Landscape and lake system response to Late Quaternary monsoon dynamics on the Tibetan Plateau – Northern transect


The objective of this proposed project bundle is the reconstruction of Quaternary climate and landscape evolution of the Northern Tibetan Plateau. The project aims to contribute multidisciplinary approaches on three selected lake catchment archives along sediment routings (sediment cascades) in order to better understand the interrelation between various land forming processes within well defined catchments. These processes are closely related to climatic conditions in the area. By reconstructing the processes we will be able to give detailed information about the climate development of the area. Important process parameters are related to the amount and temporal-spatial variations of precipitation which are directly linked to changes in the monsoonal air masses.

Our research bundle focuses on the northern transect. The selected key-sites comprise the Donggi-Cona system, the Lake Ayakhum system and a nameless lake in the western Kunlun Mts. of quite different climate influence but with similar catchment characteristics (fully developed sediment cascades from the glaciers to the lakes).

We will provide the first systematic chronostratigraphy of manifold aspects of environmental change on the north-eastern Tibetan Plateau, combining different types of terrestrial and lake records. Moreover, we will be able to synthesise land forming processes and their responses to climate forcing. Spatial GIS-based modelling of the landscape and climate evolution will help us to link local findings with regional and global signals.


PD Dr. B. Wünnemann, Dr. K. Hartmann