Timing and structure of the Younger Dryas event in northern China

Zhi Bang Ma, Hai Cheng, Ming Tan, R. Lawrence Edwards, Hong Chun Li, Chen Feng You, Wu Hui Duan, Xu Wang, Megan J. Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


A high-resolution and absolute-dated stalagmite record from Kulishu Cave, Beijing characterizes Asian Monsoon (AM) history in northern China between ca 14 and 10.5 ka BP (thousand yrs before present, present = 1950), including the entire Younger Dryas (YD) event. Using 230Th dates and counting of annual-layers, the shift into the YD began at 12,850 ± 40 yr BP and took ~340 yrs and the shift out of the YD began at 11,560 ± 40 yr BP and took <38 yrs (best estimate ~20 yrs), broadly similar to previously reported AM records from central and southeastern China. The more gradual nature of the start of the YD event as observed in the AM records appears to contrast with the more abrupt beginning observed in the Greenland ice records. The total amplitude of the AM YD event is also smaller than the amplitude of the AM Heinrich Stadial 1 event. In addition, the general rising trend of the AM during the Bølling-Allerød period contrasts with the general cooling trend in Greenland temperature during that time. The influence of rising insolation on the AM may explain this observation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-93
Number of pages11
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
StatePublished - May 18 2012


  • Abrupt climate change
  • Asian monsoon
  • Asymmetrical Younger Dryas structure
  • Kulishu Cave
  • Northern China

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Timing and structure of the Younger Dryas event in northern China'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this