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The authors reassessed the taxonomic distinction of Iteravis huchzermeyeri and Gansus zheni, which are two species of Ornithuromorpha based on specimens from the same locality in western Liaoning and derive from the Jehol Biota. The detailed comparisons of the holotype and referred specimens of both species, reveal no anatomical features that distinguish these taxa as separate species. Some minor differences are considered to relate to ontogenetic or interspecific differences. The stratigraphic occurrence for both specimens is the Lower Cretaceous Jiufotang Formation. Accordingly, the authors conclude that Iteravis huchzermeyeri has priority, by 15 days, for this taxon and that Gansus zheni is a junior synonym. The diagnosis of Iteravis huchzermeyeri is revised based on further study on all specimens referred to this species. Its generic distinction from Gansus is maintained thereby removing a potential genus-level correlation linking Xiagou Formation in Gansu Province with the Jiufotang Formation in Liaoning Province.
During the Late Neoproterozoic and Early Cambrian, a series of paleogeographic and paleoecological events occurred associated with deglaciations and the evolution of life. The appearance of fossils representing diverse phyla, novel body plans and complex ecologies in Ediacaran and Cambrian sedimentary successions has sparked diverse hypotheses about potential drivers for the radiation of early animals during this interval. Recently, new macroscopic fossils of carbonaceous compressions with unique features have been found in Anning, Yunnan, China. The fossils’ bodies are ribbon-shaped and bilaterally symmetric, with dense longitudinal features and transversal features. The fossils occur 0.68 m below a bentonite interlayer which has been dated 535.2 ± 1.7 Ma by Ri-xiang Zhu and his team in 2009. The relatively simply morphology of these fossils, coupled with a lack of preserved internal structures challenge efforts taxonomically identify the precursor organism and definitively ally it to a living group. However, the symmetry and unusual features of the body are analogous to members of Platyzoa. The presence of ribbon-shaped fossils in the Zhongyicun Member in Anning indicates that these organisms were at least a locally significant component of Cambrian seafloor ecosystems, and may hold important implications for our understanding of the early evolution of Bilateria.
Two Neoarchean alkaline feldspar-rich granites sourced from partially melted granulite-facies granodioritic orthogneiss have been here recognised in the eastern part of the North China Block (NCB). These poorly foliated granites have previously been assumed to be Mesozoic in age and never dated, and so their significance has not been recognised until now. The first granite (AG1) is a porphyritic syenogranite with megacrystic K-feldspar, and the second (AG2) is a quartz syenite with perthitic megacryst. Zircons from the granites yield LA-ICP-MS U-Pb ages of 2499 ± 10 Ma (AG1), and 2492 ± 28 Ma (AG2), which are slightly younger than the granodioritic orthogneiss that they intrude with a crystallisation U-Pb age of 2537 ± 34 Ma. The younger granites have higher assays for SiO2 (71.91% for AG1 and 73.22% for AG2) and K2O (7.52% for AG1 and 8.37% for AG2), and much lower assays for their other major element than the granodioritic orthogneiss. All of the granodioritic orthogneiss and granite samples have similar trace element patterns, with depletion in Th, U, Nb, and Ti and enrichment in Rb, Ba, K, La, Ce, and P. This indicates that the granites are derived from the orthogneiss as partial melts. Although they exhibit a similar REE pattern, the granites have much lower total REE contents (30.97×10−6 for AG1, and 25.93×10−6 for AG2), but pronounced positive Eu anomalies (Eu/Eu* = 8.57 for AG1 and 27.04 for AG2). The granodioritic orthogneiss has an initial 87Sr/86Sr ratio of 0.70144, εNd(t) value of 3.5, and εHf(t) values ranging from −3.2 to +2.9. The orthogneiss is a product of fractional crystallisation from a dioritic magma, which was derived from a mantle source contaminated by melts derived from a felsic slab. By contrast, the AG1 sample has an initial 87Sr/86Sr ratio of 0.6926 that is considered too low in value, εNd(t) value of 0.3, and εHf(t) values between +0.57 and +3.82; whereas the AG2 sample has an initial 87Sr/86Sr ratio of 0.70152, εNd(t) value of 1.3, and εHf(t) values between +0.5 and +14.08. These assays indicate that a Sr-Nd-Hf isotopic disequilibrium exists between the granite and granodioritic orthogneiss. The elevated εHf(t) values of the granites can be explained by the involvement of Hf-bearing minerals, such as orthopyroxene, amphibole, and biotite, in anatectic reactions in the granodioritic orthogneiss. Based on the transitional relationship between the granites and granodioritic orthogneiss and the geochemical characteristics mentioned above, it is concluded that the granites are the product of rapid partial-melting of the granodioritic orthogneiss after granulite-facies metamorphism, and their crystallisation age of about 2500 Ma provides the minimum age of the metamorphism. This about 2500 Ma tectonic-metamorphic event in NCB is similar to the other cratons in India, Antarctica, northern and southern Australia, indicating a possible connection between these cratons during the Neoarchean.
The giant Dahutang tungsten (W) deposit has a total reserve of more than 1.31 Mt WO3. Veinlet-disseminated scheelite and vein type wolframite mineralization are developed in this deposit, which are related to Late Mesozoic biotite granite. Four major types of alterations, which include albitization, potassic-alteration, and greisenization, and overprinted silicification developed in contact zone. The mass balance calculate of the four alteration types were used to further understanding of the mineralization process. The fresh porphyritic biotite granite has high Nb, Ta, and W, but low Ca and Sr while the Jiuling granodiorite has high Ca and Sr, but low Nb, Ta, and W concentrations. The altered porphyritic biotite granite indicated that the Nb, Ta, and W were leached out from the fresh porphyritic biotite granite, especially by sodic alteration. The low Ca and Sr contents of the altered Neoproterozoic Jiuling granodiorite indicate that Ca and Sr had been leached out from the fresh granodiorite by the fluid from Mesozoic porphyritic biotite granites. The metal W of the Dahutang deposit was mainly derived from the fluid exsolution from the melt and alteration of W-bearing granites. This study of alteration presents a new hydrothermal circulation model to understand tungsten mineralization in the Dahutang deposit.
The Central Africa Fold Belt (CAFB) is a collision belt endowed with gold deposits in Eastern Cameroon area mined for about 50 years. However, favorable areas for gold exploration are poorly known. This paper presents (1) the kinematics of the brittle deformation in the Kékem area in the SW portion of the Central Cameroon Shear Zone and (2) constraints gold mineralization events with respect to the collisional evolution of the CAFB. The authors interpret that the conjugate ENE to E and NNW to NW trending lineament corresponds to the synthetic (R) and the antithetic (R’) shears, which accompanied the dextral slip along the NE to ENE striking shear. The latter coincides with the last 570–552 Ma D3 dextral simple shear-dominated transpression, which is parallel to the Bétaré Oya shear zone hosting gold deposits. Gold mineralizations, which mainly occurred during the last dextral shearing, are disseminated within quartz veins associated to Riedel’s previous structures reactivated due to late collisional activities of the CAFB as brittle deformation. Gold mineralizations occurred mainly during the 570–552 Ma D3 event. The reactivation, which might be due to dextral simple shear during mylonitzation, plausibly remobilized the early gold deposits hosted in syn-compressional rocks and/or possibly focused deep-sourced fluid mixed with those released by dehydration. Therefore, the Central Cameroon Shear Zone where Kékem is located, and which shows similar petrographical and structural features to those controling Batouri gold district, is a target area for gold exploration in Cameroon.
The rare earth elements (REE) content of the coal in the Erlian Basin was determined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), and it turns out that the REE content from different geological age shows a significant difference: The REE content of the coal in the Jurassic Alatanheli Group is from 152.05×10−6 to 1416.21×10−6, with an average value of 397.31×10−6, and the relative concentration factor shows enriched; the REE content of the coal in Early Cretaceous Baiyanhua Group is from 20.65×10−6 to 102.53×10−6, the mean value is 49.06×10−6, and the relative concentration factor shows normally. The REE distribution patterns samples in Jurassic and Cretaceous shows the difference: The REE pattern in Jurassic coal mainly manifests as H-type distribution, with the Y, Lu positive anomaly, it is speculated that the fluid carried REE ions into the coal-bearing basin, and the heavy REE gather in the coal due to the different chemical properties of each REE. The REE occurrence mode is presumed to be mainly organic. Flat type is the REE main distribution pattern in Cretaceous coal. The REE patterns in clastic rocks of the roof, parting and floor of coal seam are similar to the REE patterns in the coal and the most possible reason is that the REE main source is from the clastic rock. It showed that the coal of the Early Jurassic, especially of Amugulen coalfield has resource value.
To understand the geochemical characteristics of the No.9 coal in the Daheng Mine of the Ningwu coalfield, the trace element analysis was conducted through X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF) and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The sedimentary environment was discussed according to the element geochemical parameters. The results show that Li, Ga, Hf, Zr, Nb, Th, and Ta are slightly enriched in the No. 9 coal of Daheng Mine. The average value of the rare earth elements and yttrium (∑REY) in coal here is 144.20 μg/g (excluding parting), which is higher than the average value of ∑REY in the world’s coal and China’s coal. The light rare earth elements (LREY) are enriched. The content of Eu was 0.12‒2.10 μg/g with an average of 0.57 μg/g, and the Eu is obviously negatively abnormal. Most of the trace elements in the coal are positively correlated with the ash content, which shows that the occurrence of these trace elements is related to inorganic minerals. The results of sequential chemical extraction experiments show that rare earth elements mainly exist in coal in the form of aluminosilicate. The value of the Sr/Ba and the content of S reflect that the coal-forming environment was influenced by seawater. The values of V/Cr and Ni/Co reflect that the peat swamp is in an anaerobic environment and a strongly reducing environment during the coal-forming period.
As cyclical orbital movements of Earth, Milankovitch cycles can be recorded in sedimentary strata. The time they reflect can be used to accurately divide and compare strata. Milankovitch cycles recorded in strata enrich the stratigraphic theory, especially the theories of cycle stratigraphy, and thus they are widely used in geological survey engineering nowadays. This study explored the characteristics of the Milankovitch cycles recorded in the eastern depression of the North Yellow Sea Basin, highlighting their control over high-frequency stratigraphic sequences. The Eocene Milankovitch cycles in the depression were calculated based on the method proposed by J. Laskar, and their parameters primarily include eccentricity cycles of 125 ka and 99 ka, obliquity cycles of 51 ka and 39 ka, and precession cycles of 23 ka and 19 ka. Spectral analysis of gamma-ray (GR) and spontaneous potential (SP) log curves of the Eocene strata was carried out to divide and compare stratigraphic sequences, revealing that the spectral peaks correspond well to astronomical cycles. This indicates that the strata in the depression fully record Milankovitch cycles. Furthermore, there are long-, medium-, and short-term stratigraphic cycles in the eastern depression, with a thickness of 13.03–15.89 m, 3.70–5.21 m, and 2.17–2.94 m, respectively. The sedimentation rates of the Eocene strata were calculated to be 121.2–127.12 m/Ma accordingly. From the uplift to the center of the lacustrine basin along the slope in the eastern depression, both the sedimentation duration and the sediment thickness increase, while the sedimentation rate remains relatively stable. The Eocene strata can be divided into six stages of high-frequency sequences by continuous wavelet transformation, namely E6–E1 from bottom to top. The sedimentation duration and sedimentation rates of the sequences were calculated using spectral analysis with each of the sequences as a separate window. Moreover, the impacts of climate change on the sedimentary environment in the eastern depression were analyzed. It can be concluded that E6 was a lowstand system tract, E5 and E4 were lacustrine expansion system tracts, E3 was a highstand system tract, and E2 and E1 were lacustrine contraction system tracts. All these verify that Milankovitch cycles serve as an effective approach for the analysis of sedimentary cycles.
Near-bottom observation data from the manned deep submersible Jiaolong with high-precision underwater positioning data from Weijia Guyot, Magellan Seamounts in the Western Pacific Ocean are reported. Three substrate types were identified: Sediment, ferromanganese crust, and ferromanganese crust with a thin cover of sediment. The ferromanganese crusts show clear zoning and their continuity is usually disturbed by sediments on areas of the mountainside with relatively gentle slope gradients. The identified substrate spatial distributions correspond to acoustic backscatter intensity data, with regions of high intensity always including crust development and regions of low intensity always having sediment. Therefore, acoustic backscatter intensity surveying appears useful in the delineation and evaluation of crust resources, although further more work is needed to develop a practicable methodology.
To accurately identify the natural gas hydrates (NGH) in the sea area of the Makran Accretionary Prism, Pakistan, this paper presents the testing and analysis of major and trace elements in sediment samples taken from two stations (S2 and S3) in the area by the China Geological Survey. As shown by testing results, all major elements are slightly different in content between the two stations except SiO2 and CaO. This also applies to the trace elements that include Sr and Ba primarily and Cr, Ni and Zn secondarily. It can be concluded in this study that the tectonic setting of the Makran Accretionary Prism is dominated by oceanic island arc and that provenance of the Makran Accretionary Prism is dominated by felsic igneous provenance, which is at the initial weathering stage and mainly consists of granodiorite. Besides terrigenous detritus, there are sediments possibly originating from Makran-Bela Ophiolite from the northwestern part and Murray Ridge igneous rocks from the southeastern part. The V/Cr, Ni/Co, and V/(V+Ni) ratios indicate that sediments of the two stations are in an oxidation-suboxidation environment. However, the authors infer that the sedimentary environment of the sediments 3.0 m below the seafloor tends to be gradually transformed into a reduction environment by comparison with the Qiongdongnan Basin in the South China Sea where NGH has been discovered. The sediments in the Makran Accretionary Prism are rich in organic matter, with total organic carbon (TOC) content greater than 1%. According to comprehensive research, the organic matter in the sediments mainly originates from marine algae and has high TOC content, which is favorable for the formation of NGH.
In order to study the migration and transformation mechanism of Hg content and occurrence form in subsurface flow zone of gold mining area in Loess Plateau and its influence on water environment, the field in-situ infiltration test and laboratory test were carried out in three typical sections of river-side loess, alluvial and proluvial strata in Tongguan gold mining area of Shaanxi Province, and the following results were obtained: (1) The source of Hg in subsurface flow zone is mainly caused by mineral processing activities; (2) the subsurface flow zone in the study area is in alkaline environment, and the residual state, iron and manganese oxidation state, strong organic state and humic acid state of mercury in loess are equally divided in dry and oxidizing environment; mercury in river alluvial or diluvial strata is mainly concentrated in silt, tailings and clayey silt soil layer, and mercury has certain stability, and the form of mercury in loess is easier to transform than the other two media; (3) under the flooding condition, most of mercury is trapped in the silt layer in the undercurrent zone where the sand and silt layers alternate with each other and the river water and groundwater are disjointed, and the migration capacity of mercury is far less than that of loess layer and alluvial layer with close hydraulic connection; (4) infiltration at the flood level accelerates the migration of pollutants to the ground; (5) the soil in the undercurrent zone is overloaded and has seriously exceeded the standard. Although the groundwater monitoring results are safe this time, relevant enterprises or departments should continue to pay attention to improving the gold extraction process, especially vigorously rectify the small workshops for illegal gold extraction and the substandard discharge of the three wastes, and intensify efforts to solve the geological environmental problems of mines left over from history. At present, the occurrence form of mercury in the undercurrent zone is relatively stable, but the water and soil layers have been polluted. The risk of disjointed groundwater pollution can not be ignored while giving priority to the treatment of loess and river alluvial landform areas with close hydraulic links. The research results will provide a scientific basis for water conservancy departments to groundwater prevention and control in water-deficient areas of the Loess Plateau.
In the context of global climate change, geosciences provide an important geological solution to achieve the goal of carbon neutrality, China’s geosciences and geological technologies can play an important role in solving the problem of carbon neutrality. This paper discusses the main problems, opportunities, and challenges that can be solved by the participation of geosciences in carbon neutrality, as well as China’s response to them. The main scientific problems involved and the geological work carried out mainly fall into three categories: (1) Carbon emission reduction technology (natural gas hydrate, geothermal, hot dry rock, nuclear energy, hydropower, wind energy, solar energy, hydrogen energy); (2) carbon sequestration technology (carbon capture and storage, underground space utilization); (3) key minerals needed to support carbon neutralization (raw materials for energy transformation, carbon reduction technology). Therefore, geosciences and geological technologies are needed: First, actively participate in the development of green energy such as natural gas, geothermal energy, hydropower, hot dry rock, and key energy minerals, and develop exploration and exploitation technologies such as geothermal energy and natural gas; the second is to do a good job in geological support for new energy site selection, carry out an in-depth study on geotechnical feasibility and mitigation measures, and form the basis of relevant economic decisions to reduce costs and prevent geological disasters; the third is to develop and coordinate relevant departments of geosciences, organize and carry out strategic research on natural resources, carry out theoretical system research on global climate change and other issues under the guidance of earth system science theory, and coordinate frontier scientific information and advanced technological tools of various disciplines. The goal of carbon neutrality provides new opportunities and challenges for geosciences research. In the future, it is necessary to provide theoretical and technical support from various aspects, enhance the ability of climate adaptation, and support the realization of the goal of carbon peaking and carbon neutrality.
The environmental change in the wetlands in the southern Mongolian Plateau has important impacts on the environment of North China and even the entire Northeast Asia, from which the global climate change can be understood on a large scale, especially the climate change in the Mongolian Plateau. This study extracted the information on the wetlands from three stages of remote sensing images (also referred to as RS images) of the study area, including Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) images of 2000, TM images of 2010, and Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) images of 2018. As indicated by the extraction results, the area of wetlands decreased from 796.90 km2 of 2000 to 666.24 km2 of 2018 at a rate of 7.26 km2/a. The reduced area is 130.66 km2, which is about 16.4% reduction. And the patch number of wetlands decreased from 731 of 2000 to 316 of 2018 in the study area, approximately 56.8% reduction (415 patches), and the decrease in the area of the wetlands mainly occurred in the northwest endorheic region. In terms of wetland types, the change of the wetlands was dominated by the decrease of lacustrine wetlands, of which the area and patch number decreased by 106.2 km2 and 242, respectively. Furthermore, the area of the lacustrine wetlands decreased at the highest rate of 8.70 km2/a in 2010‒2018. From the perspective of spatial distribution, the wetlands in the western part shrunk more notably than those in the eastern part as a whole in the study area. According to local meteorological data, the precipitation gently decreased and the temperature increased (about 1.7℃) from 1975–2018. Overall, the decrease in the area of the wetlands and the temperature rises in the study area were mainly driven by the Mongolian monsoon climate, reduction in precipitation, and human activities.