Earth Science Frontiers ›› 2018, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (2): 309-.DOI: 10.13745/j.esf.yx.2017-12-26

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Advances in paleowind strength reconstruction techniques: use of transporting capacity analysis.

WANG Junhui,JIANG Zaixing,XIAN Benzhong,ZHANG Chunming,LIU Lian   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resources and Prospecting, Beijing 102249, China
    2. College of Geosciences, China University of Petroleum(Beijing), Beijing 102249, China
    3. School of Energy Resources, China University of Geosciences(Beijing), Beijing 100083, China
    4. Institute of Earth Sciences, China University of Geosciences(Beijing), Beijing 100083, China
    5. Department of Petroleum Geology, PetroChina Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration & Development, Beijing 100083, China
    6. Department of Environmental Science and Technology, Northeastern University at Qinhuangdao, Qinhuangdao 066004, China
  • Received:2016-11-28 Revised:2017-06-05 Online:2018-03-15 Published:2018-03-15

Abstract: The paleowind strength is an important component in the study of paleoatmospheric circulation, and is of great significance in the reconstruction of paleoclimate conditions. However, paleowind strength is less well studied in paleoclimatology, mainly because ancient wind has left little trace of its passing, making it difficult to reconstruct paleowind strength from geological records. Thankfully, transport capacities of fluid medium may be derived from sediment properties, which could provide clues for paleowind strength reconstruction. Qualitative restoration of paleowind strength is relatively easy, as particle size and composition of windblown sediments, and thickness of tempestites, directly reflect the wind power during the periods of sediment deposition. By comparison, quantitative restoration of paleowind strength is relatively difficult with scant research publications. In this paper, two independent methods, uncovered from our literature research, are introduced to illustrate how quantitative restoration of paleowind strength can be performed—a technique much needed in paleoclimate studies. Method 1: For eoliandune constituting sediments, the modes of transport including creep, saltation and suspension, are functions of grain properties (such as grain size and density) and wind shear stress. Based on this principle, grain size analysis of eoliandune sediments could be used to decipher paleowind strength. Method 2: Wind blowing over water can effectively transfer energy to form waves, and such process is governed by quantitative windwave relationships; and gravels deposited along shoreline by waves can record the critical wave power. Therefore, particlesize distribution analysis of gravel beach deposits could be used to reconstruct paleowave and subsequently paleowind conditions. Although both methods are limited by application conditions, we believe they are useful new tools in paleoclimate reconstruction and can be optimized.

Key words: paleowind strength, qualitative, quantitative, eolian sediments, gravelly beach bar

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