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Concept: Gansu


For more than 70 years unusual sauropod trackways have played a pivotal role in debates about the swimming ability of sauropods. Most claims that sauropods could swim have been based on manus-only or manus-dominated trackways. However none of these incomplete trackways has been entirely convincing, and most have proved to be taphonomic artifacts, either undertracks or the result of differential depth of penetration of manus and pes tracks, but otherwise showed the typical pattern of normal walking trackways. Here we report an assemblage of unusual sauropod tracks from the Lower Cretaceous Hekou Group of Gansu Province, northern China, characterized by the preservation of only the pes claw traces, that we interpret as having been left by walking, not buoyant or swimming, individuals. They are interpreted as the result of animals moving on a soft mud-silt substrate, projecting their claws deeply to register their traces on an underlying sand layer where they gained more grip during progression. Other sauropod walking trackways on the same surface with both pes and manus traces preserved, were probably left earlier on relatively firm substrates that predated the deposition of soft mud and silt . Presently, there is no convincing evidence of swimming sauropods from their trackways, which is not to say that sauropods did not swim at all.

Concepts: Yellow River, Evidence, Swimming, Preservation, Sauropoda, Dinosaur, Claw, Gansu


Noninvasive examination methods of chemical composition and particle size are presented here based on visible spectroscopy to achieve the identification and recording of mineral pigments used on ancient wall paintings. The normalized spectral curve, slope and curvature extracted from visible spectral reflectance are combined with adjustable weighting coefficients to construct the identification feature space, and Euclid distances between spectral reflectance from wall paintings and a reference database are calculated in the feature space as the discriminant criterion to identify the chemical composition of mineral pigments. A parametric relationship between the integral quantity of spectral reflectance and logarithm of mean particle size is established using a quadratic polynomial to accomplish the noninvasive prediction of mineral pigment particle size used on ancient wall paintings. The feasibility of the proposed methods is validated by the in situ nondestructive identification of the wall paintings in the Mogao Grottoes at Dunhuang. Chinese painting styles and historical evolution are then analyzed according to the identification results of 16 different grottoes constructed from the Sixteen Kingdoms to the Yuan Dynasty.

Concepts: China, Polynomial, Painting, Conic section, Gansu, Polynomials, Mogao Caves, Dunhuang


China hosts the world’s largest market for wind-generated electricity. The financial return and carbon reduction benefits from wind power are sensitive to changing wind resources. Wind data derived from an assimilated meteorological database are used here to estimate what the wind generated electricity in China would have been on an hourly basis over the period 1979 to 2015 at a geographical resolution of approximately 50 km × 50 km. The analysis indicates a secular decrease in generating potential over this interval, with the largest declines observed for western Inner Mongolia (15 ± 7%) and the northern part of Gansu (17 ± 8%), two leading wind investment areas. The decrease is associated with long-term warming in the vicinity of the Siberian High (SH), correlated also with the observed secular increase in global average surface temperatures. The long-term trend is modulated by variability relating to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the Arctic Oscillation (AO). A linear regression model incorporating indices for the PDO and AO, as well as the declining trend, can account for the interannual variability of wind power, suggesting that advances in long-term forecasting could be exploited to markedly improve management of future energy systems.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Linear regression, People's Republic of China, Forecasting, Wind, Inner Mongolia, Mongolia, Gansu


There are 56 officially-recognized ethnic groups in China. However, the distinct geographic patterns of various ethnic groups in relation to the physical environment in China have rarely been investigated. Based on the geo-referenced physical environmental parameters of 455 Han, Tu, Hui, Salar, Mongolian, and Tibetan communities in Qinghai, we found that the communities could be statistically demarcated by temperature and aridity threshold according to their ethnicity, implying that the geographic distribution of each ethnic group is mediated by the physical environment. We also observed that the habitat of each ethnic group is ecologically compatible with current subsistence strategies. Tibetans settle in cold and humid high-altitude regions owing to the cultivation of highland barley and the breeding of yak, dzo, Tibetan sheep and Tibetan goat. Mongolians survive by animal husbandry in cold and dry grassland areas. Han and Tu people settle in the Huangshui River Valley, which offers relatively humid climate and flat land for agriculture. Hui and Salar people occupy the Yellow River Valley with its relatively arid environment and grassland vegetation suitable for animal breeding. Our findings offer a new perspective in explaining the geographic patterns and the varieties of ethnic groups in China and elsewhere.

Concepts: China, Han Chinese, People's Republic of China, Ethnic group, Tibet, Gansu, Qinghai, Xinjiang


Environmental impacts and risks related to carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and storage (CCS) projects may have direct effects on the decision-making process during CCS site selection. This paper proposes a novel method of environmental optimization for CCS site selection using China’s ecological red line approach. Moreover, this paper established a GIS based spatial analysis model of environmental optimization during CCS site selection by a large database. The comprehensive data coverage of environmental elements and fine 1 km spatial resolution were used in the database. The quartile method was used for value assignment for specific indicators including the prohibited index and restricted index. The screening results show that areas classified as having high environmental suitability (classes III and IV) in China account for 620,800 km(2) and 156,600 km(2), respectively, and are mainly distributed in Inner Mongolia, Qinghai and Xinjiang. The environmental suitability class IV areas of Bayingol Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture, Hotan Prefecture, Aksu Prefecture, Hulunbuir, Xilingol League and other prefecture-level regions not only cover large land areas, but also form a continuous area in the three provincial-level administrative units. This study may benefit the national macro-strategic deployment and implementation of CCS spatial layout and environmental management in China.

Concepts: Carbon dioxide, Qing Dynasty, Inner Mongolia, Tang Dynasty, Mongolia, Gansu, Hui people, Xinjiang


The aim of the study was to investigate knowledge and use of wild food plants and fungi in a highland valley in the Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Region on the north-eastern edges of the Tibetan Plateau.

Concepts: People's Republic of China, Tibet Autonomous Region, Tibet, Tibetan people, Gansu, Tibetan Plateau, Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Hezuo


In China, rabies remains an ongoing threat to public health. Although control efforts have been effective in reducing the number of annual cases, the virus continues to spread into new areas. Tibet, Qinghai, Gansu and Ningxia in western China have, until recently, reported only a handful of events. However, since 2011, there have been increasing numbers of cases recorded in these areas. In this study, we report the collection and analysis of samples collected from these regions. We find that cases originate from two different sources. Strains collected from Gansu and Ningxia are closely related to the primary lineage associated with the current epizootic, whereas those from Tibet and Qinghai are related to the Arctic-like-2 lineage that is most commonly associated with wildlife cases in China. Thus, it appears that while the epizootic is beginning to encroach into Gansu and Ningxia, Tibet and Qinghai a significant number of rabies cases originate from wildlife.

Concepts: Yellow River, Tibet, Tang Dynasty, Tibetan people, Gansu, Ningxia, Hui people, Xinjiang


Airborne pollutant characteristics, potential sources, and variation trends of cause are investigated based on the hourly air concentrations of gaseous pollutants and particulate matter from 2013 to 2016 in Lanzhou. The mean concentration of SO2, NO2, CO, 8-hO3, PM2.5, and PM10 was 25.2 ± 16.0 μg m-3, 46.5 ± 21.1 μg m-3, 1.3 ± 0.7 mg m-3, 77.8 ± 45.5 μg m-3, 58.7 ± 32.9 μg m-3, and 131.1 ± 86.2 μg m-3, respectively. The concentrations of SO2, PM10, and PM2.5 present decreasing trends while NO2, CO, and O3 present increasing trends. PM is the most frequent major pollutants with much higher value than standard limit. However, NO2 pollution had obvious trends to reach the limit and was more serious in Lanzhou compared with other Chinese cities. Relationship between air pollutants and meteorological parameters suggested that lower primary pollutants were associated with higher wind speed from north and west. Modeled back trajectory demonstrated that the transport of air masses from the Hexi Corridor and Inner Mongolia was responsible for the high concentrations of the air pollutants in wintertime, and high PM10 level in springtime was related to long-range transport of dust from desert areas of the Sinkiang and the Central Asia. Effects of local pollutant emissions and meteorological condition were preliminary analyzed. Improvement of air quality might be related to the decreasing of pollutant emissions due to strict emissions controls, and the contribution of meteorological condition was not explicit and should be further investigated.

Concepts: United States Environmental Protection Agency, Particulate, Smog, Air pollution, Volcano, Dust, Pollutants, Gansu


Human echinococcoses are parasitic helminth infections that constitute a serious public health concern in several regions across the world. Cystic (CE) and alveolar echinococcosis (AE) in China represent a high proportion of the total global burden of these infections. This study was conducted to predict the spatial distribution of human seropositivity for Echinococcus species in Xiji County, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region (NHAR), with the aim of identifying communities where targeted prevention and control efforts are required.

Concepts: Public health, Health, Yellow River, Inner Mongolia, Economy of the People's Republic of China, Gansu, Ningxia, Hui people


Diarrhea a serious disease, reported to be related with changes in microbial diversity is widely epidemic in the yaks on the Qinghai Tibet plateau. Herein, we preformed high-throughput sequencing of the parasitic diversity in 3 groups of yaks i.e. healthy adult yaks (HA), diarrheic adult yaks (DA) and diarrheic yak calves (DC) in Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. The results showed that 2 Phyla, 3 Classes, 5 Orders, 4 Families and 6 Genera were discovered in HA yaks; 2 Phyla, 3 Classes, 6 Orders, 6 Families and 8 Genera were found in DA yaks while 2 Phyla, 5 Classes, 5 Orders, 10 Families and 7 Genera were observed in DC yaks. At Phylum level, Nematoda and Apicomplexa were detected in all three yak groups; however, Apicomplexa was found to be conspicuously higher in the DC yaks as compared to DA yaks (p < 0.05). At Class level, Litostomatea, Chromadorea and Gregarinasina were found in all three yak groups, while Spirotrichea and Colpodea were only found in the DC yaks. At Order level, Vestibuliferida, Tritrichomonadida, Rhabditida and Eugregarinorida were observed in all three yak groups; and Neogregarinorida was noted HA and DC yaks while Trichomonadida and Hypotrichomonadida were only found in DA yaks. Tritrichomonadida was found to be relatively higher in the DA yaks when compared with HA yaks (p < 0.05) and DC yaks (p < 0.05). At Family level, Simplicimonadidae and Haemonchidae were found in all three yak groups. Trichostrongylidae was observed in both HA and DA yak groups. Syncystidae was established in both HA and DC yak groups except DA yaks. Trichomonadidae and Dictyocaulidae were only found in DA yaks. Plectidae, Strongylidae, Echinamoebidae, Lecudinidae, Pseudokeronopsidae and Panagrolaimidae were only discovered in DC yaks. Simplicimonadidae was found to be remarkably higher in DA yaks as compared to HA and DC yak groups (p < 0.05); and Haemonchidae was detected at higher levels in HA yaks as compared to DA and DC yaks (p < 0.05). At Genus level, Entamoeba, Buxtonella and Haemonchus were found in all three yak groups. Plectus and Echinamoeba were only found in DC yaks; while Trichostrongylus and Trepomonas were observed in HA and DA yak groups. The genus Gregarina was found in both diarrheic yak groups; while the genera of Tetratrichomonas and Dictyocaulus were observed in DA yaks only. The present study herein reported an insight of the change of parasitic diversity in diarrheic yaks at high altitude area, which shall make contribution towards the solid prevention of diarrhea in yaks.

Concepts: Biology, Species, Apicomplexa, Cattle, Genus, Phylum, Tibet, Gansu