Original paper

Human-induced landscape evolution in the loess areas of Lublin Upland, E Poland: evidence from pedosedimentary archives in closed depressions

Kołońdyska-Gawrysiak, Renata; Mroczek, Przemysław; Chodorowski, Jacek; Plak, Andrzej; Kiebała, Aneta; Zgłobicki, Wojciech


Closed depressions have been reported in loess landscapes, in various parts of Europe. Studies conducted so far, document both the natural and anthropogenic origins of these forms. Two closed depressions, located in an agricultural area, were chosen for detailed study. Sediments in filling these closed depressions were subjected to detailed physicochemical, micromorphological and geochemical analyses. These depressions are filled with a series of Neoholocene soil-sediments, consisting of several layers of colluvial sediments, interspersed with subfossil soil horizons. They lie on a Late Vistulian-Holocene subfossil soil, covering the primary floors of the depressions, having formed in the loess in situ. Five phases of Holocene landscape evolution were distinguished. Two of these phases took place within natural conditions (development of natural vegetation and formation of soils) (phase 1: Late Vistulian-Mesoholocene, phase 3: 11th to 14th c.). The remaining three phases oversaw changes in the landscape, resulting from human agricultural activity, which was recorded in the form of colluvial sediment accumulation (phase 2: prehistoric era, phases 4 and 5: historic era, 15th to 19th c.). The phases of colluviation, correlate with the development of human settlements in the vicinity of the depressions, from the Neolithic period through to modern times.


loesshuman impactholocenecolluviaclosed depressions