Topic Editors

Dr. Jun Peng
School of Earth Sciences and Spatial Information Engineering, Hunan University of Science and Technology, Xiangtan, China
Dr. Jingran Zhang
School of Geography, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, China
Dr. Yujie Guo
Institute of Nihewan Archaeology, College of History and Culture, Hebei Normal University, Shijiazhuang 050024, China
Prof. Dr. Guoqiang Li
College of Resources and Environment, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
Prof. Dr. Chongyi E
School of Geographical Sciences, Qinghai Normal University, Xining, China
Dr. Xiangjun Liu
School of Geography and Tourism, Jiaying University, Meizhou, China

Environmental Change, Geomorphological and Sedimentological Processes in Asian Hinterlands

Abstract submission deadline
closed (31 May 2024)
Manuscript submission deadline
31 August 2024
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8721

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Asian hinterlands, which contain high mountains, large plateaus, plains, basins, vast deserts, big lakes, and river systems influenced by Westerlies and/or Monsoons, have the roughest landscapes in the world. The evolution of landforms, sediment environments, and land use practices in these regions are significantly impacted by climate change. Environmental reconstructions of the Asian hinterlands rely heavily on chronostratigraphic frameworks and geomorphological and sedimentological features. However, over the past decade, reconstructing and interpreting regional environmental changes in these regions has been controversial and challenging. The problems include the asynchronous responses of surface processes to environmental changes as reconstructed with different types of sediments and environmental proxies, the interactive influences of local and regional forces on the deposition and evolution of geomorphological and sedimentological units, the complexity of the influence of environmental change on human activities and ecological stability, and the reliability of chronological frameworks established using numerical dating techniques.

To address these challenges, this Research Topic focuses on new advances in the reconstruction of environments in the Asian hinterlands. Multiple approaches and techniques, including the adoption of new proxies to improve the interpretation of environmental changes, the integration of geomorphological and sedimentological records from multiple sites, the monitoring of geomorphological and sedimentological processes with the support of geographic information and landform analysis techniques, the revealing of regional environmental dynamics by numerical model simulations, and the establishment of robust chronostratigraphic frameworks with improved accuracy and precision, are useful for better understanding environmental change in the Asian hinterlands. The Research Topic welcomes original research and review articles on:

  • Geomorphic processes and landscape changes;
  • Sedimentological processes and environmental changes;
  • Human–environment interaction, human evolution and activity, population pressure, ecological safety, and adaptation;
  • New achievements and applications of numerical dating methods;
  • New physical, chemical, and biological proxies in tracing sediment transportation and landscape change.

Dr. Jun Peng
Dr. Jingran Zhang
Dr. Yujie Guo
Prof. Dr. Guoqiang Li
Prof. Dr. Chongyi E
Dr. Xiangjun Liu
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • environmental change
  • geomorphological process
  • sedimentological process
  • numerical dating methods
  • Asian hinterlands

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Atmosphere
atmosphere
2.9 4.6 2010 17.7 Days CHF 2400 Submit
Climate
climate
3.7 5.5 2013 19.7 Days CHF 1800 Submit
Geosciences
geosciences
2.7 5.3 2011 23.6 Days CHF 1800 Submit
Land
land
3.9 4.9 2012 14.8 Days CHF 2600 Submit
Remote Sensing
remotesensing
5.0 8.3 2009 23 Days CHF 2700 Submit
Minerals
minerals
2.5 4.1 2011 18.7 Days CHF 2400 Submit

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Published Papers (6 papers)

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19 pages, 5842 KiB  
Article
Changes in the Water Area of an Inland River Terminal Lake (Taitma Lake) Driven by Climate Change and Human Activities, 2017–2022
by Feng Zi, Yong Wang, Shanlong Lu, Harrison Odion Ikhumhen, Chun Fang, Xinru Li, Nan Wang and Xinya Kuang
Remote Sens. 2024, 16(10), 1703; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs16101703 - 10 May 2024
Viewed by 2386
Abstract
Constructed from a dataset capturing the seasonal and annual water body distribution of the lower Qarqan River in the Taitma Lake area from 2017 to 2022, and combined with the meteorological and hydraulic engineering data, the spatial and temporal change patterns of the [...] Read more.
Constructed from a dataset capturing the seasonal and annual water body distribution of the lower Qarqan River in the Taitma Lake area from 2017 to 2022, and combined with the meteorological and hydraulic engineering data, the spatial and temporal change patterns of the Taitma Lake watershed area were determined. Analyses were conducted using Planetscope (PS) satellite images and a deep learning model. The results revealed the following: ① Deep learning-based water body extraction provides significantly greater accuracy than the conventional water body index approach. With an impressive accuracy of up to 96.0%, UPerNet was found to provide the most effective extraction results among the three convolutional neural networks (U-Net, DeeplabV3+, and UPerNet) used for semantic segmentation; ② Between 2017 and 2022, Taitma Lake’s water area experienced a rapid decrease, with the distribution of water predominantly shifting towards the east–west direction more than the north–south. The shifts between 2017 and 2020 and between 2020 and 2022 were clearly discernible, with the latter stage (2020–2022) being more significant than the former (2017–2020); ③ According to observations, Taitma Lake’s changing water area has been primarily influenced by human activity over the last six years. Based on the research findings of this paper, it was observed that this study provides a valuable scientific basis for water resource allocation aiming to balance the development of water resources in the middle and upper reaches of the Tarim and Qarqan Rivers, as well as for the ecological protection of the downstream Taitma Lake. Full article
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15 pages, 5414 KiB  
Article
Multi-Scale Analysis of Grain Size in the Component Structures of Sediments Accumulated along the Desert-Loess Transition Zone of the Tengger Desert and Implications for Sources and Aeolian Dust Transportation
by Xinran Yang, Jun Peng, Bing Liu and Yingna Liu
Atmosphere 2024, 15(2), 239; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15020239 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 779
Abstract
Aeolian sediments accumulated along the desert-loess transition zone of the Tengger Desert include heterogeneous textures and complex component structures in their grain-size distributions (GSD). However, the sources of these aeolian sediments have not been resolved due to the lack of large reference GSD [...] Read more.
Aeolian sediments accumulated along the desert-loess transition zone of the Tengger Desert include heterogeneous textures and complex component structures in their grain-size distributions (GSD). However, the sources of these aeolian sediments have not been resolved due to the lack of large reference GSD sample datasets from adjacent regions that contain various types of sediments; such datasets could be used for fingerprinting based on grain-size properties. This lack of knowledge hinders our understanding of the mechanism of aeolian dust releases in these regions and the effects of forcing of atmospheric circulations on the transportation and accumulation of sediments in this region. In this study, we employed a multi-scale grain-size analysis method, i.e., a combination of the single-sample unmixing (SSU) and the parametric end-member modelling (PEMM) techniques, to resolve the component structures of sediments that had accumulated along the desert-loess transition zone of the Tengger Desert. We have also analyzed the component structures of GSDs of various types of sediments, including mobile and fixed sand dunes, lake sediments, and loess sediments from surrounding regions. Our results demonstrate that the patterns observed in coarser fractions of sediments (i.e., sediments with a mode grain size of >100 μm) from the transition zone match well with the patterns of component structures of several types of sediments from the interior of the Tengger Desert, and the patterns seen in the finer fractions (i.e., fine, medium, and coarse silts with a modal size of <63 μm) were broadly consistent with those of loess sediments from the Qilian Mountains. The deflation/erosion of loess from the Qilian Mountains by wind was the most important mechanism underlying the production of these finer grain-size fractions. The East Asia winter monsoon (EAWM) played a key role in transportation of the aeolian dust from these source regions to the desert-loess transition zone of the desert. Full article
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17 pages, 17484 KiB  
Article
Glacier Surface Velocity Variations in the West Kunlun Mts. with Sentinel-1A Image Feature-Tracking (2014–2023)
by Zhenfeng Wang, Tanguang Gao, Yulong Kang, Wanqin Guo and Zongli Jiang
Remote Sens. 2024, 16(1), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs16010063 - 23 Dec 2023
Viewed by 956
Abstract
Glacier velocity is a crucial parameter in understanding glacier dynamics and mass balance, especially in response to climate change. Despite numerous studies on glaciers in the West Kunlun Mts., there is still insufficient knowledge about the details of inter- and intra-annual velocity changes [...] Read more.
Glacier velocity is a crucial parameter in understanding glacier dynamics and mass balance, especially in response to climate change. Despite numerous studies on glaciers in the West Kunlun Mts., there is still insufficient knowledge about the details of inter- and intra-annual velocity changes under global warming. This study analyzed the glacier velocity changes in the West Kunlun Mts. using Sentinel-1A satellite data. Our results revealed that: (1) The velocity of glaciers across the region shows an increasing trend from 2014 to 2023. (2) Five glaciers were found to have been surged during the study period, among which two of them were not reported before. (3) The surges in the study region were potentially controlled through a combination of hydrological and thermal mechanisms. (4) The glacier N2, Duofeng Glacier, and b2 of Kunlun Glacier exhibit higher annual velocities (32.82 m a−1) compared to surging glaciers in quiescent phases (13.22 m a−1), and were speculated as advancing or fast-flowing glaciers. Full article
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20 pages, 16843 KiB  
Article
Sediment Grain-Size Composition in the Permafrost Region of the Greater Khingan Range and Its Significance as a Material Source
by Lixin Liu, Shuying Zang, Xiaodong Wu, Rui Liu, Tianrui Li, Jiaju Zhu, Li Sun, Shaoqiang Wu, Xingfeng Dong and Zihao Zhang
Land 2023, 12(9), 1728; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12091728 - 5 Sep 2023
Viewed by 916
Abstract
Sediment grain-size distribution (GSD) provides rich information about sedimentary sources and can potentially do the same with regard to environmental and climatic changes. However, neither traditional descriptive statistics nor curving-fitting methods can fully address its complexity. We selected the Greater Khingan Range in [...] Read more.
Sediment grain-size distribution (GSD) provides rich information about sedimentary sources and can potentially do the same with regard to environmental and climatic changes. However, neither traditional descriptive statistics nor curving-fitting methods can fully address its complexity. We selected the Greater Khingan Range in northeastern China as the study area and used parameterized end-member analysis (EMA) of the GSD of four drilling cores to extract different end-member (EM) components. The results show that EM1 (mode particle size (Mo): 1.26–1.66 μm) originates from weathering and pedogenesis. The EMs with Mo values of 4.37–5.01 μm represent components transported by the upper westerly wind. EMs with Mo values of 7.58 μm and 11.48 μm represent wet dust deposition and dry dust deposition. The wind transport of particles in winter consists of low-level near-source transport and local-source transport (possibly from the flood plain of the Amur River). Due to the limitations of the EM model, the two sources have one or two EM components: AEM3 + AEM4, BEM3 + BEM4, CEM4, and DEM4. DEM5 is the only large particle-size component and may represent coarse-grained detritus generated via rock weathering. The components related to the winter monsoon and the 14C dating data suggest a weak-strong-weak-strong trend of the winter monsoon since the Marine Isotope Stage 3a (MIS 3a). Our results suggest that the strengthening of the winter monsoons in the previous few thousand years has caused the transportation of coarser grain sizes and further exacerbated permafrost degradation, providing a scientific reference for understanding climate change and the formation and evolution of permafrost in the Greater Khingan Mountains since the MIS 3a. Full article
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15 pages, 9130 KiB  
Article
The ESR Signals in Different Minerals and the Bleaching of Feldspar
by Weili Bi, Chaolu Yi, Haijun Yang, Xiangke Xu and Gang Hu
Minerals 2023, 13(8), 1108; https://doi.org/10.3390/min13081108 - 21 Aug 2023
Viewed by 881
Abstract
The use of quartz is critical to the electron spin resonance (ESR) dating of sediments and fault gouges. The germanium center (Ge center) in quartz is a commonly used color center employed in ESR signal measurement. Although Ge center signals in quartz can [...] Read more.
The use of quartz is critical to the electron spin resonance (ESR) dating of sediments and fault gouges. The germanium center (Ge center) in quartz is a commonly used color center employed in ESR signal measurement. Although Ge center signals in quartz can be detected using an ESR spectrometer, they are weak and sometimes undetectable. Impurities in quartz grains can further aggravate these deficiencies and may even invalidate any attempt to repeat ESR ages due to the deficiencies evident in the processes used in sample preparation. Using sieving, carbonate-organic matter removal, water flotation, magnetic separation, heavy liquid separation, and HF solution etching, we separated quartz, feldspar (plagioclase), mica, and the heavy minerals and measured the ESR signal in each of them to examine the impact of impurities within mineral grains on the ESR signals. From the ESR spectra, we observed intense ESR signals in feldspar and the heavy minerals and weak signals in mica at the same positions as the Ge center in the quartz. The ESR signals in the feldspar proved to be the most intense and overrode the peaks exhibited by the Ge center in the quartz. Feldspar is commonly associated with quartz in sediments, but it is difficult to separate it from quartz as their colors, specific gravities, and magnetic properties are similar. Any ESR signal in quartz containing foreign minerals would therefore be likely to be heavily disturbed by the signals from these foreign minerals, particularly from the feldspar and heavy minerals. ESR signals in the feldspar decreased similarly to those in the quartz when exposed to sunlight, declining by 70%–80% after being exposed for 50 h. Such declination was more obvious in high-altitude areas than in low-altitude areas. Our results indicate that highly pure quartz is required when dating; we would therefore strongly suggest that the procedures for the purification of quartz grains should include floating, heavy liquid separation, and HF solution etching to remove the feldspar, heavy minerals, and any remnant magnetite. Such a procedure would guarantee that the signal that is measured comes from the quartz alone, allowing repeatable measurements using the same spectrometer as well as valid comparisons between the spectrometries derived from different spectrometers. Full article
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22 pages, 6057 KiB  
Article
Post-Shock Gravitational Erosion and Sediment Yield: A Case Study of Landscape Transformation along the Wenchuan–Yingxiu Section of the Minjiang River, Sichuan, China
by Yongshun Han, Zhenlin Wang, Yulong Chang, Dongshui Zhang, Lelin Li, Zhuoting Qiu and Yangdelong Xia
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(14), 3506; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15143506 - 12 Jul 2023
Viewed by 955
Abstract
In Wenchuan, China, which was severely affected by an M8.1 earthquake in 2008, the geomorphic process has been driven by gravitational erosion brought on by post-shock rockfalls and landslides. However, a process-based delineation of the post-shock landscape modification using quantitative methods employing mathematical [...] Read more.
In Wenchuan, China, which was severely affected by an M8.1 earthquake in 2008, the geomorphic process has been driven by gravitational erosion brought on by post-shock rockfalls and landslides. However, a process-based delineation of the post-shock landscape modification using quantitative methods employing mathematical modeling and control experiments has not yet been successfully undertaken. This is due to the areas’ substantial sediment yield and growing transportation capacity. This study looked into 31 minor watersheds along the Minjiang River’s Wenchuan–Yingxiu stretch. Additionally, a digital gully model based on multi-source remote sensing, Geographic Information System (GIS), Differential Intereferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (D-InSAR), and amplitude tracking technology was created for the quantitative estimation of post-shock gravity erosion and sediment yield by comparison of three-dimensional topographical alternation (before and after the shock). Following regression analysis, a useful model for sediment yield estimation was suggested. The following conclusions were reached: (1) There was a considerable favorable effect between an angle of 50 and 70 degrees, and various geomorphological parameters had scale effects. Gravitational sediment yield modulus displayed a positive power function relationship with relative relief and surface fragmentation, but there was no clear correlation between the modulus and slope, relative relief, or surface fragmentation at the watershed scale; (2) Both the budget for post-shock geo-materials and the production of sediment from gravity erosion showed an annual trend of decline; (3) A 10–20-year active period would be recognized by gravity erosion. Full article
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