E&G Quaternary Sci. J., 66, 91-100, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/egqsj-66-91-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
21 Dec 2017
Late Quaternary climate and environmental reconstruction based on leaf wax analyses in the loess sequence of Möhlin, Switzerland
Lorenz Wüthrich1,2, Marcel Bliedtner1,2, Imke Kathrin Schäfer1,2, Jana Zech1, Fatemeh Shajari3, Dorian Gaar2,4, Frank Preusser5, Gary Salazar2,6, Sönke Szidat2,6, and Roland Zech1,2 1Geographical Institute, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
2Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
3Geo and Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany
4Institute of Geology, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
5Institute of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
6Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
Abstract. We present the results of leaf wax analyses (long-chain n-alkanes) from the 6.8 m deep loess sequence of Möhlin, Switzerland, spanning the last  ∼  70 kyr. Leaf waxes are well preserved and occur in sufficient amounts only down to 0.4 m and below 1.8 m depth, so no paleoenvironmental reconstructions can be done for marine isotope stage (MIS) 2.

Compound-specific δ2Hwax analyses yielded similar values for late MIS 3 compared to the uppermost samples, indicating that various effects (e.g., more negative values due to lower temperatures, more positive values due to an enriched moisture source) cancel each other out. A pronounced  ∼  30 ‰ shift towards more negative values probably reflects more humid conditions before  ∼  32 ka. Radiocarbon dating of the n-alkanes corroborates the stratigraphic integrity of leaf waxes and their potential for dating loess–paleosol sequences (LPS) back to  ∼  30 ka.


Citation: Wüthrich, L., Bliedtner, M., Schäfer, I. K., Zech, J., Shajari, F., Gaar, D., Preusser, F., Salazar, G., Szidat, S., and Zech, R.: Late Quaternary climate and environmental reconstruction based on leaf wax analyses in the loess sequence of Möhlin, Switzerland, E&G Quaternary Sci. J., 66, 91-100, https://doi.org/10.5194/egqsj-66-91-2017, 2017.
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