CENIEH scientists open up new lines of geological research in China

A paper has just been published in the Journal of Quaternary Science on the processes of formation at Donggutuo, an important Chinese early Pleistocene site in the Nihewan Basin, in the north of the country

Alfonso Benito Calvo, head of the Geomorphology and Formation Processes line at the Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana (CENIEH), has recently published a paper in the Journal of Quaternary Sciences, which analyzes the geological processes of formation for the site of Donggutuo, lying in the Nihewan Basin in northern China, where thousands of stone industry utensils and faunal fragments from 1.1 million years ago have appeared.

With this study, the CENIEH opens up new lines of geological research in China, which include the analysis of the spatial distribution, orientation, size and abrasion of the archaopaleontological remains found at this early Pleistocene site, along with analysis of the sedimentary remains where they were preserved: fine sands and silts which were deposited during cool and dry periods when the surrounding lake reached its lowest levels.

“The results indicate that the remains left by hominins were moderately affected by laminar, low-energy flows of water, that is, floods of calm waters generated on the former shore of Lake Nihewan”, explains Benito Calvo.

This paper, led by the Chinese researcher Xhenxiu Jia, of the Key Laboratory of Alpine Ecology of Beijing, and directed by the Chinese researcher Pei Shuwen, of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, also availed of the collaboration of Laura Sánchez-Romero, the holder of a doctorate from the UBU-CENIEH program and currently at the University of California.