A distinctive Eocene Asian monsoon and modern biodiversity resulted from the rise of eastern Tibet

Songlin He, Lin Ding*, Zhongyu Xiong, Robert A. Spicer, Alex Farnsworth, Paul J. Valdes, Chao Wang, Fulong Cai, Houqi Wang, Yong Sun, Deng Zeng, Jing Xie, Yahui Yue, Chenyuan Zhao, Peiping Song, Chen Wu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The uplift of eastern Tibet, Asian monsoon development and the evolution of globally significant Asian biodiversity are all linked, but in obscure ways. Sedimentology, geochronology, clumped isotope thermometry, and fossil leaf-derived numerical climate data from the Relu Basin, eastern Tibet, show at ∼50–45 Ma the basin was a hot (mean annual air temperature, MAAT, ∼27 °C) dry desert at a low-elevation of 0.6 ± 0.6 km. Rapid basin rise to 2.0 ± 0.9 km at 45–42 Ma and to 2.9 ± 0.9 km at 42–40 Ma, with MAATs of ∼20 and ∼16 °C, respectively, accompanied seasonally varying increased annual precipitation to > 1500 mm. From ∼39 to 34 Ma, the basin attained 3.5 ± 1.0 km, near its present-day elevation (∼3.7 km), and MAAT cooled to ∼6 °C. Numerically-modelled Asian monsoon strength increased significantly when this Eocene uplift of eastern Tibet was incorporated. The simulation/proxy congruence points to a distinctive Eocene Asian monsoon, quite unlike that seen today, in that it featured bimodal precipitation and a winter-wet regime, and this enhanced biodiversity modernisation across eastern Asia. The Paleogene biodiversity of Asia evolved under a continually modifying monsoon influence, with the modern Asian monsoon system being unique to the present and a product of a long gradual development in the context of an ever-changing Earth system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2245-2258
Number of pages14
JournalScience Bulletin
Volume67
Issue number21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China Basic Science Center for Tibetan Plateau Earth System (41988101), the Second Tibetan Plateau Scientific Expedition and Research Program (2019QZKK0708), the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDA20070301), the National Natural Science Foundation of China-Natural Environment Research Council of the United Kingdom Joint Research Program (41661134049 and NE/P013805/1), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41941016). We appreciate Lin Li from the University of Arizona and two other anonymous reviewers for their detailed and constructive comments, which greatly improved the quality of the manuscript. The thanks also go to Ciren Lamu and Feipeng Li from the State Key Laboratory of Tibetan Plateau Earth System, Environment and Resources, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences for their assistance and hard work in the field, as well as Jian Yang from the State Key Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences for his helpful discussions during the revision of the manuscript.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China Basic Science Center for Tibetan Plateau Earth System (41988101), the Second Tibetan Plateau Scientific Expedition and Research Program (2019QZKK0708), the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDA20070301), the National Natural Science Foundation of China-Natural Environment Research Council of the United Kingdom Joint Research Program (41661134049 and NE/P013805/1), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41941016). We appreciate Lin Li from the University of Arizona and two other anonymous reviewers for their detailed and constructive comments, which greatly improved the quality of the manuscript. The thanks also go to Ciren Lamu and Feipeng Li from the State Key Laboratory of Tibetan Plateau Earth System, Environment and Resources, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences for their assistance and hard work in the field, as well as Jian Yang from the State Key Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences for his helpful discussions during the revision of the manuscript. Lin Ding designed research; Songlin He, Zhongyu Xiong, Robert A. Spicer, Alex Farnsworth, Paul J. Valdes, Cao Wang, Fulong Cai, Houqi Wang, Yong Sun, Deng Zeng, Jing Xie, Yahui Yue, Chenyuan Zhao, Peiping Song, and Chen Wu performed the research; Songlin He, Yahui Yue, and Chao Wang contributed to the zircon U-Pb measurements and XRD anlysis; Robert A. Spicer and Songlin He performed the CLAMP analysis; Alex Farnsworth, Paul J. Valdes, and Robert A. Spicer worked on the model simulations; Songlin He and Jing Xie contributed to the clumped and stable isotope analyses, as well as the experiments of grain size; and Songlin He, Lin Ding, Robert A. Spicer, Zhongyu Xiong, and Alex Farnsworth wrote the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Science China Press

Keywords

  • Asian monsoon
  • Biodiversity
  • Eastern Tibet
  • Fossil
  • Paleoelevation
  • Relu Basin

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'A distinctive Eocene Asian monsoon and modern biodiversity resulted from the rise of eastern Tibet'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this