Advances in Earth Science ›› 2022, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (2): 149-164. doi: 10.11867/j.issn.1001-8166.2022.005

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Research Progress of Quaternary Environmental Evolution in Lop Nor Playa

Yu ZHANG 1( ), Lichun MA 1( ), Kai WANG 1 , 2   

  1. 1.Ministry of Natural Resources Key Laboratory of Saline Lake Resources and Environments, Institute of Mineral Resources, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Beijing 100037, China
    2.China University of Geosciences (Beijing), Beijing 100083, China
  • Received:2021-09-03 Revised:2022-01-05 Online:2022-02-10 Published:2022-03-08
  • Contact: Lichun MA;
  • About author:ZHANG Yu (1997-), female, HulunBuir City, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Master student. Research areas include evaporite deposition and paleoenvironment. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    the Central Public Interest Scientific Institution Basal Research Fund "Geochemistry of fluid inclusions in evaporated minerals"(KK2112);The National Key Research and Development Program of China "Key potassium-bearing basins potassium enrichment law, strategic area selection and demonstration of deep exploration technology"(2017YFC0602806)

Yu ZHANG, Lichun MA, Kai WANG. Research Progress of Quaternary Environmental Evolution in Lop Nor Playa[J]. Advances in Earth Science, 2022, 37(2): 149-164.

As the only terminal lake of the Tarim Basin, Lop Nor has experienced the evolution of freshwater lake-brackish lake-saline lake-playa. It is a natural laboratory for the study of environmental changes of Inner Asia even global climate change. In this report, we briefly summarize the Quaternary sedimentary and process of environmental changes in Lop Nor, furthermore bring up future research expectation. Early Pleistocene is dominated by sedimentary facies such as river deltas-shallow lakes and lakes, which is the wettest period in the Lop Nor Basin. In the end of the Early Pleistocene, Lop Nor entered the gypsum-bearing silt clay deposition stage which indicate enter brackish lake stage. In the mid-Middle Pleistocene, the Luobei depression entered the stage of massive glauberite deposition, indicating the perennial saline lake subenvironment and the degree of drought intensified. The Lower Holocene in Lop Nor developed gypsum-bearing clay and sandstone, and the surface layer developed salt crust, indicating it was in the playa stage, which means that at the beginning of the Holocene, the environment is wetter, the northern Lop Nor reversely evolved to the brackish lake stage, fluctuating to a semi-arid climate, and then turned to an extreme arid climate, and eventually evolved into a playa. Looking forward to the future, there are at least four aspects should be further studied: the study on the influence of Ca-Cl brine on the comprehensive research of salt lake sedimentary subenvironment; high-precision stratigraphic era framework; alternative environmental index; quantification environmental evolution research.

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