Reconstructing Cenozoic lacustrine astrochronology is essential for understanding climatic and environmental change around northeastern Tibetan Plateau. Existing models attribute the driving mechanism of regional precipitation and aridification to the Tibetan Plateau uplift and global climate change. However, in northeastern Tibet lacustrine astrochronology has a gap from 17 Ma to 14 Ma. To bridge this gap, we investigate Milankovitch-forced cyclicity of green-red mudstone rhythms deposited during the early Middle Miocene Epoch in Jiuxi Basin. We construct color rank stratigraphic series from lacustrine sedimentary successions, and develop a 3.6 Myr-long astrochronology from 16.0 Ma to 12.4 Ma that partly covers the gap. Time series analysis reveals dominant 405-kyr cycles associated with the long orbital eccentricity cycle, and 173-kyr and 1.2-Myr cycles associated with amplitude modulations of the obliquity cycle. We propose that orbital eccentricity (405-kyr cycle) and inclination (173-kyr cycle) metronomes were recorded as climate-sedimentary threshold responses in the lacustrine setting. The maxima of 173-kyr and 405-kyr cycles correspond to green mudstones during lake expansions, and their minima to red mudstones during lake contractions. Anchoring the astrochronology to modeled orbital eccentricity and inclination metronomes further reveals that the recorded astronomical cycles are in phase with those of the marine archives, and suggests that lake evolution in Jiuxi Basin was paced with Middle Miocene cooling events.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Global and Planetary Change