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E&G Quaternary Science Journal An open-access journal of the German Quaternary Association
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Volume 66, issue 2 | Copyright
E&G Quaternary Sci. J., 66, 91-100, 2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 21 Dec 2017

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 Lorenz Wüthrich et al.
  • 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 6.8m deep loess sequence of Möhlin, Switzerland, spanning the last  ∼ 70kyr. Leaf waxes are well preserved and occur in sufficient amounts only down to 0.4m and below 1.8m 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  ∼ 32ka. Radiocarbon dating of the n-alkanes corroborates the stratigraphic integrity of leaf waxes and their potential for dating loess–paleosol sequences (LPS) back to  ∼ 30ka.

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