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Loess-paleosol sequences in north-eastern Serbia: a link between the Carpathian Basin and the Balkan paleoenvironment
On the territory of Serbia, Pleistocene aeolian deposits are mainly distributed in the Vojvodina region where they cover large areas only separated by the alluvial plains and terraces of the Danube and Tisza rivers. Unlike the loess sequences in the Vojvodina, in northeastern Serbia the loess formations are quite discontinuous. In this region we mainly find smaller, isolated loess blankets lying over older slopes and river terraces. Here we present first results from a typical loess site of this region located in the vicinity of the village of Kisiljevo. The investigated loess-paleosol sequence is exposed in the eastern part of the village (44.737548´N737548´N, 21.404791É). In the current stage of this study, it was possible to conduct a detailed description of the profile, color determination of the sediment and the determination of initial low field magnetic susceptibility The Kisiljevo loess sequence is fairly simple in its composition. The profile exposes a round 11 m thick series of loess and is interspersed with weakly developed paleosols. The profile displays a generally uniform coloration, varying from pale yellow, light yellowish brown to light olive brown loess. On a depth of about 7 meters, the loess is intercalated with a distinctive layer of approximately 50 cm thickness. This layer is densely intersected with insect channels and cavities of recent age and shows all features of volcanic ash. The most likely candidate for the origin of this potential tephra layer is the Campanian Ignimbrite (CI) super-eruption of the Phlegraean Fields (Italy) dated to 39-40 ka. The presence of CI tephra on this site would suggest a more western and northern distribution of the Campanian Ignimbrite eruption ash than stated in previous studies (e.g. Fitzsimmons et al., 2013; Smith et al., 2016; Veres et al., 2013). Nevertheless, it coincides with the finding of the CI ash at the eastern end of the Danube Iron Gates (Lowe et al., 2012) and thus, providing so far a minimum northern extend of the CI-tephra dispersal in the Carpathian Basin. The geographical location of the Kisiljevo loess profile presents a unique opportunity to reconstruct the paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental conditions in the transitional region between northeast Serbia and the Carpathian basin at the western end of the Iron Gates. The expected results of this study will contribute to the better understanding of the connections between the paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental conditions of the Carpathian Basin and the Balkan region.