Late Glacial and Holocene paleoenvironmental records in the Tatra Mountains, East-Central Europe, based on lake, peat bog and colluvial sedimentary data: A summary reviewQuaternary International


Piotr Kłapyta, Jerzy Zasadni, Joanna Pociask-Karteczka, Agnieszka Gajda, Paweł Franczak
Earth-Surface Processes


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mPiotr Kłapyta a, *, Jerzy Zasadni b,

Paweł Franczak a a Jagiellonian University, Institute of Geography and Spa b Faculty of Geology, Geophysics and Environmental Pro a r t i c l e i n f o

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Available online xxx


Lake sediments

Tatra Mountains was a relatively long (1220e1925 AD) and climatically unstable period, with a cold and 25 AD). During the recorded after 1970 . All rights reserved. and local climate variability (Messerli and Ives, 1997; Beniston, 2000; Slaymaker and Owens, 2004). An alpine type of landscape developed in the course of Quaternary mountain glaciation offers an abundance of natural sedimentary traps (topographic sinks), inherited from erosional and accumulation glacial action including basins in glacially losed depressions, ig. 1). Before the widespread use of the terrestrial cosmogenic nuclide dating method, a combination of morphostratigraphy, palynology, and radiocarbon dating of organic material found in morainic closed depressions or glacial lakes constituted the only means of establishing the age of glacier retreat as well as the construction of deglaciation chronologies (Patzelt and Bortenschlager, 1973; IvyOchs et al., 2009).

Sedimentary records of mountain lake, peat bog, and slope colluvia deposits are a valuable source of paleoclimate data. In high* Corresponding author.

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Quaternary International xxx (2015) 1e19E-mail address: (P. Kłapyta).dry first phase (1220e1540 AD), followed by a cold and humid phase (1540e19 modern warm period, renewed intensification of extreme slope processes has been

AD. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA 1. Introduction

The high mountain environment is very sensitive to regional large cirque and trough overdeepenings, small scoured bedrock, and various inter-morainic c where sedimentary sequences are recorded (Fmid- to late Holocene (at ca. 6 ka, 3.5 ka, 2 ka, after 300 AD, 800e1000 AD, and LIA), separated by relatively stable climate conditions during the 'Holocene thermal optimum' (7.5e6 ka). The LIA in thePeat bogs

Late Glacial


Little Ice Age

Tatra Mountains 1040-6182/© 2015 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA. All rights

Please cite this article in press as: Kłapyta, P.

Europe, based on lake, peat bog and colluvia j.quaint.2015.10.049Joanna Pociask-Karteczka a, Agnieszka Gajda a, tial Management, Gronostajowa 7, 30-387 Krakow, Poland tection, AGH University of Science and Technology, Krakow, Poland a b s t r a c t

The Tatra Mountains are the highest massif in the Carpathian mountain arc (2655 m) and represent a typical alpine landscape developed in the course of Pleistocene glaciations, but are not glacierized today.

The glacial relief of the massif offers an abundance of topographic depressions (cirque overdeepenings, morainic closed depressions) where sedimentary sequences may potentially reveal paleoenvironmental changes that may have occurred since the glaciers' retreat from the Last Glacial Maximum position (~26 e18 ka). We present a review of Late Glacial and Holocene sedimentary archives from the Tatra

Mountains collected in the Polish and non-Polish literature. The data sets (40 sites) included 21 lake, 13 peat bog, and 6 colluvial sediment sites. The entire listed sediment sequence features radiometric datings or at the very least a chronological framework is inferred from the biostratigraphy. The oldest sampled sedimentary sequences were dated back to the Oldest Dryas and were obtained from the deepest glacial lakes located in the subalpine zone (up to 1700 m). Shallow lakes (<10 m) and morainic closed depressions do not reveal sediments older than the Holocene. This can be linked with dry climate conditions and unfavorable hydrologic regimes during the Late Glacial when the studied depressions remained dry over the long term following deglaciation, irrespective of elevation and position in the glaciated valley system. For the Holocene, several millennial-scale phases of climate humidity and increased debris flow activity were identified. The intensification of debris flows is indicated at 9e7.5 ka and during thesedimentary data: A s

Mountains, East-Central Europe, based on lake, peat bog and colluvial ummary reviewLate Glacial and Holocene paleoenviron journal homepage: wwwreserved. , et al., Late Glacial and Holoc l sedimentary data: A summaental records in the Tatra le at ScienceDirect ternational sevier .com/locate/quaintene paleoenvironmental records in the Tatra Mountains, East-Central ry review, Quaternary International (2015), mountain areas, sedimentation is controlled by long-lasting, low energy accumulation of autochthonous material (organic gyttja, peat), punctuated by short-lasting, high energy episodes of allochthonous material delivery caused by rapid mass movement processes. Changes between organic and minerogenic sedimentary units reflect the alternating stable and unstable hillslope phases, respectively (Kotarba, 1992; Jonasson, 1993; Matthews et al., 1997, 2009). Minerogenic sediments with intercalations rich in coarse clastic material are a distinct indicator of high-energy geomorphic processes such as debris flows, slope wash, meltwater transport, and debris avalanches. Debris-flows exert the greatest effect on lake sediment transport and accumulation of terrestrial material across the lake floor, leading to the final disappearance of shallow alpine lakes (Hresko et al., 2012). Sandy and/or silty mineral layers could be interpreted as distal debris-flows facies, which are deposited: (i) at the base of the slope by fluid in the latter stage of each flow (Matthews et al. 1997, 2009), or (ii) in lake depressions, where subaquatic turbidity currents cause gravitational sorting of debris flow sediments (Sletten et al., 2003; Kotarba, 1996a,b). These sedimentologic records have potential as a source of paleoclimate information related to extreme rainfalls and climate humidity (Kotarba, 1996a,b; Sletten and Blikra, 2007). The material transported by slope processes (colluvial sediments, as defined by Matthews, 2001) can also be trapped in various types of closed depressions located in valleys and cirques. Moreover, colluvia resulting from rapid mass movement provide complementary paleoenvironmental information concerning debris flow frequency and studies on lake sediments began in the region in the second half of the 20th century (Pociask-Karteczka, 2013 and references therein).