of Earth Sciences,
+31 30 253 1361
+31 30 243 1677
of Femke Saulus
Climatic Records on Tibetan Plateau Stratigraphy
|The formation of Tibetan
plateau, the largest and highest orogenic feature in the world, is though
to have significantly altered the Earth's climate.
uplift has lead to enhanced contrast of sea-continent temperatures resulting
in intensification of the Asian monsoon.
Globally, Tibetan uplift
implies massive rock weathering that consumes atmospheric CO2
possibly responsible for the Earth's cooling from greenhouse to icehouse
conditions since 50 Ma.
The age of the Tibetan
uplift is however controversial. There is a debate whether the plateau
raised continuously since Indo-Asia collision ca. 55 Myr ago, or that the
uplift occurred mainly in several recent steps.
|The aim of this project
- which is supervised by Guillaume
Dupont-Nivet, as part of his NWO VENI project - is to understand the
timing of the Tibetan plateau and its relation to global and regional climate
|We study key sedimentary
successions recording the early history (ca. 50 to 30 Myr ago) of
the Tibetan Plateau. Accurate dating using high-resolution magnetostratigraphy
and cyclostratigraphy will be undertaken, in concert with the analysis
of depositional environment to study the tectonic and climatic signal recorded
in the sediments. Previous work indicates that the successions may record
tectonic events related to early Tibetan uplift.
however, reveals that the strata include a major global climate change
at the Eocene-Oligocene boundary 34 Myr ago. This shift in climate conditions
is well-documented in the marine realm and on other continents but not
Our results will enable
to assess the effects of this major change in the heart of the Asian continent.
Moreover, our high-resolution age control should resolve the age relationship
between early uplift of the Tibetan plateau and Paleogene climatic events.
Publications of Femke Saulus
F. Saulus, Dupont-Nivet,
G., W. Krijgsman, C. Langereis, S. Dai, and X. Fang (2006). Magnetostratigraphy
of Cenozoic sediments from the Xining-Lanzhou region, climatic and tectonic
implications for the Tibetan Plateau. International Conference on Continental
Dynamics and Environmental Change of The Tibetan Plateau, Abstracts with
program, Chinese Academy of Sciences-Geological Society of America, Xining,