Environmental inferences and chironomid-based temperature reconstructions from fragmentary records of the Weichselian Early Glacial and Pleniglacial periods in the Niederlausitz area (eastern Germany)

S. Engels*, S.J.P. Bohncke, J.A.A. Bos, O. Heiri, J. Vandenberghe, J. Wallinga

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We inferred past climate conditions from lacustrine sediments intercalated in Weichselian Early Glacial and Early Pleniglacial fluvial and aeolian sediments, exposed in two opencast lignite mines from the Niederlausitz area (eastern Germany). A chronology was established using radiocarbon and luminescence dating methods. Both lithology and chironomid fauna indicate that the former shallow lakes were situated on a floodplain. Palaeotemperature estimates calculated from the fossil chironomid-assemblages of the Early Glacial lacustrine deposit indicate mean July air temperatures of ca. 15 °C, which is in line with results derived in earlier studies from the Niederlausitz area and from northwestern Europe. The Early Pleniglacial lacustrine deposits consist of an organic-rich gyttja, intercalated with sand and silt lenses. The chironomid-assemblages show that a shallow meso- to eutrophic lake was present at the study site, and chironomid-inferred palaeotemperature estimates indicate an abrupt decline in July air temperatures from 15-16 °C to ca. 13 °C. In combination with other proxies from the same record, this suggests a Dansgaard/Oeschger like climate event.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-416
Number of pages12
JournalPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Volume260
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Chironomids
  • Climate reconstruction
  • Floodplain
  • Germany
  • Lake sediments
  • Plant macrofossils
  • Pollen
  • Weichselian

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