Original paper

Chronological investigations of Pleistocene interglacial, glacial and aeolian deposits from Schöningen (Germany) using post-IR IRSL dating and pollen analysis

Kunz, Alexander; Urban, Brigitte; Tsukamoto, Sumiko

Abstract

The open mine Schöningen is well known for its well-exposed Tertiary and Quaternary sediment sequences and outstanding archaeological find horizons. During mining activities in 2008 and 2009 a lacustrine, glacial and glaciofluvial sequence, as well as loess deposits of the Younger Middle to Late Pleistocene were exposed at the archaeological site Schöningen 12 II (so-called "DB-Pfeiler"), a former dam of the German Railways embankment. Chronometric ages for deposits in Schöningen are sparse. The age and correlation of the archaeological horizons of the Reinsdorf Interglacial and related deposits are under debate. Samples for pollen analysis were taken from interglacial lacustrine sediments, whereas samples for luminescence dating were collected from unconformably overlying glacial, glaciofluvial, and loess deposits, to obtain depositional ages, to reconstruct the interglacial environmental conditions, and for biostratigraphical correlation. The palynological results of the interglacial lacustrine deposits at site Schöningen 12 II allow a detailed correlation with the Reinsdorf Interglacial pollen zonation of site Schöningen 13 II of the southern mining area. Luminescence dating results of the overlying glacial and glaciofluvial deposits provided only minimum ages, which contradictory to previous chronometric data indicate a deposition prior to MIS 9, whereas the upper part of the sequence (fine-grained basin fill) has most likely been deposited prior to MIS 6. Deposition of the loess on top of the sequence took place during MIS 2 (Weichselian, LGM).

Keywords

north germanyschöningenpollen analysissaalianpost-ir irsl datingreinsdorf interglacial