Developed in the Anxi-Dunhuang basin, the yardangs of Dunhuang (western China) are clearly affected by tectonic movement. Based on fieldwork, this study ascertained three levels of river terrace in the area for the first time. Through the analysis of river terraces formation and regional tectonic movement, the study ascertained that the river terraces were formed mainly by Late Pleistocene tectonic uplift, which had activated the evolution of yardangs in the study area. By electron spin resonance (ESR) dating and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating, the starting time and periodicity of the evolution of the yardangs were determined. The river terraces designated T3, T2 and T1 began to evolve at 109.0∼98.5, 72.9∼66.84 and 53.2∼38.0 kaBP, respectively, which is the evidence of regional neotectonic movement.And, the formation of the yardangs was dominated by tectonic uplift during the prenatal stage and mainly by wind erosion in the following evolution, with relatively short stationary phases. This research focused on the determination of endogenic processes of yardangs formation, which would contribute to further understanding of yardangs formation from a geological perspective and promote further study of yardang landform.
Volume 129, 2020
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