Rate of loess accumulation in Europe in the Late Weichselian (Late Vistulian)

Stanisław Fedorowicz, Maria Łanczont


The European loess profiles provides evidence of changes in climate in the last glacial cycle. The final stage of loess accumulation took place in the youngest part of the last glacial (28 to 12 ka BP). Loess accumulated in two periods: from 28 to 18 ka BP and from 18 to 13 ka BP. These two stages were separated by a short phase of weaker aeolian activity and weak pedogenesis (initial tundra gleyed soils). The loess sedimentation rate can be defined as a mass accumulation rate (MAR expressed in g/m2 /year). This value was calculated by Frechen et al. (2003) for several dozen loess sites across western and central Europe. In this paper we calculate the MAR for several loess sites in Poland and Ukraine. The MAR distribution across Poland and Ukraine is uneven in these two intervals. The MAR values oscillate between 100 to several thousand g/m2 /year. They markedly increase eastwards, which may be explained by the latitudinal gradient of periglacial climate in the LateWeichselian (= Late Vistulian). The MAR distribution along a N-S trend confirms its large range in western and central Europe. However, the most easterly profiles (Polish and Ukrainian ones) show less variable thicknesses as the MAR was stable at a relatively low level from several hundred to more than a thousand g/m2 /year. This stability of the MAR characterized both loess-forming intervals in this part of Europe.


European loess; Upper Weichselian; mass accumulation rates (MAR); TL; optically stimulated luminescence (OSL)

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