Upper Pleistocene palaeoenvironmental changes at the Zwierzyniec site, Central Poland

Edyta Kalińska-Nartiša, Jan Dzierżek, Krzysztof Bińka, Andrzej Borkowski, Paweł Rydelek, Piotr Zawrzykraj

Abstract


The paper presents the data on an Eemian–Late Glacial sedimentary sequence from the Zwierzyniec site, central Poland. A number of boreholes document one or two organic layers that occur beneath one or two horizons of clayey and silty deposits of ice-dammed lakes. This study demonstrates to which extent the Zwierzyniec site can contribute to a better understanding of the palaeoenvironmental changes during the Eemian–Vistulian time-frame in central Poland. To study it, a multi-proxy approach was applied, involving: palynological and plant macrofossil analysis, study of rounding of quartz grains and morphology of their surface, and investigations of sand mineralogy and till petrography. The results show that a till bed is overlain by a sandy series corresponding to the glacial-interglacial transition. Either one or two distinct peaks of organic accumulation are evidenced by peat horizons. The lower horizon records spectra with hazel and hornbeam, and did, therefore, accumulate in the Eemian. Observed only in some boreholes, the upper peat horizon marks the Brørup (or the lower part of the Rederstall stadial) represented by forest-steppe conditions with patchy mosaics of larch and further transition into sedges and herbaceous taxa. Localized in between the two peat sequences, the sandy horizon marks a long-lasting aeolian transformation with weathering by frost in the Early Vistulian. Again, significant changes of the palaeoenvironmental regime occurred, and are manifested in the one or two horizons of the glaciolacustrine sediments. This corresponded to the last glaciation in the region, when the ice-dammed lakes formed during the Main Stadial.


Keywords


pollen; plant macrofossils; glaciolacustrine; Eemian–Vistulian sequence; palaeoenvironment; central Poland

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