Palaeoenvironmental dynamics inferred from late Quaternary permafrost deposits on Kurungnakh Island, Lena Delta, Northeast Siberia, Russia (Englisch)

in Quarternary Science Reviews ; 27 , 15-16 ; 1523-1540
Quarternary Science Reviews
Elsevier Ltd ; 2008

AbstractLate Quaternary palaeoenvironments of the Siberian Arctic were reconstructed by combining data from several fossil bioindicators (pollen, plant macro-fossils, ostracods, insects, and mammal bones) with sedimentological and cryolithological data from permafrost deposits. The record mirrors the environmental history of Beringia and covers glacial/interglacial and stadial/interstadial climate variations with a focus on the Middle Weichselian interstadial (50–32kyrBP). The late Pleistocene to Holocene sequence on Kurungnakh Island reflects the development of periglacial landscapes under changing sedimentation regimes which were meandering fluvial during the Early Weichselian, colluvial or proluvial on gently inclined plaines during the Middle and Late Weichselian, and thermokarst-affected during the Holocene. Palaeoecological records indicate the existence of tundra–steppe vegetation under cold continental climate conditions during the Middle Weichselian interstadial. Due to sedimentation gaps in the sequence between 32 and 17kyrBP and 17 and 8kyrBP, the Late Weichselian stadial is incompletely represented in the studied outcrops. Nevertheless, by several palaeoecological indications arctic tundra–steppe vegetation under extremely cold-arid conditions prevailed during the late Pleistocene. The tundra–steppe disappeared completely due to lasting paludification during the Holocene. Initially subarctic shrub tundra formed, which later retreated in course of the late Holocene cooling.

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