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Clumped and stable isotopes of land snail shells on the Chinese Loess Plateau and their climatic implications

Dong, Jibao and Eiler, John and An, Zhisheng and Wu, Naiqin and Liu, Weiguo and Li, Xiangzhong and Kitchen, Nami and Lu, Fengyan (2020) Clumped and stable isotopes of land snail shells on the Chinese Loess Plateau and their climatic implications. Chemical Geology, 533 . Art. No. 119414. ISSN 0009-2541. doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2019.119414.

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We report stable (δ¹³C_(shell), δ¹⁸O_(shell)) and clumped isotope (Δ₄₇) compositions of modern and last glacial fossil snail shell carbonates from the Luochuan and Weinan sections on the central and southern Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP). Our study reveals that the average Δ₄₇ temperature (T₄₇) of modern snails is consistent with monitored temperatures during the snail growing season at the studied locations and is ~10 °C higher than that of fossil snails from glacial time. Moreover, the average δ¹³C_(shell) of modern snails is more depleted than that of fossils. We argue that the δ¹³C_(shell) cannot record changes in plant communities (i.e., the C3/C4 ratio) on the CLP and may mainly indicate arid conditions with depleted values reflecting reduced aridity. Additionally, the reconstructed snail body water δ¹⁸O (δ¹⁸O_(water)) of modern snails is more enriched than δ¹⁸O in modern growing season precipitation and δ¹⁸O_(water) of fossils. This contrast may be related to the high degree of evaporative enrichment of environmental water ¹⁸O in the body/ingested by modern snails under warm conditions. Therefore, we suggest that using δ¹⁸O_(shell) to directly reconstruct the oxygen isotopes of precipitation is difficult and that higher δ¹⁸O_(shell) and δ¹⁸O_(water) values probably indicate higher environmental temperature/stronger evaporative enrichment on glacial-interglacial timescales on the CLP.

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Liu, Weiguo0000-0001-7081-9618
Additional Information:© 2019 Published by Elsevier B.V. Received 4 May 2019, Revised 11 November 2019, Accepted 18 November 2019, Available online 22 November 2019. We sincerely thank professor Peter Hale Molnar for comments on and revision of the manuscript, and we thank Dr. Linpei Huang for help in the identification of fossil snail species and Dr. Ryb Uri and Dr. Max Lloyd for help with data processing and discussion. This work was jointly supported by grants from the Training Program of the State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (QYZDY-SSW-DQC001 and ZDBS-SSW-DQC001), the MOST program (2016YFE0109500), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41430103 and 41302152) and grants EAR-0909199 and EAR 1211378. The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Chinese Academy of SciencesQYZDY-SSW-DQC001
Chinese Academy of SciencesZDBS-SSW-DQC001
Ministry of Science and Technology (Taipei)2016YFE0109500
National Natural Science Foundation of China41430103
National Natural Science Foundation of China41302152
Subject Keywords:Clumped isotopes; Stable isotopes; Land snail; Temperature; Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20191122-094908277
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Official Citation:Jibao Dong, John Eiler, Zhisheng An, Naiqin Wu, Weiguo Liu, Xiangzhong Li, Nami Kitchen, Fengyan Lu, Clumped and stable isotopes of land snail shells on the Chinese Loess Plateau and their climatic implications, Chemical Geology, Volume 533, 2020, 119414, ISSN 0009-2541, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:100013
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:22 Nov 2019 18:00
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:51

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