Science and earth science

Studia Quaternaria

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Studia Quaternaria | 2006 | Vol. 23 |

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Abstract

The Quaternary overburden of the giant Belchatów browncoal mine has provided - and still provides - one of the world's best exposures of Pleistocene glacial sediments. The exceptional geological setting - a graben that has been active from the beginning of the Alpine orogeny - provides conditions for preservation of terrestrial glacial deposits that are unique. Outcrops in Pleistocene glaciation-related sediments are commonly small, but the well preserved glacial sediments in the Belchatów mine can be studied without significant interruptions in the walls for several kilometers. In addition, the ongoing exploitation provides an opportunity to obtain a 3-D picture of the faciès and facies transitions that have no counterpart elsewhere. The stratigraphie relationships between a large number of glacial and interglacial units, some of which have a limited lateral extent, could thus be unraveled. It appears that the glacigenic succession comprises at least eight (but probably more) stratigraphie levels with glacial diamictons, thus recording an unmatched history of a glaciated area.
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Authors and Affiliations

Antonius J. (Tom) van Loon
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Abstract

In the glacial deposits of the Polish Lowland, there are erratic boulders drifted with the last continental ice sheet. Their outcrops are situated in the Baltic Shield area as well as south of it, in the bottom of the central and southern Baltic Sea. Indicator erratics, statistical erratics and the others can be distinguished in coarse-gravels associations. The studies on identification of the indicator erratics are designed for specification of the Scandinavian and Baltic alimentation centres of glacial tills of different age and their fluvioglacial counterparts; they are also aimed at determining the direction of the distant transport as well as the ice-sheet and its streams' transgression routes to the deposition places. Effectiveness of the analysis depends to a large extent on the correct classification of erratics, and this ability happens in turn to be burdened with a subjective evaluation of the clearly visible features of an erratic. In the present paper, an attention is paid to advantages and disadvantages of the analysis on the indicator boulders of the glacial deposits.
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Authors and Affiliations

Maria Górska
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Abstract

The presented climatostratigraphy of the Holocene on the territory of Poland is based on a range of biotic, sedimentological, geomorphological and isotopic records, but also takes into account fluctuations of temperature and hydrologi- cal regime. The author upholds the traditional division of the Holocene into three thermic phases and discusses in detail distinct fluctuations in the hydrological regime reflected in the alteration of wetter and drier phases. Although their profiles tend to be blurred, the lower boundaries of the wetter phases, which set off the transformation of geoeco- systems (a process reflected in the first clusters of extreme events), may be used to identify regional stratigraphic subdivisions. The superimposed phases of human activity have much smaller spatial extent.
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Authors and Affiliations

Leszek Starkel
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Abstract

The term extreme rainfall refers to an event during which the thresholds of various hydrological and geomorphic processes are exceeded. The frequency of extremes varies in different climatic zones and in time. The clustering of extreme events happens when the extremes are repeated every 2–3 years, every year or even several times a year. Such clusterings disturb the equilibrium of slope and river channel systems and are separated by periods of stability and recovery. The occurences of clusters are exemplified by present – day processes, historical records and geological records. On this base a model of phases with frequent and rare clusterings during the Holocene was constructed.
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Authors and Affiliations

Leszek Starkel
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Abstract

The paper presents the division of Holocene into four palynostratigraphical units: early, Holocene, middle Holocene, late Holocene - older part, and late Holocene - younger part. It stresses that the best defined border is that between the Late Glacial and early Holocene, and all other "borders" have the character of broad transitional zones. The attention is also paid to the complex of changes starting between 4000 and 3000 BP connected with the retreat of hazel and oak and expansion of hornbeam and beech with fir spreading in the south and spruce in the north-east of Poland. From ca. 6000 BP on the human activities cause increasing changes in vegetation that are difficult to be distinguished from those generated by natural factor.
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Authors and Affiliations

Magdalena Ralska-Jasiewiczowa
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Abstract

This paper presents discussion on the results of subfossil Cladocera analyses from five lakes in Poland (Przedni Staw Lake, Perespilno Lake, Gościąż Lake, Imiołki- fossil lake and Ostrowite Lake). The Cladocera are represented in sediments by remains of planktonic (Bosminidae, Daphnidae) and littoral (Chydoridae) forms. Cladoceran assemblage phases ("ecostratigraphy") were determined on the basis of changes in dominance of indicator species and past ecological conditions were reconstructed. The results are being discussed from the viewpoint of climate change and anthropogenic activity and their role in the lake evolution. Moreover, an attempt to use the cladoceran phases for stratigraphic division of the Late Glacial and Holocene was made. During the Bolling/Allerod interstadial, distinguished on the basis of Pollen analysis, Cladocera indicated short phase of bad condition (dry or cold?), probably as the Old Dryas climate results. The beginning of Holocene are characterized, in mountain and lowland lakes, by high increase in the number of species and specimens of Cladocera. This described clear warming and marked the boundary Late Glacial/Holocene. It was indicated that the "ecostratigraphy" based on Cladocera can be useful for climatostratigraphy, if climate was the major factor controlling the development of freshwater lakes.
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Authors and Affiliations

Krystyna Szeroczyńska
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Abstract

Climate deterioration of the Little Ice Age was manifested in the most spectacular way in the glaciated high mountains, but it should also be analysed in term of a climatic concept. Spatial variation in LIA climate is illustrated also in non-glaciated areas of the Northern Hemisphere in a broader contex. Extreme climatic events were forcing factors for mountain slope deformation by geomorphic processes in the High Tatra Mountains. The old chronicles, lichenometric dating of landforms and lacustrine sediments are used to determine the beginning of "Little Ice Age - type events" (about AD 1400) and its end (about AD 1920). During this time span the set of climatic conditions responsible for triggering high-energy geomorphic processes was recognised. The catastrophic hydrometeorological events were concentrated in certain periods. Clustering of weather anomalies and natural disasters resulting from them are discussed in the paper.
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Authors and Affiliations

Adam Kotarba

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