Sedimentation and erosion processes in Middle to Late Pleistocene sequences exposed in the brickyard of Langenlois/Lower Austria
Publication: Research - peer-review › Journal article – Annual report year: 2011
The correlation of sedimentary and pedogenetic processes in Lower Austria is difficult due to significant discontinuities and local variability in soil formation. This hampers landscape reconstruction at a regional scale. However, at a local scale distinct landscape formation processes represented by a shift from fluvial to aeolian deposition can be observed in the brickyard of Langenlois, Lower Austria. Sedimentological and mineralogical analyses in combination with palaeontological finds suggest that the fluvial deposition took place during the Middle Pleistocene. This attribution is confirmed by infra-red stimulated luminescence (IRSL) dating, which gives a minimum age of 300 ka for the palaeosurface on which the fluvial sediments were deposited. This is consistent with a small faunal assemblage including Stephanorhinus sp., Dama sp. and an alcine cervid. Such a fauna is previously unknown in Austria; it indicates a Middle Pleistocene interglacial period. The low degree of weathering as well as Cryosols found in the loess sequence point to loess accumulation during the Last Glacial; the dating results (35–55 ka) indicate prolonged loess deposition. No signs of pedogenesis could be found; this is surprising because in other areas this period is known for weak soil development. The lack of soil formation seems to be specific to the western part of Lower Austria, as is the complete erosion of the last glacial maximum (LGM) loess, which can not be found at Langenlois.
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