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Holocene Solar Activity Reconstructions Using 10Be in Huguangyan Maar Lake Sediments

Over long timescales, quantitative information about past solar activity can only be obtained using a method based upon indirect proxies, such as the cosmogenic isotopes 10Be in natural stratified archives. It provides scientific data for further study of solar activity change history, which is an important external forcing factor of earths climate change.

However, there are few reports on the reconstruction of Holocene solar activity history recorded by 10Be in low-latitude regions.

A research team led by Prof. ZHOU Weijian from Institute of Earth Environment(IEE), Chinese Academy of Sciences reported a new high-resolution Holocene 10Be record from Huguangyan Maar Lake in subtropical-tropical South China, aimed to detect the atmospheric 10Be production signal in low-latitude regions.

After minimizing climatic effects by regression analyses between 10Be concentration and climatic proxies from the same archive, they successfully distinguished variations in geomagnetic field intensity and solar activity using 2000-yr low and high-pass filtering, respectively, of the residual 10Be record (a proxy of the atmospheric 10Be production rate).

The resulting 10Be-derived record of geomagnetic field intensity was generally comparable with geomagnetic models, and the solar-modulated 10Be signal showed significant correlations with solar activity proxies. The preservation of 10Be production signal in the sediments of this low-latitude maar lake highlighted the largely unexplored potential as well as limitations of 10Be as a tool to reconstruct variations in solar activity and geomagnetic field intensity.

The study, published in Geophysical Research Letters, was was jointly supported by Key Research Program of Frontier Sciences, CAS, Grant No. QYZDY-SSW-DQC010, the MOST special fund for State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology. X. Wang further acknowledges support from NSFC (grant 41672178) and China Geological Survey (DD20160306).

Fig.1 Time series of 10Be concentration and paleoenvironmental proxies from Huguangyan Maar Lake since 10 ka. (Image by Tang et al.)

 Fig.2 10Be production rate, comparisons of 10Be-based geomagnetic intensity and solar activity with geomagnetic dipole field model and recent solar activity reconstructions. (Image by Tang et al.)

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