eolian dunes to be cemented into the coastal dune rocks in South China; (4) lack of dune rocks of younger than 1000 a BP was accounted for by that the climate conditions in recent one thousand years were not suitable for the cementation.

Key words: coastal dune rock, South China coast, Holocene climate change, Holocene sea-level change