Climate and Environmental Change

Sequences and genesis of the Yellow River terraces from Sanmen Gorge to Kouma

  • 1. College of Tourism and Geography Sciences, Yunnan Normal University, Kunming 650092, China|
    2. College of Resource, Environment and Tourism, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100037, China|
    3. College of Resources and Environment, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China

Received date: 2008-08-12

  Revised date: 2008-11-26

  Online published: 2009-06-25

Supported by

Science and Technology Planning Project of Yunnan Province, No.2007D199M; National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40462002; No.40161002


Based on field landscape investigations, thermoluminescence (TL), magnetostratigraphy and loess-paleosol sequence, we found that there are at least four Yellow River terraces, whose ages are 0.86 Ma, 0.62 Ma, 0.13 Ma and 0.05 Ma, in Yuxi Fault-Uplift (from Sanmen Gorge to Mengjin) and at least three Yellow River terraces, whose ages are 1.24 Ma, 0.25 Ma and 0.05 Ma, in Huabei Fault Depression (from Mengjin to Kouma). All the terraces have a similar structure that several meters of paleosols directly develop on the top of fluvial silt. It shows that the Yellow River incised and consequently abandoned floodplain converted to terrace during the interglacial period. Therefore, there may be a link between the formation of terraces and glacial-interglacial climatic cycles. However, the differences in the Yellow River terrace sequences and ages between Yuxi Fault-Uplift and Huabei Fault Depression indicate that the surface uplift should play an important role in the formation of these terraces.

Cite this article

SU Huai, WANG Junping, PAN Baotian, MING Qingzhong, LI Qiong . Sequences and genesis of the Yellow River terraces from Sanmen Gorge to Kouma[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2009 , 19(3) : 351 -358 . DOI: 10.1007/s11442-009-0351-2