A preliminary study on the magnetic signatures of modern soil in Central Asia

Dunsheng Xia*, Ming Jin, Xiuming Liu, Fahu Chen, Jianying Ma, Hui Zhao, Xunming Wang, Haitao Wei

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, magnetic techniques were used to characterize the surface soil from different geomorphologies (i.e., sand desert, oasis, Gobi, and dry lake) in Central Asia. Results demonstrate that the main magnetic minerals in the surface soil are magnetite, maghaemite and haematite with some paramagnetic materials. Cross plots of Mrs/ Ms versus Bcr/Bc and χfd % versus χarm/saturation isothermal remanent magnetization (SIRM) indicate that the main magnetic grain sizes in surface soil are pseudo single domain (PSD) and multidomain (MD). The samples from West China (i.e., Tarim basin and Junggar basin) are dominated by magnetic minerals with larger grain size, while those from North China (i.e., Alxa plateau, Erdos plateau, and Mongolia plateau) are dominated by fine magnetic minerals. The similarity in magnetic mineral constitutions between the Chinese loess and the surface soils from Central Asia implies that the loess originated from a vast area of arid, semi-arid regions of Central Asia. The low value of concentration-dependent magnetic parameters indicates that the low concentration of magnetic minerals in the surface soils from Central Asia and the magnetic enhancement from the pedogenic take place in both the loess and the paleosols, although the progress is stronger in the latter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-283
Number of pages9
JournalFrontiers of Earth Science in China
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Central Asia
  • Desert
  • Environment magnetism
  • Gobi
  • Loess
  • Surface soil


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