Opin vísindi

The world’s earliest Aral-Sea type disaster: the decline of the Loulan Kingdom in the Tarim Basin

Show simple item record

dc.contributor Háskóli Íslands
dc.contributor University of Iceland
dc.contributor.author Mischke, Steffen
dc.contributor.author Liu, Chenglin
dc.contributor.author Zhang, Jiafu
dc.contributor.author Zhang, Chengjun
dc.contributor.author Zhang, Hua
dc.contributor.author Jiao, Pengcheng
dc.contributor.author Plessen, Birgit
dc.date.accessioned 2017-06-01T10:33:30Z
dc.date.available 2017-06-01T10:33:30Z
dc.date.issued 2017-02-27
dc.identifier.citation Mischke, S. et al. The world’s earliest Aral-Sea type disaster: the decline of the Loulan Kingdom in the Tarim Basin. Sci. Rep. 7, 43102; doi: 10.1038/srep43102 (2017).
dc.identifier.issn 2045-2322
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/285
dc.description The presented data are accessible in the PANGAEA database, https://doi.pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.871173.
dc.description.abstract Remnants of cities and farmlands in China’s hyperarid Tarim Basin indicate that environmental conditions were significantly wetter two millennia ago in a region which is barren desert today. Historical documents and age data of organic remains show that the Loulan Kingdom flourished during the Han Dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE) but was abandoned between its end and 645 CE. Previous archaeological, geomorphological and geological studies suggest that deteriorating climate conditions led to the abandonment of the ancient desert cities. Based on analyses of lake sediments from Lop Nur in the eastern Tarim Basin and a review of published records, we show that the Loulan Kingdom decline resulted from a man-made environmental disaster comparable to the recent Aral Sea crisis rather than from changing climate. Lop Nur and other lakes within the Han Dynasty realm experienced rapidly declining water levels or even desiccation whilst lakes in adjacent regions recorded rising levels and relatively wet conditions during the time of the Loulan Kingdom decline. Water withdrawal for irrigation farming in the middle reaches of rivers likely caused water shortage downstream and eventually the widespread deterioration of desert oases a long time before man initiated the Aral Sea disaster in the 1960s.
dc.description.sponsorship Funding was provided by China’s NSF projects (40830420, 41471003), the State key project (2003BA612A-06–15) of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China and the German Research Foundation (DFG grant Mi 730/16-1). We thank two anonymous reviewers who provided very constructive comments on an earlier version of this paper.
dc.format.extent 43102
dc.language.iso en
dc.publisher Springer Nature
dc.relation.ispartofseries Scientific Reports;7
dc.rights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
dc.subject Environmental impact
dc.subject Limnology
dc.subject Palaeoclimate
dc.subject Umhverfisáhrif
dc.subject Vatnafræði
dc.subject Jarðsaga
dc.title The world’s earliest Aral-Sea type disaster: the decline of the Loulan Kingdom in the Tarim Basin
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article
dcterms.license This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
dc.description.version Peer Reviewed
dc.identifier.journal Scientific Reports
dc.identifier.doi 10.1038/srep43102
dc.relation.url https://www.nature.com/articles/srep43102
dc.contributor.department Jarðvísindadeild (HÍ)
dc.contributor.department Faculty of Earth Sciences (UI)
dc.contributor.school Verkfræði- og náttúruvísindasvið (HÍ)
dc.contributor.school School of Engineering and Natural Sciences (UI)

Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record