Paleoenvironments from robust loess stratigraphy using high-resolution color and grain-size data of the last glacial Krems-Wachtberg record (NE Austria)

Sprafke, Tobias; Schulte, Philipp; Meyer-Heintze, Simon; Händel, Marc; Einwögerer, Thomas; Simon, Ulrich; Peticzka, Robert; Schäfer, Christian; Lehmkuhl, Frank; Terhorst, Birgit (2020). Paleoenvironments from robust loess stratigraphy using high-resolution color and grain-size data of the last glacial Krems-Wachtberg record (NE Austria). Quaternary science reviews, 248, p. 106602. Elsevier 10.1016/j.quascirev.2020.106602

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The complex interplay of dust sedimentation, pedogenesis, and erosion/reworking in the formation of loess-paleosol sequences (LPS) challenges paleoenvironmental proxies. Here we show that color and grain size are essential parameters characterizing loess profiles and support robust stratigraphies as a basis for reconstructions in the context of local geo-ecological and large-scale paleoclimatic evolution. Detailed paleoenvironmental records from the period since the arrival of anatomically modern humans to the last glacial maximum are scarce in the Alpine surroundings. The c. 7.5 m thick LPS Krems-Wachtberg, NE Austria, known for its well-preserved Upper Paleolithic context at a depth of 5.5 m, formed between 40 and 20 ka BP by quasi-continuous dust-sedimentation, interrupted by phases of incipient pedogenesis and local reworking. The new KW2015 composite is based on three sections studied and sampled at 2.5 cm resolution. Color and grain size data support a robust stratigraphy for reconstructions of the pedosedimentary evolution. The marked transition from oxidized to reduced paleosols of KW2015 around 34–35 ka corresponds to the Middle-to Upper Pleniglacial transition as part of a general cooling trend from marine isotope stage (MIS) 3 to 2, intensely modulated by millennial-scale climatic fluctuations as recorded in the Greenland ice core data. The distinct response of KW2015 to these trends highlights that reconstructing LPS evolution based on a robust stratigraphy is a prerequisite to paleoenvironmental proxy interpretation.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

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

Subjects:

500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology
900 History > 910 Geography & travel
900 History > 930 History of ancient world (to ca. 499)

ISSN:

0277-3791

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Tobias Norbert Sprafke

Date Deposited:

27 Jan 2021 08:24

Last Modified:

10 Mar 2021 07:37

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.quascirev.2020.106602

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Loess Paleosol Spectrophotometry Granulometry Paleoenvironment Paleoclimate Alpine foreland Last Glacial Maximum Late Pleistocene Upper Paleolithic

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/149559

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/149559

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