Record of environmental changes and fluvial phases in the Late Holocene within the area of Podhale (the Carpathians, southern Poland): studies in the Falsztyński valley

Witold Paweł Alexandrowicz

Abstract


The Falsztyński valley, in the eastern part of Podhale, Poland includes a low terrace spanning the stream channel, the structure of which has been studied in nine profiles. Five gravel levels and five mud levels with plant and abundant mollusc remains are described, temporally constrained by ten radiocarbon dates. The terrace deposits represent the terminal part of the Atlantic Phase and all of the Late Holocene. The mollusc analysis helped identify phases of environmental change, notably one in the Middle Ages connected with intensive settlement activities in the area of Podhale. These include deforestation, affecting mollusc communities with replacement of forest assemblages by open-country species. The gravel levels records increased fluvial activity periods correlated with humid climate phases. It is possible to distinguish five such periods corresponding to the transition of the Atlantic and Subboreal phases, the middle part of the Subboreal Phase, the transition of the Subboreal and  Subatlantic phases, the younger part of  the Subatlantic Phase, and the last 200 years. These correspond to the periods of increased fluvial activity in the valleys of other Carpathian rivers.


Keywords


environmental changes; molluscs; flood phases; Late Holocene; Podhale Basin; Southern Poland

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7306/gq.1466