Combining geochronological and stratigraphic information for Central European loess sections

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Loess-paleosol sequences (LPS) are the most extensively available archives for the reconstruction of paleoenvironmental conditions in Central Europe. A huge amount of sections were published during the past centuries providing information concerning stratigraphy, geochemical, biological or sedimentological proxy data. Luminescence dating was applied to develop a chronological framework which allows for correlations to other archives and large-scale proxy data such oxygen isotopic stages or Greenland ice core data.

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However, it is hardly possible to date short-time climatic oscillations (e.g. Dansgaar-Oeschger cycles) or transitions only at one location due to local specifics concerning accumulation rates and erosive processes. This phenomenon ends in the observation that very often dates from different localities do not match well. Thus, the integrated perspective of stratigraphy and luminescence dating from different localities could improve the chronological knowledge.

In this study, we focused on the transition from the local LGM in the sense of the maximum extent of glaciation and a following ‘terrestrial LGM’ with a maximum of aridity and coldness.

Jörg Zens

Jörg Zens, Project D1

The associated sediment sequence contains the Eltville Tephra. It was never dated directly but the surrounding sediments were dated 87 times at 15 localities with different luminescence techniques yielding ages between 13.5 and 49.6 ka. These ages were quantitatively combined to calculate a reproducible common age and compared to a new date directly from the tephra. Additionally, further luminescence ages were determined from the remaining units of the transitions zone and finally correlated to independent proxy data and chronologies.  As a result, a more reliable chronology and environmental model is presented.

Event Information:

Date, Time: 02/05/2016, 15:30 h – 16:15 h

Location: Room S12, Seminargebäude (Building 106), Universitätsstraße 37 , Cologne

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