Dreibrodt et al.- Holocene erosion history in central Ukraine

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Stefan Dreibrodt, Robert Hofmann, György Sipos, Lorenz Schwark, Michail Videiko, Liudmyla Shatilo, Sarah Martini, Philipp Saggau, Rainer Duttmann, Hans-Rudolf Bork


The younger Quaternary erosion history was reconstructed in a catchment close to the Chalcolithic giant settlement Maidanetske, central Ukraine based on dated sediment sequences. Four trenches and a long percussion drill-core were analyzed in a valley grading from a Loess covered plateau towards the Talianky River. The sediments were dated via a combination of radiocarbon dating, optical stimulated luminescence (OSL) and embedded artefacts. A suspicious non-coincidence between phases of soil erosion and the settlement history at the site over long periods of the Holocene is noticeable and suggests a climatically driven erosion at the site. The detected phases of erosion during the past >20,000 years coincide with global (cal 27.6 +/- 1.3 kyrs BP, 12.0 +/- 0.4 kyrs BP), northern hemispheric (cal 8.5 ± 0.3 kyrs BP), Mediterranean (cal 3.93 ± 0.1 kyrs BP) as well as western to central European (2,700 to 2,000 cal BP) climate anomalies. For these anomalies, characterized by colder than usual conditions in western and central Europe and dry conditions in the eastern Mediterranean and the research area, a common trigger process seems possible. Increased occurrences of heavy precipitation events, probably during phases of a weakened vegetation cover, could explain the observed record.
A comparison of the Ukrainian record with other European erosion records raises the question again about the contribution of climate variability on Holocene erosion processes. Whereas climatic influence might be easier detectable in Eastern Europe, with a comparatively late onset of intensive agricultural land use, in southern, central and western Europe the impact of climate variability might be masked to a part according to the long history of intensive agricultural land use.
The composition of the sediments implies changes of the slope-channel connectivity during the deposition history. Whereas the periglacial to early Holocene sediments were derived from the whole catchment area, since the mid-Holocene a tendency to lower slope storage of colluvial material and valley incision is noticeable.




Earth Sciences, Geomorphology, Physical Sciences and Mathematics


soil erosion, Ukraine, climate and erosion, connectivity


Published: 2019-12-04 09:24

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