Magnetic mineralogy of Chinese loess and its significance

Xiuming Liu*, John Shaw, Tungsheng Liu, Friedrich Heller, Baoyin Yuan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

138 Citations (Scopus)


The topmost 16 metres of the loess section at Xifeng (central Chinese loess plateau), which cover the last 128 000 years, consist of two palaeosol beds interlayered by a loess horizon. Hysteresis parameters, frequency‐dependent, field‐ and temperature‐dependent susceptibility show very similar and stable magnetic mineral constituents in both loess and palaeosol samples. The concentration and grain size of magnetite, maghaemite and haematite control the magnetic properties of Chinese loess. Susceptibility and loess thickness are closely related to geographic position and (present) climate across the loess plateau. The loess and palaeosol magnetic properties are largely controlled by the fine‐grained magnetite formed in various quantities and grain sizes under the influence of pedogenesis during variable palaeoclimatic conditions. Therefore regional and global palaeoclimatic development during the last 2.5 Myr can be reconstructed from susceptibility records in the loess plateau.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-308
Number of pages8
JournalGeophysical Journal International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Chinese loess
  • palaeoclimate
  • rock magnetism


Dive into the research topics of 'Magnetic mineralogy of Chinese loess and its significance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this