Austrian MIS 3/2 loess–palaeosol records—Key sites along a west–east transect

Terhorst, Birgit; Sedov, Sergey; Sprafke, Tobias; Peticzka, Robert; Meyer-Heintze, Simon; Kühn, Peter; Solleiro Rebolledo, Elizabeth (2015). Austrian MIS 3/2 loess–palaeosol records—Key sites along a west–east transect. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 418, pp. 43-56. Elsevier 10.1016/j.palaeo.2014.10.020

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Based on a W–E transect through the northern loess regions of Austria, palaeoenvironmental studies were carried out in three loess–palaeosol sequences (Gunderding, Krems-Wachtberg and Stillfried B locus typicus) to complement available results in the context of a multi-methodological approach. On the base of previously published datings, our study concentrates on the MIS 3/2 transition. The results of detailed micromorphological investigations prove that palaeopedogenesis, frost processes, and sedimentation rates differ in their spatial occurrence in the loess belt of Austria. All three sequences are in line with the general trend of a reduced intensity of pedogenic and cryogenic features from western to (south-)eastern Europe, which can be explained by lower Atlantic moisture influence towards the east. Interstadial cambic horizons are well developed in the MIS 3 sequence of western Austria, whereas the eastern loess profiles only show weak pedogenesis. In all studied sequences frost processes were active during the upper MIS 3 and MIS 2. The studied MIS 2 records are characterised by tundra soils with reductaquic horizons, which is a clear sign for prolonged phases of permafrost. On the spatial scale, the sedimentation rate increases in the eastern loess regions and particularly the Krems-Wachtberg sequence in the centre of the transect experienced an exceptionally high sedimentation rate and can thus be seen as one of the most important high resolution records for the MIS 3/2 transition in European loess regions.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography > Unit Paleo-Geoecology
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography

UniBE Contributor:

Sprafke, Tobias


600 Technology > 630 Agriculture
900 History > 910 Geography & travel








Tobias Norbert Sprafke

Date Deposited:

19 Sep 2019 15:39

Last Modified:

22 Oct 2019 18:50

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

MIS 3/MIS 2 transition, Permafrost, Micromorphology, Loess, Palaeosol, Cryosol, Cambisol




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