The paper presents characteristics of the Pleistocene sediments in the western part of the Holy Cross Mountains. They are subdivided into four complexes and their stratigraphic setting is referred to the updated scheme for the Pleistocene of Poland. The Preglacial Complex includes fluvial sediments characteristic for its lack of Scandinavian material. Sediments of three main glaciations (Nidanian, Sanian 1 and Sanian 2) within the South Polish Complex, are referred also as the South Polish Glaciations. The oldest of these glaciations (Nidanian) is separated from the middle glaciation (Sanian 1) by sediments of the Podlasian Interglacial, represented by clay at the Kozi Grzbiet Cave that contains faunal remains and record of the Brunhes/Matuyama palaeomagnetic boundary. During the middle (Sanian 1) and youngest glaciation (Sanian 2), the Holy Cross Mountains were almost completely covered by the Scandinavian ice sheet, forming glacial deposits separated by fluvial series of the Ferdynandovian Interglacial. The Middle Polish Complex begins with sediments of the Mazovian Interglacial, represented by a pollen record from the Zakrucze site. They are followed by deposits of periglacial and fluvial origin of the Liwiecian Glaciation, Zbójnian Interglacial, Krznanian Glaciation and Lublinian Interglacial. The following glaciation (Odranian) is represented by the youngest glacial deposits that document presence of the Scandinavian ice-sheet in the westernmost part of the Holy Cross Mountains. The North Polish Complex is composed of a climatic warming (Eemian Interglacial) and cooling (Vistulian Glaciation), and is represented by valley and periglacial deposits. The last cooling of the Pleistocene is recorded in faunal remains in the Raj Cave.
The objective of this paper is a review of data on reconstruction of the Pleistocene palaeogeography (environment) and stratigraphy based on studies of karst sites in the Świętokrzyskie (Holy Cross) Mountains. Although the number of known Pleistocene karst sites in this region is small, the investigations of them have played a crucial role in a research of the Pleistocene. The study of the Kozi Grzbiet site provided the first evidences for new climatostratigraphy and classification of glaciations in Poland. The explanation of genesis of cryogenic calcite crystals discovered in Chelosiowa Jama-Jaskinia Jaworznicka cave system started a new direction of palaeoenvironmental reconstructions of the last glacial period. Kadzielnia palaeontological site was one of the first Early Pleistocene fossil assemblages in karst studied in Poland, whereas Raj cave provided abundant palaeontological and archaeological material from the Last Glacial. Other sites are of less scientific importance, however some of them can be used in education and popularisation of geosciences. Small number of already studied sites does not exclude discoveries of next sites of high scientific importance.
According to the current state of research five sand-gravel accumulation levels of Quaternary age are visible in the morphology of the western part of the Holy Cross Mountains, within the Wierna Rzeka, Hutka and Bobrza river valley systems and the lower stretches of the Biała Nida and Czarna Nida river valleys. Two upper levels (V and IV) correspond to valleys formed during the Odranian Glaciation-Saalian, MIS6 and its reccesional phases under the influence of proglacial and extraglacial waters beyond the extent (to the east) of the maximal ice-sheet limit of this glaciation, reaching to the present-day Leśnica-Gnieździska-Łopuszno line. Two lower levels (III and II) are terraces that were typically formed during the climatic conditions thatprevailed during Vistulian stadials. Sands and gravels of the three upper levels (V−III) contain numerous debris flow deposits and cryoturbation structures documenting periglacial conditions during their accumulation. The lowermost level (I) is a typical Holocene floodplain.
This paper presents the Late Glacial stage of the development of the Białe Ługi peatland in the southern Holy Cross Mountains, based on a comprehensive palaeoenvironmental data. A complex analysis of palynology, Cladocera, sed imentology, geochemistry and 14C dating were used. Organic deposition was initiated during the Oldest Dryas. The sedimentary record of the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems reflects considerable difference between cooler (Oldest, Older and Younger Dryas) and warmer phases (Břlling and Allerřd). Periods of intensified interaction between aeolian processes and peatland are related to stages of disappearing vegetation and changes in aquatic invertebrate communities. We therefore suggest that peatlands were created as a result of local lithological-structural, tectonic, hydrogeological and morphological conditions, and the peatland development rate was largely influenced by changing climatic conditions, which determined local vegetation development, intensity of denudation processes and water level changes. The results validate significance of selection and use of several methods, as well as value of biogenic deposits from the Białe Ługi peatland as archives of past climate change in the Małopolska Upland. Relatively stable water conditions and uninter rupted biogenic sedimentation in the Late Glacial that were provided by the geological structure and relief suggest the studied peatland is a leading one in the region.
The Vistulian decline was a period of rapid environmental events. The authors correlated ages of the last Scandinavian Ice Sheet limits in northern Poland with ages of prominent events adapting the conditions of periglacial environment of Central Poland in response to the Late Vistulian climate warming. Ages from previous thematic geological and palaeogeographical studies were collected. The approach used indicates that despite methodological uncertainties and sometimes inconsistency of ages, it is especially helpful in timing of first warming signals (ca. 19–18 cal ka BP) and establishing of environmentally bipartite 3 millennia of the Oldest Dryas in the extraglacial zone. Abrupt warming at the onset of the Bølling-Allerød is well registered in biotic and abiotic archives available from Central Poland and remains in agreement with the large recession of the southern ice sheet margin.
The article is focused on the most recent investigations of glaciotectonic structures in high escarpment exposures of the Vistula valley from Dobrzyń to Kuzki in the western part of the Płock Basin. Deformations involve Neogene and occasionally the Lower Pleistocene deposits and they are not expressed as landforms. Structural investigations and analysis of archival geological data provided new information on the origin of large-scale shear structures. Results obtained are clearly contrary to the concept of Brykczyński (1982) regarding valley-side glaciotectonics in the Płock Basin. An emergence of the extensive zone of serial thrust structures of significant amplitude (up to 100–150 m) was found to have not been controlled by a palaeovalley. A driving mechanism is interpreted as a gravity spreading in front of ice sheets advancing from north-northeast during the South Polish Complex (Dorst-Elsterian).
Luminescence dating is based mainly on the dosimetric properties of quartz and feldspar. These minerals are among the most popular found on Earth, resulting in the possibility of using luminescence methods in practically any environment. Currently, quartz remains the best recognized mineral in terms of dosimetric properties, particularly with regards to results obtained for quartz grains, which are regarded as being the most reliable in luminescence dating. Supporters of luminescence methods are constantly growing, however, these groups do not always have sufficient knowledge to avoid even the most basic of issues that may be encountered overall – from the process of sampling through to the awareness of what a single luminescence result represents. The present paper provides an overview of several practical aspects of luminescence dating such as correct sampling procedures and all necessary information regarding the calculation of the dose rate and equivalent dose with particular reference to potential problems that occur when the age of the sample is being determined. All these aspects are crucial for obtaining a reliable dating result, on the other hand, they remain a potential source of uncertainty.
Results of a geomorphologic study as well as radiocarbon and pollen analyses of sediments in small basins of the Jasło-Sanok Depression (Western Carpathians) are summarised. Floors of these basins, carved in soft shale-sandstone Krosno Beds, are covered with channel fluvial deposits and oxbow-lake sediments with lake chalk and peat accumulated in the Late Vistulian and Holocene. Since the early Atlantic Phase (ca 8,400–7,900 BP) the apparent acceleration of overbank (flood) deposition intermitting the peat accumulation is observed. The plant succession includes the Late Glacial (pre-Allerød, Allerød and Younger Dryas) with coniferous park forests, through mixed deciduous forests of the Holocene with elm, hazel, oak and lime as well as spruce-elm forests with alder in wetlands, up to present-day hornbeam forests (Tilio-Carpinetum of various types) and extra-zonal Carpathian beech forests (Dentario-Glandulosae- Fagetum). Abies alba (fir) is frequent in both these association types. First evidences of synanthropic plants that prove presence of prehistoric man appeared in the Subboreal Phase. The oldest radiocarbon date 13,550±100 BP (Gd-7355) [16,710–16,085 b2k], from a bottom part of the Humniska section is probably overestimated. This is indicated by palynological data, which suggest attribution of this section to the older Allerød. Small thickness of gravel blanket from the Plenivistulian termination and the beginning of the Late Vistulian, as well as large areas devoid of weathering and solifluction covers indicate that during the Plenivistulian weathering processes and removal of silt-clay material predominated in the basins. In that time the deflation was among important processes, which is proved by deflation troughs, faceted cobbles and thick covers of the Carpathian type of loess. The Besko Basin has pre-Vistulian tectonic foundation, while landforms of its floor are of erosion-degradation origin and formed during the last Scandinavian glaciation. In the Holocene the basin floors were overbuilt with fluvial deposits up to 8 m thick.
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