by Daniel Wolf,
Institut für Geographie, TU Dresden
On the Iberian Peninsula terrestrial archives that shed light on palaeoenvironmental conditions during the last glacial period are very rare. Due to the proximity of the North Atlantic a coupling between marine processes and terrestrial environments is suspected, but still difficult to verify.
Based on extensive stratigraphic work and abundant luminescence dating (OSL) on the upper Tagus loess record, multiple phases have been identified that point to brief and vigorous loess deposition related to gusty winds under generally dry conditions. By means of grain-size patterns, heavy mineral distributions, and δ13C values of n-alkane compounds we are able to draw a detailed picture of last glacial palaeoenvironmental and palaeohydrological conditions in the Iberian interior. Moreover, findings on human occupation patterns in central Iberia suggest that cultural turnover periods that were often tentatively correlated with Heinrich events in fact appear to be related to extreme environmental conditions.