Postglacial palaeoenvironmental changesin the area surrounding Lake Udriku in North Estonia

Leeli Amon, Leili Saarse


Multiproxy data (plant macrofossils, AMS 14C radiocarbon dates, grain-size distribution, loss-on-ignition and magnetic susceptibility) from Lake Udriku Suurjärv in North Estonia were used to interpret local environmental changes during the postglacial period between 13 800 and 11 000 cal yr BP. Sediment lithology is complex but can roughly be described as silt overlain by silty gyttja, gyttjaand peat. The macrofossil diagram shows the local vegetation development from Late Glacial pioneer communities to early Holocenecommunities. The vegetation succession started predominately with Salix polaris, which was later replaced by Dryas octopetala. Thediversity of plant macrofossils increased significantly during the warmer part of the AllerÝd. Both the diversity and the number ofplant macrofossils are low in the Younger Dryas, confirming the severe climatic conditions found during this interval. During the LateGlacial to Holocene transition, aquatic taxa prevail among plant macrofossils. The absence of tree remains among macrofossils of thisperiod suggests that trees were not locally present or were not growing near the studied lake. Proxy data indicate several environmental changes. The sediment composition and vegetation reflect cooler and warmer episodes and confirm that the study area has been freeof ice since 13 800 cal yr BP.


Lake Udriku Suurjärv; Late Weichselian; macrofossils; lithostratigraphy; AMS 14C dates

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