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Sampling points for AMS, SEM and XRF analyses and the vertical variation of magnetic fabric parameters: F, L, Pj, T and k min Inclination. The various colors indicate the

Sampling points for AMS, SEM and XRF analyses and the vertical variation of magnetic fabric parameters: F, L, Pj, T and k min Inclination. The various colors indicate the

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Magnetic fabric (MF) investigations complemented by geochemical and grain surface analyses of the understudied and controversial marine isotope stage (MIS) 5 b, 4 and 3 loess deposits in the Lower Volga region, Russia show that the material has been transported and deposited by wind and to a large extent experienced post-depositional reworking. Gra...

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... samples were planned to be taken at stratigraphic intervals of ca. 10 cm from the cleaned loess section (LN1: 7e14 m; LN2: 0e3 m) (Fig. 3). Where the nature of the loess and the accessibility of the section did not allow the sampling of undisturbed oriented samples, the interval had to be increased. The actual spacing between each oriented sample is shown in Fig. 3 and Supp. Table 3. The sampling was undertaken by manually carving oriented cubes of 7 cm 3 directly into ...
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... planned to be taken at stratigraphic intervals of ca. 10 cm from the cleaned loess section (LN1: 7e14 m; LN2: 0e3 m) (Fig. 3). Where the nature of the loess and the accessibility of the section did not allow the sampling of undisturbed oriented samples, the interval had to be increased. The actual spacing between each oriented sample is shown in Fig. 3 and Supp. Table 3. The sampling was undertaken by manually carving oriented cubes of 7 cm 3 directly into plastic containers without forceful pushing of the sample, to avoid sampling induced deformation, which could potentially lead to a deflection of the magnetic lineation ( Jordanova et al., 1996). In total, 107 oriented samples were ...
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... manually carving oriented cubes of 7 cm 3 directly into plastic containers without forceful pushing of the sample, to avoid sampling induced deformation, which could potentially lead to a deflection of the magnetic lineation ( Jordanova et al., 1996). In total, 107 oriented samples were obtained, including three samples from wedge infill material (Fig. 3). Bulk samples from every ~50 cm were selected for XRF analysis and bulk samples for SEM grain image analyses were taken every metre (Fig. 3), as well as from one Pleistocene Volga sand section around 100 km south of Leninsk (Chorny ...
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... deformation, which could potentially lead to a deflection of the magnetic lineation ( Jordanova et al., 1996). In total, 107 oriented samples were obtained, including three samples from wedge infill material (Fig. 3). Bulk samples from every ~50 cm were selected for XRF analysis and bulk samples for SEM grain image analyses were taken every metre (Fig. 3), as well as from one Pleistocene Volga sand section around 100 km south of Leninsk (Chorny ...
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... little signs of post-depositional disturbance. Irregular units in contrast are characterized due to the deviation of their AMS parameters compared to the R unit, as well as their depth variation. Pedogenic units are based on the identification of pedogenic layers in the section. Following this classification, the following units are subdivided ( Fig. 3; Supp. Table ...
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... regular AMS unit (R). The thickest unit is characterized as "regular" (R, 789e1214, 40 samples) by the small vertical variation for most AMS parameters (F, L, Pj) and mostly positive T (Fig. 3). 28 out of 40 samples display oblate T. Pj, F and L are fairly uniform throughout the whole unit and a steep inclination of k min (50e90 ) is seen in 27 samples (Fig. 4, Table 1). The R layer is characterized by low Pj values, indicating an average anisotropy below 1%, and relatively uniform high k m values in contrast to samples from ...
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... Pedogenic unit 2 (P2; 1366 cm in LN 1; 0e35 cm in LN 2, 5 samples; Fig. 3) shows partly prolate T. Pj and F are within the range of values observed for unit R. Instead, L shows an average of 1.003, which is relatively high compared to R samples. k min inclinations are preponderantly shallow ( 10 ) with the exception of the only LN1 sample (Fig. 4, Supp. Table 2) and appear to decrease with depth ( Fig. 3). ...
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... 2, 5 samples; Fig. 3) shows partly prolate T. Pj and F are within the range of values observed for unit R. Instead, L shows an average of 1.003, which is relatively high compared to R samples. k min inclinations are preponderantly shallow ( 10 ) with the exception of the only LN1 sample (Fig. 4, Supp. Table 2) and appear to decrease with depth ( Fig. 3). The only P2 specimen from LN1 also shows remarkably different behaviour for Pj (1.002) and L (1.0007), which are lower than for the four LN2 samples (Pj: 1.005, 1.003, 1.008, 1.007; L: 1.004, 1.002, 1.005). The parent material in which P2 developed (pm P2) shows higher F and Pj, similar L, lower k m , oblate T, and a sub-horizontal k ...
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... Pedogenic unit 3 (P3; 92e135 cm in LN 2, 8 samples; Fig. 3) exhibits oblate T for 7 samples and higher Pj (max. 1.034) than the other P units. Its k m is on average higher but overall comparable to P1 and P2, and lower than for R. L values are higher than in unit R but similar to those from most other units. By contrast, F shows comparably higher values. The k min inclination is steep (58e82 ) ...
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... Irregular unit 1 (IR1, 642e669 cm, 7 samples; Fig. 3) shows greater variation but overall higher F, L, and Pj than the R group. k m by contrast gives lower values. The average anisotropy in IR1 is >1% (Fig. 4, Supp. Table 2). Two samples of IR1 are prolate. The inclination of k min shows large variation (min. 2 , max. 80 ...
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... Irregular unit 2 (IR2, 736e759 cm, 7 samples; Fig. 3) stands out due to the large variation of most AMS parameters. The average values of F and Pj are higher than those of unit R. The anisotropy of IR1 samples fluctuates between 0.5 and 2% (Fig. 4, Supp. Table 3). k m is among the lowest measured in the whole section. Several samples display prolate T. Similarly to IR1, the inclination ...
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... Irregular unit 3 (IR3, 1224e1324 cm, 11 samples; Fig. 3) was defined as irregular due to its high L, F, and Pj compared to unit ...
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... k m is the highest of all units. The anisotropy in IR3 ranges between 1 and 3%. T is oblate for 9 samples ( Figs. 3 and 4; Supp. and minimum values, outliers are displayed as black points. For colour classification see Fig. 3. (For interpretation of the references to colour in this figure legend, the reader is referred to the Web version of this article.) Table ...
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... k m is the highest of all units. The anisotropy in IR3 ranges between 1 and 3%. T is oblate for 9 samples ( Figs. 3 and 4; Supp. and minimum values, outliers are displayed as black points. For colour classification see Fig. 3. (For interpretation of the references to colour in this figure legend, the reader is referred to the Web version of this article.) Table ...
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... Irregular unit 4 (IR4, in LN2, 42e72 cm, 4 samples; Fig. 3) appears similar to unit R in respect to most AMS parameters. F, L, and Pj values are comparable. T is oblate for all samples. k min inclination, however, is consistently shallow <22 and k m is also lower than in R (Fig. 4, Supp. Table ...
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... Irregular unit 5 (IR5, in LN 2, 144e258 cm, 16 samples; Fig. 3) shows anisotropies of around 2% as well as L and F higher than in unit R. The inclination of k min is >68 apart from three ...
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... from the desiccation crack infills. Comparably extreme F (1.076) and L (1.022) is shown by the three samples taken from the infill material of one of the desiccation cracks observed in LN1 (approx. 7.5 m depth; Fig. 3). Also, Pj values (1.104) are higher here than in any other sample, whereas the k m is on average comparably low (Supp. Table 2). All three samples are oblate and show steep k min axes (Fig. ...
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... F (1.076) and L (1.022) is shown by the three samples taken from the infill material of one of the desiccation cracks observed in LN1 (approx. 7.5 m depth; Fig. 3). Also, Pj values (1.104) are higher here than in any other sample, whereas the k m is on average comparably low (Supp. Table 2). All three samples are oblate and show steep k min axes (Fig. ...
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... a larger scale, permafrost channelled ground water flow can cause the development of a lineation (Lagroix and Banerjee, 2004a). Grain alignment being indicative for freeze-thawing processes in the MF of loess has been mentioned by Hus (2003). In relation to the apparent cracks at Leninsk (Fig. 3), vertical particle translocation and random oriented displacement may also have occurred and caused chaotic MF. As such, freeze-thaw cycles, which induce stress and its release, might have caused closing and opening of the ...
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... plane reflects compaction without significant disturbance due to bioturbation and pedogenesis, however, the k min of several samples is not vertically oriented suggesting reworking in some parts of the unit (Fig. 6b). There is no obvious relationship between the deviation of k min inclination from the vertical and a prolate AMS character (Fig. 3). The relatively high Sr/K, Ca/K and Mg/K as well as low Rb/Sr, Ba/Sr suggest a low degree of alteration of silicate minerals in the upper metre of the R unit ( Nesbitt et al., 1980;Reeder et al., 2006). This seems to correlate Fig. 7. Weathering indices and CIA as a function of depth. For legend see Fig. ...
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... the occurrence of oblate AMS ellipsoids in R (Fig. 3). As such, the combination of geochemistry and MF data for the upper part of the R unit reflect relatively undisturbed and unweathered aeolian loess. For the middle part of R (9e11.5 m), in contrast, geochemical data indicate some weathering, which lead to the mobilization of Sr, Mg and Ca (Fig. 7). However, the depletion of these ...
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... action, for this middle part. Samples of prolate character occur within this section of the R unit and raise a potential relationship between frost action and the shape of AMS ellipsoids. The low number of XRF analyses means that such a relationship can only be speculated on though. Not least, signs of cryogenesis in the middle part of unit R (Fig. 3), make cryogenic reworking of a primary aeolian MF plausible. However, prolate samples do also occur in the lower part of unit R, where no weathering is indicated by the geochemical data, no signs of pedogenesis or cryogenesis could be found in the field, and are also not indicated by magnetic susceptibility data from K€ oltringer et ...
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... shape ellipsoids, indicate reworking for unit P1 (e.g. Matasova et al., 2001; Brad ak et al., 2011, Figs. 5 and 6c, Table 2). The decrease in F can be indicative for soil formation as described by Zhu et al. (2004). The stronger lineation in combination with the presence of wedge-like features suggests cryogenesis, which may have affected P1 (Fig. 3). Such processes could be reflected in the scattered data and occurrence of vertically oriented k max . The weathering indices show relative depletion of highly mobile elements in weathering environments (Sr, Ca, Mg). In contrast, a CIA of around 67% is not indicative for pedogenesis (Fig. 7), but cryogenesis might have preconditioned ...
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... lack of a preferred orientation and the predominately oblate character, might indicate gravitational affected MF but could also reflect the dominance of paramagnetic matrix minerals (Fig. 5c). P3 also differs from P1 and P2 by showing significantly higher F and Pj, even compared to the pristine loess layer R (Figs. 3 and 5). Similar to Lagroix and Banerjee (2004b), who also observed increasing F and Pj for palaeosols, our results contrast with the observation from some loess studies that Pj is systematically lower in palaeosols compared to undisturbed loess (Hus, 2003;Matasova and Kazansky, 2004). ...
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... from IR1 show flow-aligned MF with NeS oriented lineation (Figs. 3 and 6f). No pedogenesis is indicated, neither from geochemical nor SEM data. However, L and F are higher than for the regular loess, and a vertical component of k max as well as prolate character of one sample indicate some post-depositional influence on the MF (Figs. 4 and 6f). Post depositional disturbance becomes also clear from distinct ...
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... than in situ frost action (Mahaney, 2002). The secondary MF of IR2 shows evidence for reworking (Fig. 6g). Samples with strong F, T > 0, and high Pj stand in contrast to samples with prolate character, weak F, and low Pj (Fig. 5e and f). The latter group of characteristic properties are similar to those of P1 and P2, and several R samples (Figs. 3 and 5). The partly strong F and pronounced L suggest the occurrence of frost action. Frost action may also be reflected by the biaxial prolate MF (Fig. 6g; Lagroix and Banerjee, 2004a). Considering the presence of cracks in this part of the section and the lack of evidence for pedogenesis, this suggests reworking by cryogenic processes (Fig. ...
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... (Figs. 3 and 5). The partly strong F and pronounced L suggest the occurrence of frost action. Frost action may also be reflected by the biaxial prolate MF (Fig. 6g; Lagroix and Banerjee, 2004a). Considering the presence of cracks in this part of the section and the lack of evidence for pedogenesis, this suggests reworking by cryogenic processes (Fig. 3). IR2 contains grains with subparallel linear fractures, diagnostic marks of ice abrasion ( Fig. 8d; Table 1) (Strand and Immonen, 2010). As such, these features are likely inherited from the loess source material as the influence of in-situ cryogenesis might not be as forceful on the grains without causing significant redeposition of ...
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... indicates the occurrence of some form of reworking and/or redeposition, which lead to the formation of stronger F, a pronounced L, and the increase of Pj compared to the undisturbed loess of the R unit (Figs. 3 and 5e and f). Considering the entire sample population of the IR3 unit, the alignment of the principal susceptibility axes and confidence ellipses show biaxial prolate MF, which also suggests reworking resulting in the disturbance of the primary MF (Fig. 6h). A preferred WNW-ESE orientation is indicated by the declination of k max . K€ oltringer et ...
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... this observed MF indicates post-depositional reworking, the low number of samples from this unit makes it hard to evaluate. Weak chemical weathering is suggested from the element ratios, where in contrast the CIA is low. Just as for the lower part of unit P2, this might be related to the presence of cracks/wedges and signal cryogenic reworking (Fig. ...
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... was grouped due to high Pj and strong development of F and L (Figs. 3 and 4). The unit is described by well-defined gravitation (/flow)-aligned fabric with oblate character (Fig. 6j). ...
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... its potential change with time, if the lack of preferred lineation is not an effect of the dominating paramagnetic minerals on the AMS. It is also possible to infer relative changes in wind speed from the AMS data. A higher degree of alignment and anisotropy in combination (Supp. Table 3, L and Pj parameters) is observed at the base of Leninsk (Fig. 3, IR5, P3, IR3) and serves as a sign for stronger winds (Brad ak et al., 2018a) at this time, compared to later loess accumulation. Finally, as discussed in section 5.1, loess deposits at the base of the section (IR5, P3) remained generally undisturbed and weak pedogenesis did not cause significant reworking of the sediments despite the ...
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... between the depressions of Manych and the Northern Caspian lowland) and the Volga uplands to the north of Leninsk, seem to deflect wind directions and change wind speeds over a wide area, including around the Leninsk site. This topographic control on winds is not visible for summer winds, probably due to the generally lower wind speeds (Supp. Fig. 3). Topographic highs in the lowland, however, are identifiable due to relatively higher wind speeds in both summer and winter. This of course is different for very mountainous regions with high relief as can be seen e.g. for the Caucasus, the mountain belt between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea (Supp. Figs. 2 and 3). As such, while ...
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... On a wider regional scale, palaeowind studies from Siberian loess fit these observations as well and suggest W-E as the dominant Pleistocene and modern wind direction ( Matasova et al., 2001). The stronger winds in modern wintertime and the evidence for variable strong winds from the AMS data combined with the presence of cryogenic features (Fig. 3), further suggest a modern winter-time type wind regime dominating during loess deposition at Leninsk. Loess accumulation at Leninsk probably coincided with late MIS 5 to MIS 3 (~85e25 ka), although the age model at present is preliminary (K€ oltringer et al., 2020). Globally, MIS 4 was cooler and with increased ice volume, compared to ...
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... deflects the wind direction along large river valleys such as the Volga valley and the Manych depression (Fig. 10). Furthermore, wind intensity appears to have been strongest at Leninsk during the early part of loess deposition associated with late MIS 5 and MIS 4, with less intense flow under MIS 3 conditions recorded higher up in the sequence (Fig. 3, L and Pj parameters). Again, this result is consistent with stronger winds in modern wintertime at the site and over the wider region (Supp. Figs. 1, 2). As suggested by K€ oltringer et al. (2020) and inferred also from palaeosol-loess records in the neighbouring Azov Sea region, MIS 4 was the coldest phase of the last glaciation in the ...

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... The main stages of the Caspian Sea evolution -the major transgressionsprovide the stratigraphical basis for the Quaternary of Central Asia, Eastern Caucasus and the southern part of East European plain. The Lower Volga River valley is ideally suited for investigating the Pleistocene history of the Caspian Sea, and a series of sections has been characterized here over a long period of research (Fedorov, 1957;Vasiliev, 1961;Moskvitin, 1962;Svitoch and Yanina, 1997;Költringer et al., 2021;Kurbanov et al., 2021). These sections contain a unique record of the Quaternary history of the Caspian Sea, in the form of alternating marine and subaerial deposits. ...
... In recent years, systematic studies have contributed to the first work on the structure of the loess-soil series in the Lower Volga region Lebedeva et al., 2018;Rogov et al., 2020;Taratunina et al., 2021;Makeev et al., 2021), and on their palaeogeographic significance (Bolikhovskaya et al., 2017;Yanina et al., 2021). Some initial climate reconstructions have also been carried out in the region (Bolikhovskaya et al., 2017;Költringer et al., 2020Költringer et al., , 2021. However, these studies lacked reliable and detailed independent ages since they are based on only a few age-tie points so that a detailed reconstruction of loess-palaeosol formation through time was not possible. ...
... Aeolian sediments (loess and loess-like) form the middle part of Raygorod section. Költringer et al. (2021Költringer et al. ( , 2022 argue that the source for loess sedimentation in this region is Volga River alluvium. The Volga River drains the central East European Plain, which is covered with middle and late Quaternary moraines sourced from Scandinavia and the Ural Mountains (Morton et al., 2003;Makshaev and Svitoch 2016;Tudryn et al., 2016). ...
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The normally-closed Caspian Sea is known for large changes in relative sea-level (of ∼170 m) during the late Quaternary. These transgressive/regressive events influenced the topography, sedimentation and ecosystems of a large area, of up to 1 million km². The Volga River has played an important role in the water balance of the Caspian Quaternary basins but our understanding of the temporal evolution is poorly constrained. Recent studies on the evolution of the Lower Volga have focused mainly on the subaerial sequence of loess-palaeosol series corresponding to a long-duration Caspian low stand (the so-called “Atelian regression” from ∼90 to ∼25 ka). In this study we address, for the first time, the temporal evolution of the Volga River during the late Quaternary, as recorded in the many layers of alluvial sands at the Raygorod reference section. This 50 m high outcrop contains a complicated sequence of different types of interlayered alluvium (channel and floodplain facies), a loess-palaeosol sequence with a weakly developed palaeosol, and marine sediments of the Khvalynian transgression (Chocolate Clay facies). The new chronology, based on 35 samples, is derived using optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) analysis of sand-sized quartz, with support from post-infra-red infra-red stimulated luminescence (post-IR IRSL) from K-rich feldspar grains to date the older parts of the section. The new ages identify five stages of the topography development in the northern parts of the Lower Volga: (1) an MIS 5a flood-plain in deltaic/estuary environments (>90 ka) during a high-stand of the Caspian Sea (Hyrcanian transgression); (2) a transition from deltaic/estuary conditions to a river valley with normal alluvial sedimentation and sporadic stabilization reflected in palaeosol development (80–70 ka); (3) a palaeo-Volga channel migration at elevations of 4–8 m msl during 69–62 ka, evidence of a brief increase in Caspian Sea-level and blocking of the Volga flow; (4) a subaerial stage with high-speed accumulation of loess during MIS 4 to MIS 2, containing one weakly developed palaeosol (MIS 3c) and pedocomplex of three combined palaeosols of the beginning of MIS2 (30–24 ka); (5) a rapid Khvalynian transgression, starting at the Raygorod location at ∼18.3 ka, with relatively weak marine erosion of the top 40–60 cm of loess cover, presumably because of the rapid migration of the coastline in the flat Northern Caspian Lowland.
... The wide distribution of Pleistocene loess deposits on the EEP suggests a windy and dusty environment associated with periods of enhanced glaciation in the area (e.g. Költringer et al., 2021;Liang et al., 2016). Loess deposits are mostly found along the courses of large rivers on the EEP (Fig. 1a) and at least four loess provinces can be defined based on their provenance: The Southwest EEP province, the South EEP province, the Southeast EEP province, the North Caucasus province (Fig. 14). ...
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Constraining the controls on the distribution of sediment at a continental scale is a critical step in understanding long-term landscape and climate evolution. In particular, understanding of the role of rivers in wider sediment routing and impacts on aeolian loess formation on a continental scale remains limited. Extensive Quaternary loess deposits are present on the East European Plain and in the Black Sea - Caspian Sea region and are associated with major rivers draining numerous surrounding cratonic and orogenic hinterland areas. Coupled with this, complex changes in local and global sea level have affected the extent and drainage of the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea, and Quaternary glaciations have impinged on the northern margin of the East European Plain. This suggests that sediment routing and loess formation may show complex patterns and controls. Here, we apply UPb dating of detrital zircons from fluvial, marine and aeolian (dominantly loess) sedimentary records on the East European Plain and in the Black Sea - Caspian Sea region. This shows a strong control of large rivers on the distribution of sediments at a continental scale in the region, through long-distance transport of several 1000 km, sourced from continental and mountain glacier areas prior to marine or atmospheric reworking and transportation. Strong spatial variability in zircon UPb data from loess deposits on the East European Plain reveals multiple diverse sources to the different individual loess sections, whereas no significant temporal variability in loess source is detected during the Late Pleistocene of the Lower Volga loess in South Russia. While the sediment supply from glacial areas via rivers plays an important role for the provenance of East European Plain loess deposits, our data indicate that the stark spatial diversity in loess provenance on the East European Plain is often driven by the input of multiple local sources. Similar to the loess, marine sediments from different basins of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea also show significant spatial variability. This variability is controlled by the bathymetry of the seas, leading to sedimentary intermixing by sea currents within, but not between different separated sea basins. A direct comparison of marine and aeolian sediments at the same depositional site suggests that although loess and marine sediments are both dominantly sourced from river sediments containing far travelled sedimentary material, local sources play a more important role in many loess deposits.
... This MF type is the most common in loess deposits and has widely been used for estimating paleowind directions (e.g. Banerjee, 2002, Zhu et al., 2004;Zhang et al., 2014;Gao et al., 2021;Költringer et al., 2021). ...
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Poor understanding of the differential evolution of interglacial climate over various regions in Eurasia greatly limits our ability to predict the specific local impacts of future climate change. Here we demonstrate starkly opposing trends in interglacial intensities in Asia and Europe over the early Middle Pleistocene and Mid-Brunhes Transitions based on the study of various climate proxies in the Paks loess record (Hungary), a key profile in the European Loess Belt. These contrasting climate trends imply major but unexplained differences in the regional response of Quaternary climate to shifts in forcing mechanisms during two major reorganizations of Earth's climate across Eurasia. Using new rock magnetic datasets from the Paks record we suggest that the changing dominance of Mediterranean, Atlantic (Westerlies) and continental air masses under the influence of the quasi permanent high pressure centres over the Fennoscandian ice sheet played a key role in the observed differences in the evolution of early Middle Pleistocene climate. We also propose that the intensification of the early Middle Pleistocene glaciation of Central Asian mountains may have strengthened and shifted the Siberian High westward on multi-millennial/orbital timescales, which in turn forced geographically contrasting expressions of the MIS 19 to 11 interglacials in Eurasia. This is the first coherent explanation for the geographically diverse response of regional climate to the early Middle Pleistocene climate transitions and points to the clear role of global cooling and expanded mid-latitude glaciers in driving these events.
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Loess sequences are widely distributed in semi-arid regions around the world, and are sometimes also located in coastal zones. The accumulations of coastal loess provide a valuable record of both climate and sea-level changes. Here we report sedimentological and high sampling resolution luminescence dating evidence for such changes from two loess sequences from the Shandong Peninsula and Miaodao Archipelago near the coast of Bohai Sea in northern China. Both the quartz optically stimulated lumines-cence (OSL) and K-feldspar post-infrared IRSL (pIRIR 290) signals show consistent and satisfactory luminescence characteristics up to~100 ka, while the K-feldspar pIRIR 290 ages provide age control up tõ 200 ka and are in stratigraphic order. With this fully independent age model, our results reveal that coastal loess accumulation is episodic with a high variability in apparent accumulation rates. After comparing with global and regional sea-level records, we find that the intervals with high accumulation rates coincide with global low sea-level stages, and that the loess sedimentary hiatuses indicated by nearly zero or very low accumulation rates at one site mainly correspond to global high sea-level stages, indicating the dominant role of global sea-level changes on coastal loess accumulation in the study area. We therefore conclude that regional marine regression mainly occurred during MIS 6, and MIS 5b to MIS 2, with extremely low regional sea levels possibly around 150 ka, 70e60 ka and 37e24 ka, while high sea-levels occurred during MIS 5ee5c and MIS 1. This study implies that coastal loess deposits with a good chronology could be used to constrain the timing of regional sea level change.
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We present new palaeomagnetic and rock magnetic results with a stratigraphic interpretation of the late Early–Middle Pleistocene deposits exposed on the left bank of the River Danube at Dolynske, southern Ukraine. A thick succession of water-lain facies is succeeded by reddish-brown clayey soils, topped by a high-resolution loess–palaeosol sequence. These constitute one of the most complete recently discovered palaeoclimate archives in the Lower Danube Basin. The suggested stratigraphy is based on the position of the Matuyama–Brunhes boundary, rock magnetic, palaeopedological and sedimentological proxies, and it is confidently correlated with other loess records in the region (Roksolany and Kurortne), as well as with the marine isotope stratigraphy. The magnetic susceptibility records and palaeosol characteristics at Dolynske show an outstanding pattern that is transitional between eastern and south-eastern European loess records. Our data confirm that the well-developed S4 soil unit in Ukraine, and S5 units in Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia, correlate with the warm MIS 11. Furthermore, we suggest the correlation of rubified S6 palaeosols in Romania and Bulgaria and the V-S7–V-S8 double palaeosol in Serbia with S6 in Ukraine, a strong Mediterranean-type palaeosol which corresponds to MIS 15. Our new results do not support the hypothesis of a large magnetic lock-in depth like that previously interpreted for the Danube loess, and they prove that the Matuyama–Brunhes boundary is located within the palaeosol unit corresponding to MIS 19. The proposed stratigraphic correlation scheme may serve as a potential basis for further regional and global Pleistocene climatic reconstructions.