Elisabeth Dietze

Elisabeth Dietze
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen | GAUG · Faculty of Geoscience and Geography

Professor

About

75
Publications
27,280
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
1,337
Citations
Introduction
I am a physical geographer and paleoenvironmental geoscientist- I reconstruct those Quaternary environmental changes that are mediated by land cover to assess the role of climate, humans and internal system dynamics on Earth surfaces processes and landscape evolution, i.e., sediment transport, water level changes, and paleofire regimes. I use sedimentological, paleoecological and molecular evidences from lacustrine and terrestrial sediment archives across spatial and temporal scales.
Additional affiliations
March 2021 - September 2021
University of Bonn
Position
  • Professor
September 2019 - present
Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research
Position
  • Researcher
March 2019 - present
Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam - Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ
Position
  • Researcher

Publications

Publications (75)
Preprint
Full-text available
Wildfires play an essential role in the ecology of boreal forests. In eastern Siberia, fire activity has been increasing in recent years, challenging the livelihoods of local communities. Intensifying fire regimes also increase disturbance pressure on the boreal forests, which currently protect the permafrost beneath from accelerated degradation. H...
Article
Full-text available
The German Society for Geomorphology (GSG; Deutsche Gesellschaft für Geomorphologie: DGGM) has evolved out of the German Working Group for Geomorphology in 2021 reflecting the widened scope of relevant topics and involved disciplines, the increasing importance for the professional job market and society in general as well as the increasing importan...
Article
Full-text available
Instrumental data show that the groundwater and lake levels in Northeast Germany have decreased over the past decades, and this process has accelerated over the past few years. In addition to global warming, the direct influence of humans on the local water balance is suspected to be the cause. Since the instrumental data usually go back only a few...
Article
Full-text available
End‐member modelling analysis is a statistic approach to unmixing multimodal grain size distributions to identify and quantify processes of sediment generation, transport and deposition. While the different computational implementations have been extensively benchmarked and show similarly high reliability characteristics, there is a series of unkno...
Article
Full-text available
Wildfires, as a key disturbance in forest ecosystems, are shaping the world's boreal landscapes. Changes in fire regimes are closely linked to a wide array of environmental factors, such as vegetation composition, climate change, and human activity. Arctic and boreal regions and, in particular, Siberian boreal forests are experiencing rising air an...
Article
The East Asian Winter Monsoon (EAWM) is a fundamental part of the global monsoon system that affects nearly one-quarter of the world’s population. Robust paleoclimate reconstructions in East Asia are complicated by multiple sources of precipitation. These sources, such as the EAWM and typhoons, need to be disentangled in order to understand the dom...
Poster
Full-text available
Wildfires are an essential ecological process, located at the interface between atmosphere, biosphere, and geosphere. Climate-related changes in their appearance and frequency will shape the boreal forest of tomorrow, the largest terrestrial biome responsible for numerous important ecosystem functions. Changing fire regimes could also increase pres...
Article
Full-text available
Upper Pliocene sediments from a number of fluvial outcrops in central Chukotka, northeastern Russian Arctic, along the Enmyvaam, Mechekrynnetveem, and Chanuvenvaam Rivers, have been newly studied for pollen, non-pollen-palynomorphs and, for the first time for Pliocene sediments in Eurasia, charcoals. The sediments have survived the El’gygytgyn mete...
Preprint
Full-text available
Wildfires, as a key disturbance in forest ecosystems, are shaping the world’s boreal landscapes. Changes in fire regimes are closely linked to a wide array of environmental factors, such as vegetation composition, climate change, and human activity. Arctic and boreal regions and, in particular, Siberian boreal forests are experiencing rising air an...
Article
Full-text available
The late Pleistocene Yedoma Ice Complex is an ice-rich and organic-bearing type of permafrost deposit widely distributed across Beringia and is assumed to be especially prone to deep degradation with warming temperature, which is a potential tipping point of the climate system. To better understand Yedoma formation, its local characteristics, and i...
Article
Full-text available
Knowledge of the distribution, types and properties of buried soils, i.e. palaeosols, is essential in understanding how lowlands in northern central Europe have changed over past millennia. This is an indispensable requirement for evaluating long-term human impact including soil erosion and land-cover dynamics. In the Serrahn area (62 km2), a young...
Poster
Full-text available
Recent large-scale fire events in Siberia have drawn increased attention to boreal forest fire history. Boreal forests contain about 25% of all global biomass and act as an enormous carbon storage. Fire events are important ecological disturbances connected to the overarching environmental changes that face the Arctic and Subarctic, like vegetation...
Article
Full-text available
Landscapes in high northern latitudes are assumed to be highly sensitive to future global change, but the rates and long-term trajectories of changes are rather uncertain. In the boreal zone, fires are an important factor in climate–vegetation interactions and biogeochemical cycles. Fire regimes are characterized by small, frequent, low-intensity f...
Article
Full-text available
Wildfire occurrence is influenced by climate, vegetation and human activities. A key challenge for understanding fire-climate-vegetation interactions is to quantify the effect vegetation has in mediating fire regime. Here, we explore the relative importance of Holocene land cover and dominant functional forest type, and climate dynamics on biomass...
Article
Wildfire occurrence is influenced by climate, vegetation and human activities. A key challenge for understanding the risk of fires is quantifying the mediating effect of vegetation on fire regimes. Here, we explore the relative importance of Holocene land cover, land use, dominant functional forest type, and climate dynamics on biomass burning in t...
Article
Full-text available
Shrub encroachment has far‐reaching ecological and economic consequences in many ecosystems worldwide. Yet, compositional changes associated with shrub encroachment are often overlooked despite having important effects on ecosystem functioning. We document the compositional change and potential drivers for a northern Namibian Combretum woodland tra...
Data
We present a multi-proxy record (fossil pollen, sedimentary ancient DNA, biomarkers, compound-specific carbon (δ13C) and deuterium (δD) isotopes, bulk carbon isotopes (δ13Corg), grain size, geochemical properties) from Lake Otjikoto, Namibia. Samples were extracted from sediment cores 15OJ10 and 15OJ06. These data document the compositional and env...
Article
Full-text available
Fire regime shifts are driven by climate and natural vegetation changes, but can be strongly affected by human land management. Yet, it is poorly known how humans have influenced fire regimes prior to active wildfire suppression. Among the last 250 years, the human contribution to the global increase in fire occurrence during the mid-19th century i...
Article
Full-text available
Landscapes in high northern latitudes are assumed to be highly sensitive to future global change, but the rates and long-term trajectories of changes are rather uncertain. In the boreal zone, fires are an important factor in climate-vegetation-interactions and biogeochemical cycles. Fire regimes are characterized by small, frequent, 25 low-intensit...
Article
Full-text available
The main focus of the TERENO Northeastern German Lowland Observatory (TERENO-Northeast) is the regional impact of Global Change. Since 2011, the observatory has recorded changes in the geo-, hydro-, bio-and atmosphere at six main study sites. The year 2018, particularly in northeast Germany, was record-breaking in regard to dryness and heat. The me...
Article
Full-text available
The analysis of grain-size distributions has a long tradition in Quaternary Science and disciplines studying Earth surface and subsurface deposits. The decomposition of multi-modal grain-size distributions into inherent subpopulations, commonly termed end-member modelling analysis (EMMA), is increasingly recognised as a tool to infer the underlying...
Article
In recent decades, it has been observed that most forest fires in Europe were caused by people. Extreme droughts, which are more often prolonged, can increase the risk of forest fires, not only in southern Europe but also, in Central Europe. Nonetheless, catastrophic fire events are not well recognized in the Central European Lowlands (CEL), where...
Preprint
Full-text available
Fire regime shifts are driven by climate and natural vegetation changes, but can be strongly affected by human land management. Yet, it is poorly known how exactly humans have influenced fire regimes prior to active wildfire suppression. Among the last 250 years, the human contribution to the global increase in fire occurrence during the mid-19th c...
Article
Full-text available
The Northeast German Lowland Observatory (TERENO-NE) was established to investigate the regional impact of climate and land use change. TERENO-NE focuses on the Northeast German lowlands, for which a high vulnerability has been determined due to increasing temperatures and decreasing amounts of precipitation projected for the coming decades. To fac...
Article
Fire is a natural component of global biogeochemical cycles and closely related to changes in human land use. Whereas climate-fuel relationships seem to drive both global and subcontinental fire regimes, human-induced fires are prominent mainly on a local scale. Furthermore, the basic assumption that relates humans and fire regimes in terms of popu...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A major debate concerns the questions of when and to what extent humans affected regional landscapes, especially land cover and associated geomorphological dynamics, significantly beyond natural variability. Fire is both, a natural component of many climate zones and ecosystems around the globe and also closely related to human land cover change. H...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Assessing future regional hydrological changes requires a good understanding of different components of the water cycle in a landscape (e.g. glaciers, lakes, rivers, peatlands, and vegetation) and how they have developed in the past. However, not all hydrological responses are directly driven by climate. A specific archive or hydrological proxy cou...
Article
Full-text available
The Sahara is the world's largest dust source with significant impacts on trans-Atlantic terrestrial and large-scale marine ecosystems. Contested views about a gradual or abrupt onset of Saharan aridity at the end of the African Humid Period dominate the current scientific debate about the Holocene Saharan desiccation. In this study, we present a 1...
Article
Full-text available
The composition of perennially frozen deposits holds information on the palaeo-environment during and following deposition. In this study, we investigate late Pleistocene permafrost at the western coast of the Buor Khaya Peninsula in the south-central Laptev Sea (Siberia), namely the prominent eastern Siberian Yedoma Ice Complex (IC). Two Yedoma IC...
Article
Full-text available
The composition of permafrost deposits holds information on the paleo-environment during and following deposition. Sampling natural exposures and drilling are two methods used to access permafrost archives. In this study, we combine both approaches at the western coast of the Buor Khaya Peninsula in the south-central Laptev Sea (Siberia) to study l...
Article
Many German lakes experienced significant water level declines in recent decades that are not fully understood due to the short observation period. At a typical northeastern German groundwater-fed lake with a complex basin morphology, an acoustic sub-bottom profile was analysed together with a transect of five sediment cores, which were correlated...
Article
A multi-proxy study including sedimentological, mineralogical, biogeochemical and micropaleontological methods was conducted on sediment core PS69/849-2 retrieved from Burton Basin, MacRobertson Shelf, East Antarctica. The goal of this study was to depict the deglacial and Holocene environmental history of the MacRobertson Land–Prydz Bay region. A...
Article
Full-text available
Reconstructing the evolution of arid landscapes is challenged by limited availability of appropriate environmental archives. A widespread surface feature - stone pavement - traps aeolian fines and forms a special accretionary archive. Seven stone pavement-covered sections on basalt flows in the eastern Mojave Desert are condensed into a composite s...
Data
A multi-proxy study including sedimentological, mineralogical, biogeochemical and micropaleontological methods was conducted on sediment core PS69/849-2 retrieved from Burton Basin, MacRobertson Shelf, East Antarctica. The goal of this study was to depict the deglacial and Holocene environmental history of the MacRobertson Land-Prydz Bay region. A...
Article
Full-text available
A multidisciplinary study was carried out at Lake Großer Fürstenseer See (LFS) in order to explore the potential of littoral sediments, palaeosols and landforms as indicators of historical lake-level changes. This research was initiated to investigate the extent to which lakes in northern central Europe responded hydrologically to climatic and land...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Deciphering the main processes contributing to lake and landscape evolution in the northern central European lowlands on different temporal scales is one of the main targets of the Virtual Institute of Integrated Climate and Landscape Evolution Analysis (ICLEA) of the Helmholtz Association. In the context of future climatic changes especially the h...
Article
Full-text available
Grain-size distributions offer powerful proxies of past environmental conditions that are related to sediment sorting processes. However, they are often of multimodal character because sediments can get mixed during deposition. To facilitate the use of grain size as palaeoenvironmental proxy, this study aims to distinguish the main detrital process...
Conference Paper
The available data on Holocene climate variability from Asia indicates spatio-temporal changes in the precipitation over this vast region. Timing, duration, regionality, and causes of these fluctuations are not well understood, especially over the Indian subcontinent. We present high resolution studies on radiocarbon dated lake sediments from the T...
Article
Full-text available
Grain size distributions offer powerful proxies of past environmental conditions that are related to sediment sorting processes. However, they are often of multimodal character because sediments can get mixed during deposition. To facilitate the use of grain size as palaeoenvironmental proxy this study aims to distinguish the main detrital processe...
Article
Lake high-stand sediments are found in three onshore terraces at Lake Donggi Cona, northeastern Tibetan Plateau, and reveal characteristics of hydrological changes on lake shorelines triggered by climate change, geomorphological processes, and neo-tectonic movements. The terraces consist of fluvial–alluvial to littoral-lacustrine facies. End-member...
Article
The Tibetan Plateau is the greatest plateau on Earth with an average altitude of 4,500 m asl. Due to its high elevation, large area and significant role in the formation of the Asian Monsoon Systems (e.g., Indian Ocean and East-Asian Summer Monsoon) it is considered to react very sensitive to climate variations. The numerous lake systems on the Tib...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Key proxies in sedimentary archives typically are derived from detrital grain size distributions, precisely measured by particle size analysers with often more than 80 grain size classes. Although grain size distributions contain a lot of information on past depositional environments, research typically neglects the complete distribution and uses i...
Article
Full-text available
Interpreting geomorphological and sedimentological processes from grain-size data in environmental archives typically runs into problems when source- and process-related grain-size distributions become mixed during deposition. A powerful approach to overcome this ambiguity is to statistically "unmix" the samples. Typical algorithms use eigenspace d...
Article
The detrital grain size composition of sediments can be explained by different transport processes, each of them sorting sediments in a characteristic way. Transport processes are typically linked to distinct environmental, mainly hydrological variations. However, also tectonic and anthropogenic influence can significantly alter them. Lake basins a...
Article
Unmixing of grain-size distributions with multivariate statistical analysis gives indications of the main sediment transport processes and related environmental conditions in an area. We performed end-member mixing analysis (EMMA) of sedimentological data from 912 terrestrial sediment samples collected in the Donggi Cona catchment, north-eastern Ti...
Article
Aeolian sediments on the Tibetan Plateau are an important archive of palaeoclimatic information. This study presents a detailed analysis of sediments from the Donggi Cona catchment on the north-eastern part of the Tibetan Plateau. Long- and short-distance sediment transport leads to a complex pattern of aeolian sediment deposition that depends on c...
Thesis
Full-text available
The world’s largest mountain plateau, the Tibetan Plateau, not only plays an important role in supplying water to more than a third of world’s population, but its unique character-istics also influence global climate. Different circulation systems interact there, including the Asian monsoons and the westerlies, though the past variability of the ci...
Article
Sediments of Lake Donggi Cona on the northeastern Tibetan Plateau were studied to infer changes in the lacustrine depositional environment, related to climatic and non-climatic changes during the last 19 kyr. The lake today fills a 30 × 8 km big and 95 m deep tectonic basin, associated with the Kunlun Fault. The study was conducted on a sediment-co...
Poster
Lake sediments integrate a variety of environmental processes of different trigger mechanisms that affect a lake catchment (i.e. climate, tectonics, man). Detrital fractions of lake sediments provide information on sediment transport processes, while element and mineral composition represent provenance, authigenic and post-depositional alteration o...
Article
We present a methodological approach for the characterization of spatial variations of environmental and transport conditions based on geochemical data. We analyzed the geochemical characteristics of terrestrial sediments on an alluvial fan and adjacent areas in the eastern part of the Donggi Cona catchment. The geochemical characteristics of the s...
Article
Full-text available
Deciphering significant sedimentological processes from a set of sediment samples is an important step in reconstructing environmental changes. One approach going beyond classical methods is the unmixing of grain-size distributions. This paper presents a flexible end-member modelling algorithm that is based on eigenspace analysis and considers inhe...