The late Ordovician Pingliang Formation on the southwestern margin of the Ordos Basin, North China, consists of rhythmic alternations of shale, limestone, and siliceous beds. To explore the possible astronomical forcing preserved in this lithological record, continuous lithological rank and magnetic susceptibility (MS) stratigraphic series were obtained from a ˜ 34 m thick section of the Pingliang Formation at Guanzhuang. Power spectral analysis of the MS and rank series reveal 85.5 cm to 124 cm, 23 cm to 38 cm, and 15 cm to 27 cm thick sedimentary cycles that in ratio match that of late Ordovician short eccentricity, obliquity and precession astronomical cycles. The power spectrum of the MS time series, calibrated to interpreted short orbital eccentricity cycles, aligns with spectral peaks to astronomical parameters, including 95 kyr short orbital eccentricity, 35.3 kyr and 30.6 kyr obliquity, and 19.6 kyr and 16.3 kyr precession cycles. The 15 cm to 27 cm thick limestone–shale couplets mainly represent precession cycles, and siliceous bed deposition may be related to both precession and obliquity forcing. We propose that precession-forced sea-level fluctuations mainly controlled production of lime mud in a shallow marine environment, and transport to the basin. Precession and obliquity controlled biogenic silica productivity, and temperature-dependent preservation of silica may have been influenced by obliquity forcing.
Fang, Q., Wu, H., Hinnov, L. A., Wang, X., Yang, T., Li, H., & Zhang, S. (2016). A record of astronomically forced climate change in a late Ordovician (Sandbian) deep marine sequence, Ordos Basin, North China. Sedimentary Geology, 341, 163–174. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sedgeo.2016.06.002