Original paper

Detecting heavy precipitation events during the Holocene from soils, gully fills, colluvia and lake sediments examples from the Belauer See catchment (northern Germany)

Dreibrodt, Stefan


Extraordinarily heavy precipitation events had a significant impact on landscapes in Central Europe during the Holocene. Regionally, the reconstruction of their occurrence and extent helps to better understand the development of landscapes in the past and, perhaps, the future. Soils, gully fillings, and colluvia of two sub-catchments of Belauer See were analysed and compared to the records of allochthonous input to the lake. The incision of gullies and the enrichment of stones in colluvia occurred simultaneously with events of increased allochthonous input to the lake. This indicates extraordinarily heavy precipitation events at around AD 1 and the first half of the 14th century. Heavy precipitation events are also documented in the region historically at 1315 and 1342. Phases of moderate soil erosion are distinguished by layers of colluvia and moderate or low allochthonous input to the lake. During these phases the amount of allochthonous input to the lake during the Holocene correlates to the size of agricultural fields within the catchment, the intensity of precipitation, spatio-temporal changes in land use patterns and perhaps to changes in the water level of the lake. The results of the study imply that it may be possible to establish event chronologies by studying more lake catchments in Central Europe.


gulliescolluvialake sedimentssoil erosion eventsholocenegermany