Paleolimnological evidence for increased landslide activity due to forest clearing and land-use since 3600 cal BP in the western Swiss Alps

Dapples, Florence; Lotter, André F.; van Leeuwen, Jacqueline; van der Knaap, Willem Oscar; Dimitriadis, Sophia; Oswald, Daniel (2002). Paleolimnological evidence for increased landslide activity due to forest clearing and land-use since 3600 cal BP in the western Swiss Alps. Journal of Paleolimnology, 27(2), pp. 239-248. Springer 10.1023/A:1014215501407

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Schwarzsee is located in the western Swiss Alps, in a region that has been affected by numerous landslides during the Holocene, as evidenced by geological surveys. Lacustrine sediments were cored to a depth of 13 m. The vegetation history of the lake's catchment was reconstructed and investigated to identify possible impacts on slope stability. The pollen analyses record development of forest cover during the middle and late Holocene, and provide strong evidence for regional anthropogenic influence such as forest clearing and agricultural activity. Vegetation change is characterized by continuous landscape denudation that begins at ca. 4300 cal. yrs BP, with five distinct pulses of increased deforestation, at 3650, 2700, 1500, 900, and 450 cal. yrs BP. Each pulse can be attributed to increased human impact, recorded by the appearance or increase of specific anthropogenic indicator plant taxa. These periods of intensified deforestation also appear to be correlated with increased landslide activity in the lake's catchment and increased turbidite frequency in the sediment record. Therefore, this study gives new evidence for a strong influence of vegetation changes on slope stability during the middle and late Holocene in the western Swiss Alps, and may be used as a case study for anthropogenically induced landslide activity.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Palaeoecology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Lotter, André F.; van Leeuwen, Jacqueline and van der Knaap, Willem Oscar

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

0921-2728

Publisher:

Springer

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

02 Jun 2016 08:08

Last Modified:

02 Jun 2016 08:08

Publisher DOI:

10.1023/A:1014215501407

Uncontrolled Keywords:

lake deposits, vegetation history, pollen, landslides, western Swiss Alps, late-Holocene

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.81030

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/81030

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