Original Articles

Advances in the Indicator of Palaeowind Direction Reconstruction

  • 1. Department of Environmental Science and Technology, Northeastern University at Qinhuangdao, Qinhuangdao 066004, China;
    2. School of Energy Resources, China University of Geosciences (Beijing), Beijing 100083, China

Received date: 2011-03-01

  Revised date: 2011-06-01

  Online published: 2011-09-25


The reconstruction of palaeowind direction has been a major concern in the study of palaeo-atmospheric circulation. The present geological indicators for the reconstruction of palaeowind direction include aeolian landform, spatial distribution of aeolian sediments and results of wind force. This paper summarizes the present geological indicators in the study of palaeowind direction, including direct indicators, indirect indicators and other indicators. Time perspective shows that for the period after the Quaternary, there have been more indicators and diverse reconstruction methods while for the period before the Quaternary, less indicators have been observed but widely applied. Space perspective indicates that the indicators can be easily obtained in arid climatic zones, while the indicators in humid climatic zones are relatively rare and the scope of application is limited. Searching for more indicators is a burning issue in the study of reconstructing palaeowind direction.

Cite this article

LIU Li'an, JIANG Zaixing . Advances in the Indicator of Palaeowind Direction Reconstruction[J]. PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY, 2011 , 30(9) : 1099 -1106 . DOI: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2011.09.004


[1] 赵锡文. 古气候学概论. 北京: 地质出版社, 1992.

[2] 王勇, 潘保田, 高红山. 祁连山东北缘黄土磁组构记录的古风向重建. 地球物理学报, 2007, 50(4): 1161-1166.

[3] Cooke R U, Warren A. Geomorphology in Desert. LosAngeles, California: California University Press, 1973.

[4] Allen J R L. Sedimentary Structure: Their Character andPhysical Basis. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 1982.

[5] Greeley R, Iversen J D. Wind as a Geological Process.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985.

[6] Pye K. Aeolian Dust and Dust Deposits. London: AcademicPress, 1987.

[7] Pye K, Tsoar H. Aeolian Sand and Sand Dunes. London:Unwin Hyman, 1990.

[8] Laity J E. Landforms of aeolian erosion//Abrahams A D,Parsons A J. Geomorphology of Desert Environments.London: Chapman & Hall, 1994: 506-535.

[9] Tewes D W, Loope D B. Palaeo-yardangs:windscoureddesert landforms at the PermoTriassic unconformity. Sedimentology,1992, 39(2): 251-261.

[10] Brookes I A. Geomorphic indicators of Holocene windsin Egypt's Western Desert. Geomorphology, 2003, 56(1-2): 155-166.

[11] Holz M, Soares A P, Soares P C. Preservation of aeoliandunes by pahoehoe lava: An example from the BotucatuFormation (Early Cretaceous) in Mato Grosso do Sulstate (Brazil), western margin of the Paraná Basin inSouth America. Journal of South American Earth Sciences,2008, 25(3): 398-404.

[12] 吴正. 风沙地貌学. 北京: 科学出版社, 1987.

[13] Clarke M L, Rendell H M. Late Holocene dune accretionand episodes of persistent drought in the Great Plains ofNortheastern Colorado. Quaternary Science Reviews,2003, 22(10-13): 1051-1058.

[14] Segalen L, Rognon P, Pickford M, et al. Reconstitution ofdune morphologies and palaeowind regimes in the Proto-Namib since the Miocene. Bulletin De La Societe GeologiqueDe France, 2004, 175(6): 537-546.

[15] Bristow C S, Hill N. Dune morphology and palaeowindsfrom aeolian sandstones in the Miocene Shuwaihat Formation,Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: Proceedingsof, Al Ain, U Arab Emirates, 1995.

[16] Markewich H W, Litwin R J, Pavich M J, et al. Late Pleistoceneeolian features in southeastern Maryland andChesapeake Bay region indicate strong WNW-NW windsaccompanied growth of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. QuaternaryResearch, 2009, 71(3): 409-425.

[17] Roberts D L, Bateman M D, Murray-Wallace C V, et al.West coast dune plumes: Climate driven contrasts indunefield morphogenesis along the western and southernSouth African coasts . Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology,Palaeoecology, 2009, 271(1-2): 24-38.

[18] Allen J R L. Palaeowind:geological criteria for directionand strength. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Societyof London, 1993, Series B(341): 235-242.

[19] Mckee E D. Structures of dunes at White Sands NationalMonument, New Mexico (and a comparison with Structuresof dunes from other selected areas). Sedimentology,1966, 7: 3-69.

[20] Svendsen J, Stollhofen H, Krapf C B E, et al. Mass andhyperconcentrated flow deposits record dune dammingand catastrophic breakthrough of ephemeral rivers, SkeletonCoast Erg, Namibia. Sedimentary Geology, 2003, 160(1-3): 7-31.

[21] Scherer C M S, Goldberg K. Palaeowind patterns duringthe latest Jurassic-earliest Cretaceous in Gondwana: Evidencefrom aeolian cross-strata of the Botucatu Formation,Brazil. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology,2007, 250(1-4): 89-100.

[22] Poole F G. Wind directions in Late Palaeozoic to middleMesozoic time on the Colorado Plateau,. US Geol SurvProf Pap, 1962, 450-D: 147-151.

[23] Bigarella J J, Eeden O R V. Mesozoic paleowind patternsand the problem of continental drift. Bol Parana Geocienc,1972, 28-29: 115-143.

[24] Peterson F. Pennsylvanian to Jurassic eolian transportationsystems in the Western United States. Sediment Geol,1988, 56(1-4): 207-260.

[25] Ulicny D. A drying-upward aeolian system of the BohdasinFormation (Early Triassic), Sudetes of NE Czech Republic:record of seasonal and long-term palaeoclimaticchange. Sediment Geol, 2004, 167(1-2): 17-39.

[26] Arbogast A F, Muhs D R. Geochemical and mineralogicalevidence from eolian sediments for northwesterlymid-Holocene paleowinds, central Kansas, USA. QuaternaryInternational, 2000, 67(3-4): 311-326.

[27] Langford R P. Nabkha (coppice dune) fields of south-centralNew Mexico, U.S.A.. Journal of Arid Environments,2000,46(1): 25-41.

[28] Wang X, Wang T, Dong Z, et al. Nebkha developmentand its significance to wind erosion and land degradationin semi-arid northern China. Journal of Arid Environments,2006, 65(1): 129-141.

[29] Seifert C L, Cox RT, Forman S L, et al. Relict nebkhas(pimple mounds) record prolonged late Holocene droughtin the forested region of south-central United States. QuaternaryResearch, 2009, 71(3): 329-339.

[30] Buggle B, Glaser B, Z?ller L, et al. Geochemical characterizationand origin of Southeastern and Eastern Europeanloesses (Serbia, Romania, Ukraine. Quaternary ScienceReviews, 2008, 27(9-10): 1058-1075.

[31] Liu T. Loess and the Environment. Beijing: China OceanPress, 1985.

[32] Nugteren G, Vandenberghe J. Spatial climatic variabilityon the Central Loess Plateau (China) as recorded bygrain size for the last 250 kyr. Global and PlanetaryChange, 2004, 41(3-4): 185-206.

[33] Yang S L, Ding Z L. Comparison of particle size characteristicsof the Tertiary‘red clay'and Pleistocene loessin the Chinese Loess Plateau: implications for origin andsources of the‘red clay'. Quaternary Research, 2004, 51(1): 77-93.

[34] Sun D, Chen F, Bloemendal J, et al. Seasonal variabilityof modern dust over the Loess Plateau of China. Journalof Geophysical Research, 2003, 108(D21): 4665.

[35] Ta W, Xiao H, Qu J, et al. Measurements of dust depositionin Gansu Province, China, 1986-2000. Geomorphology,2004, 57(1-2): 41-51.

[36] Prins MA, Vriend M G A, Nugteren G, et al. Late Quaternaryaeolian dust flux variability on the Chinese LoessPlateau: inferences from unmixing of loess grain-size records.Quaternary Science Reviews, 2007, 26(1-2):242-254.

[37] Prins M A, Vriend M G A. Glacial and interglacial eoliandust dispersal patterns across the Chinese Loess Plateauinferred from decomposed loess grain-size records. Geochemistry,Geophysics, Geosystems, 2007, 8(7): Q07Q05.

[38] Muhs D R, A T, Ager E, et al. Stratigraphy and palaeoclimaticsignificance of Late Quaternary loess-palaeosol sequencesof the Last Interglacial-Glacial cycle in centralAlaska. Quaternary Science Reviews, 2003, 22(18-19):1947-1986.

[39] Sun D H, Liu T S, Chen M Y, et al. Magnetostratigraphyand palaeoclimate of Red Clay sequences from ChineseLoess Plateau. Science in China: Series D, 1997, 40(4):337-343.

[40] Ding Z L, Sun J M, Liu T S, et al. Wind-blown origin ofthe Pliocene red clay formation in the central Loess Plateau,China. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 1998,161(1-4): 135-143.

[41] Han J T, Chen H H, Fyfe W S, et al. Spatial and temporalpatterns of grain size and chemical weathering of the ChineseRed Clay Formation and implications for East Asianmonsoon evolution. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta,2007, 71(16): 3990-4004.

[42] Miao X, Sun Y, Lu H, et al. Spatial pattern of grain sizein the Late Pliocene‘Red Clay'deposits (North China)indicates transport by low-level northerly winds. Palaeogeography,Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 2004, 206(1-2): 149-155.

[43] Fisher R V, Schmincke H U. Pyroclastic Rocks. Berlin:Springer-Verlag, 1984.

[44] Jurado-Chichay Z, Walker G P L. The intensity and magnitudeof the Mangaone subgroup plinian eruptions fromOkataina Volcanic Centre, New Zealand. Journal of Volcanologyand Geothermal Research, 2001, 111(1-4):219-237.

[45] Bryan S E, Cas R A F, Martí J. The 0.57 Ma plinian eruptionof the Granadilla Member, Tenerife (Canary Islands):an example of complexity in eruption dynamicsand evolution. Journal of Volcanology and GeothermalResearch, 2000, 103(1-4): 209-238.

[46] Graham J W. Magnetic susceptibility anisotropy, an unexploitedpetrofabric element. Geological Society of AmericaBulletin, 1954, 65(12,Part2): 1257-1258.

[47] Knight M D, Walker G P L. Magma flow directions indikes of the Koolau Complex, Oahu, determined frommagnetic fabric studies. Journal of Geophysical Research, 1988, 93(B5): 4301-4319.

[48] Parés J M, van der Pluijm B A. Evaluating magnetic lineations(AMS) in deformed rocks. Tectonophysics, 2002,350(4): 283-298.

[49] Heller F, Beat M, Wang J, et al. Magnetization and sedimentaryhistory of loess in the central Loess Plateau ofChina. Beijing: Science Press, Beijing, 1987.

[50] Liu X, Xu T, Liu T. The Chinese loess in Xifeng, II. Astudy of anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility of loessfrom Xifeng. Geophysical Journal, 1988, 92(2): 349-353

[51] 孙继敏, 丁仲礼, 刘东生, 等. 黄土与古土壤磁组构测定在重建冬季风风向上的初步应用. 科学通报, 1995, 40(21): 1976-1978.

[52] Thistlewood L, Sun J. A paleomagnetic and mineral magneticstudy of the loess sequence at Liujiapo, Xian, China.Journal of Quaternary Science, 1991, 6(1): 13-26.

[53] 吴海斌, 陈发虎, 王建民, 等. 现代风成沉积物磁化率各向异性与风向关系的研究. 地球物理学报, 1998, 41(6):811-817.

[54] Zhu R X, Pan Y X, Liu Q S. Geomagnetic excursions recordedin Chinese loess in the last 70000 years. GeophysicalResearch Letters, 1999, 26(4): 505-508.

[55] Pan Y X, Zhu R X, Shaw J, et al. Can relative paleointensitiesbe determined from the normalized magnetizationof the wind-blown loess of China? Geophysical ResearchLetters, 2001, 106(B9): 19221-19232.

[56] 吴汉宁, 岳乐平. 风成沉积物磁组构与中国黄土区第四纪风向变化. 地球物理学报, 1997, 40(4): 487-494.

[57] Hus J J. The magnetic fabric of some loess/palaeosol deposits. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Parts A/B/C,2003, 28(16-19): 689-699.

[58] Hrouda F. Magnetic anisotropy of rocks and its applicationin geology and geophysics. Geophysical Surveys,1982, 5(1): 37-82.

[59] Tarling D H, Hrouda F. The Magnetic Anisotropy ofRocks. London: Chapman & Hall, 1993.

[60] Tang Y, Jia J, Xie X. Records of magnetic properties inQuaternary loess and its paleoclimatic significance: abrief review. Quaternary International, 2003, 108(1):33-50.

[61] Hrouda F. Magnetic anisotropy of rocks and its applicationin geology and geophysics. Surveys in GeophysicsSurveys, 1982, 5(1): 37-82.

[62] Tarling D H, Hrouda F. The Magnetic Anisotropy ofRocks. London: Chapman & Hall, 1993.

[63] Hus J J. The magnetic fabric of some loess/palaeosol deposits.Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Parts A/B/C,2003, 28(16-19): 689-699.

[64] Nawrocki J, Polechonska O, Boguckij A, et al. Palaeowinddirections recorded in the youngest loess in Polandand western Ukraine as derived from anisotropy of magneticsusceptibility measurements. Boreas, 2006, 35(2):266-271.

[65] Lagroix F, Banerjee S K. Cryptic post-depositional reworkingin aeolian sediments revealed by the anisotropyof magnetic susceptibility. Earth and Planetary ScienceLetters, 2004, 224(3-4): 453-459.

[66] Marx S K, Kamber B S, McGowan H A. Provenance oflong-travelled dust determined with ultra-trace-elementcomposition: A pilot study with samples from New Zealandglaciers. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms,2005, 30(6): 699-716.

[67] McGowan H A, Petherick L M, Kamber B S. Aeolian sedimentationand climate variability during the late Quaternaryin southeast Queensland, Australia. Palaeogeography,Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 2008, 265(3-4):171-181.

[68] Kawahata H, Okamoto T, Matsumoto E, et al. Fluctuationsof eolian flux and ocean productivity in the mid-latitudenorth Pacific during the last 200 kyr. Quaternary ScienceReviews, 2000, 19(13): 1279-1291.

[69] Bridges N T, Laity J E, Greeley R, et al. Insights on rockabrasion and ventifact formation from laboratory andfield analog studies with applications to Mars . Planetaryand Space Science, 2004, 52(1-3): 199-213.

[70] Knight J. The environmental significance of ventifacts: Acritical review. Earth-Science Reviews, 2008, 86(1-4):89-105.

[71] Christiansen H H, Svensson H. Windpolished boulders asindicators of a late Weichselian wind regime in Denmarkin relation to neighbouring areas. Permafrost and PeriglacialProcesses, 1998, 9(1): 1-21.

[72] Laity J E. Topographic effects on ventifact development,Mojave Desert, California. Physical Geography, 1987, 8(2): 113-132.

[73] Laity J E. Ventifact evidence for Holocene wind patternsin the east-central Mojave Desert. fur Geomorphologie,Supplement Band, 1992, 84:1-16.

[74] Laity J E, Bridges N T. Ventifacts on Earth and Mars: Analytical,field, and laboratory studies supporting sandabrasion and windward feature development. Geomorphology,2009, 105(3-4): 202-217.

[75] Pochat S P, Van Den Driessche J, Mouton V, et al. Identificationof Permian palaeowind direction fromwave-dominated lacustrine sediments (Lodeve Basin, France). Sedimentology, 2005, 52(4): 809-825.

[76] Krist F, Schaetzl R J. Paleowind (11,000 BP) directionsderived from lake spits in Northern Michigan. Geomorphology,2001, 38(1-2): 1-18.

[77] Tanner L H. Gravel imbrication on the deflating backshoresof beaches on Prince Edward Island, Canada . SedimentaryGeology, 1996, 101(1-2): 145-148.

[78] Allen J R L. Trees and their response to wind: mid Flandrianstrong winds, Severn Estuary and inner BristolChannel, southwest Britain. Philosophical Transactions:Biological Sciences, 1992, 338(1286): 335-364.

[79] Allen J R L. Windblown trees as a palaeoclimate indicator:regional consistency of a mid-Holocene wind field.Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology,1998, 144(1-2): 175-181.

[80] Wnuk C, Pfefferkorn H W. A Pennsylvanian-age terrestrialstorm deposit: Using plant fossils to characterize thehistory and process of sediment accumulation. Journal ofSedimentary Research, 1987, 57(2): 212-221.

[81] Allen J R L. Windblown trees as a palaeoclimate indicator:the character and role of gusts. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology,Palaeoecology, 1996, 121(1-2): 1-12.

[82] Robb A J. Rain-impact microtopography (Rim): An experimentalanalog for fossil examples from the Maroon Formation,Colorado. Journal of Sedimentary Petrology,1992, 62(3): 530-535.

[83] McIlveen R. Fundamentals of Weather and Climate. London:Chapman & Hall, 1992.

[84] Sun X J, Wang P X. How old is the Asian monsoon system?Palaeobotanical records from China. Palaeogeography,Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 2005, 222(3-4):181-222.

[85] 刘妙容, 王贵勇, 李森, 等. 海南岛海岸沙丘岩的特征、成因及其环境意义. 中国沙漠, 2009, 29(6): 1081-1085.

[86] 李孝荣, 包双喜, 长顺, 等. 内蒙古呼伦湖沙丘带形成原因分析. 内蒙古气象, 2009(3): 30-31.

[87] 周兴佳. 和田河中下游沙漠地貌. 干旱区研究, 1987(1):9-22.