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Loess in the Vojvodina region (Northern Serbia): an essential link between European and Asian Pleistocene environments

  • S.B. Marković (a1), U. Hambach (a2), T. Stevens (a1) (a3), M. Jovanović (a1), K. O'Hara-Dhand (a4), B. Basarin (a1), H. Lu (a5), I. Smalley (a4), B. Buggle (a2), M. Zech (a2) (a6), Z. Svirčev (a7), P. Sümegi (a8), N. Milojković (a1) and L. Zöller (a2)...

Abstract

Loess deposits in the Vojvodina region, northern Serbia, are among the oldest and most complete loess-paleosol sequences in Europe to date. These thick sequences contain a detailed paleoclimatic record from the late Early Pleistocene. Based on the correlation of detailed magnetic susceptibility (MS) records from Vojvodina with the Chinese loess record and deep-sea isotope stratigraphy we here reconfirm and expand on a stratigraphic model of the Vojvodinian loess-paleosol chronostratigraphic sequence following the Chinese loess stratigraphic system.

Variations in MS, dust accumulation rates, and the intensity of pedogenesis demonstrate evidence for a Middle Pleistocene climatic and environmental transition. The onset of loess deposition in Vojvodina also indicates a direct link between dust generation in Europe and that in the interior of Eurasia since the Early Pleistocene. The youngest part of the Early Pleistocene and oldest part of the Middle Pleistocene is characterised by relatively uniform dust accumulation and soil formation rates as well as relatively high magnetic susceptibility values. In contrast, the last five interglacial-glacial cycles are characterised by sharp environmental differences between high dust accumulation rates during the glacials and low rates observed during soil development. The data presented in this study demonstrate the great potential of Vovjodina's loess archives for accurate reconstruction of continental Eurasian Pleistocene climatic and environmental evolution.

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