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Aeolian dust dynamics in central Asia during the Pleistocene: Driven by the long-term migration, seasonality, and permanency of the Asiatic polar front

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Abstract

Loess-paleosol sequences preserve detailed archives of climate change, reflecting the dynamics of aeolian dust sedimentation and the paleodust content of the atmosphere. The detailed investigation of particle size distributions (PSDs) of windblown sediments is an increasingly used approach to assess the paleorecord of aeolian dust dynamics. The central Asian loess belt offers the potential to reconstruct Pleistocene atmospheric circulation patterns along an adjacent west-east transect within interior Eurasia through granulometric studies. In this study we present the aeolian dust record of the loess sequence at Remisowka (SE Kazakhstan), which reflects a detailed signal of glacial-interglacial climate and atmospheric dynamics in central Asia. On the basis of radiocarbon and amino acid geochronologic data, long-term semicontinuous trends in the aeolian dust record of the Last Glacial Cycle are observed and interpreted to reveal their paleoclimate signal. In consideration of the modern synoptical atmospheric circulation patterns and aeolian dust transport in central Asia, it is likely that the observed trends reflect the long-term migration, seasonal duration, and permanency of the polar front during the late Pleistocene. Previously published models, which focused on the reciprocal glacial-interglacial influence of the zonal Westerlies and the Asiatic high on the aeolian dust transport in central Asia, were overly simplified and should be modified to include the major influence of the Asiatic polar front. As the polar front activity is intimately connected with the development and position of the interhemispherically active, high-level planetary frontal zone (HPFZ), the presented data give insight to long-term aeolian dust dynamics and climate variability of interior Eurasia, which are linked with interhemispheric climates.

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