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Quaternary, Volume 4, Issue 2 (June 2021) – 8 articles

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Article
Sedimentological-Geochemical Data Based Reconstruction of Climate Changes and Human Impacts from the Peat Sequence of Round Lake in the Western Foothill Area of the Eastern Carpathians, Romania
Quaternary 2021, 4(2), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/quat4020018 - 10 Jun 2021
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Abstract
This paper presents the results of comparative sedimentological and geochemical analysis of the mire at Sânpaul, Round Lake (Kerek-tó). The palaeoecological site is situated in the western foothill area of the Eastern Carpathians in Romania. The primary objective of this study was to [...] Read more.
This paper presents the results of comparative sedimentological and geochemical analysis of the mire at Sânpaul, Round Lake (Kerek-tó). The palaeoecological site is situated in the western foothill area of the Eastern Carpathians in Romania. The primary objective of this study was to analyse the accumulation of major and trace elements in a 7500 year-long peat and lake deposition. The concentrations of 13 elements were determined by using handheld XRF. This paper presents the results of a multidisciplinary study, for which the principal aims were to examine the long-term relationship between land degradation in the Homoród Hills using various palaeoecological techniques, primarily comparative geochemical analyses. The PCA of elemental concentrations suggests that Round Lake is mainly controlled by the input of inorganic mineral matter and the LOI550 of peat. However, some elements are influenced by biological processes of vegetation and groundwater. Geohistorical studies compared with vegetation changes and elemental distribution helped the detection of erosion phases in the level of 12 prehistoric cultures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quaternary Loess Deposition and Climate Change)
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Article
Selected Grain-Size and Geochemical Analyses of the Loess-Paleosol Sequence of Pécel (Northern Hungary): An Attempt to Determine Sediment Accumulation Conditions and the Source Area Location
Quaternary 2021, 4(2), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/quat4020017 - 26 May 2021
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Abstract
The loess-paleosol profile near the settlement of Pécel has a notable size among the loess-paleosol sequences of the Northern Carpathian territories. Therefore, comprehensive sedimentological examinations were performed to understand the profile and the information preserved in it. The past periodicity and intensity of [...] Read more.
The loess-paleosol profile near the settlement of Pécel has a notable size among the loess-paleosol sequences of the Northern Carpathian territories. Therefore, comprehensive sedimentological examinations were performed to understand the profile and the information preserved in it. The past periodicity and intensity of winds were showed by particle composition studies (GSI, U-ratio). At least two source areas can be presumed based on geochemical indices (CIA, CIW, Rb/Sr, Zr/Rb). Based on the characteristics of the chemical composition of sulphide minerals (P, S, Pb, Ni, As sulphides), the lower 10 m of the profile was supposed to be transported from the NW direction (Buda Thermal Karst, Börzsöny, Cserhát). Sufficient information is not yet available in order to determine the source area of the upper 10 m. By using the mentioned indexes, major developing and weathering horizons also could be identified. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quaternary Loess Deposition and Climate Change)
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Article
Human Activities, Biostratigraphy and Past Environment Revealed by Small-Mammal Associations at the Chalcolithic Levels of El Portalón de Cueva Mayor (Atapuerca, Spain)
Quaternary 2021, 4(2), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/quat4020016 - 14 May 2021
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Abstract
The Chalcolithic levels of El Portalón de Cueva Mayor (Atapuerca, Burgos, Spain) offer a good opportunity to test whether the small-mammal contents of different archaeo-stratigraphical units may be useful to characterize them as independent entities. With that purpose, we studied representative samples of [...] Read more.
The Chalcolithic levels of El Portalón de Cueva Mayor (Atapuerca, Burgos, Spain) offer a good opportunity to test whether the small-mammal contents of different archaeo-stratigraphical units may be useful to characterize them as independent entities. With that purpose, we studied representative samples of small-mammal remains from the two main contexts identified: the Early Chalcolithic (EC) funerary context and the Late Chalcolithic (LC) habitat/stabling context, with the latter comprising three different archaeological units according to their origin, namely prepared floors, activity floors and stabling surfaces or fumiers. Following the distribution of taxa in their respective contexts, we performed several statistical tests to check for significant discrepancies between archaeological units. The exclusive presence of certain taxa, together with the statistical difference in relative taxonomic ratios, points to the integrity and unpolluted condition of the EC context. The interspersed arrangement of the different LC context’s units made them prone to inter-pollution as they are not statistically different. The unexpected presence of Pliomys lenki and Chionomys nivalis in the prepared floors evidences their Upper Pleistocene allochthonous origin. The EC levels of El Portalón contribute the first Holocene records of nine taxa in the Sierra de Atapuerca. An environment dominated by woodland, shrubland and wet meadows, with moderate presence of grassland, inland wetlands and rocky areas, is inferred from the small-mammal association of the EC levels. Full article
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Review
Pleistocene Mammals from Pampean Region (Argentina). Biostratigraphic, Biogeographic, and Environmental Implications
Quaternary 2021, 4(2), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/quat4020015 - 11 May 2021
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Abstract
The Pampean Region contains sedimentary sequences with abundant mammal fossil records, which constitute the chronological outline of the Plio–Pleistocene of South America. These classic localities have been used for more than a century to correlate with other South American regions. Throughout this time, [...] Read more.
The Pampean Region contains sedimentary sequences with abundant mammal fossil records, which constitute the chronological outline of the Plio–Pleistocene of South America. These classic localities have been used for more than a century to correlate with other South American regions. Throughout this time, a series of misinterpretations have appeared. To understand the stratigraphic significance of these localities and the geochronological situation of each unit referring to the Pleistocene, a critical historical study of the antecedents was carried out, evaluating the state of each unit. The biostratigraphic studies of the Pampean Region’s mammalian faunas improved the understanding of biogeographic changes taking into account the environmental fluctuations of the Pleistocene. Full article
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Article
Extension of the Upper Yellow River into the Tibet Plateau: Review and New Data
Quaternary 2021, 4(2), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/quat4020014 - 25 Apr 2021
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Abstract
The Wufo Basin at the margin of the northeastern Tibet Plateau connects the upstream reaches of the Yellow River with the lowland catchment downstream, and the fluvial terrace sequence in this basin provides crucial clues to understand the evolution history of the Yellow [...] Read more.
The Wufo Basin at the margin of the northeastern Tibet Plateau connects the upstream reaches of the Yellow River with the lowland catchment downstream, and the fluvial terrace sequence in this basin provides crucial clues to understand the evolution history of the Yellow River drainage system in relation to the uplift and outgrowth of the Tibetan Plateau. Using field survey and analysis of Digital Elevation Model/Google Earth imagery, we found at least eight Yellow River terraces in this area. The overlying loess of the highest terrace was dated at 1.2 Ma based on paleomagnetic stratigraphy (two normal and two reversal polarities) and the loess-paleosol sequence (12 loess-paleosol cycles). This terrace shows the connections of drainage parts in and outside the Tibetan Plateau through its NE margin. In addition, we review the previously published data on the Yellow River terraces and ancient large lakes in the basins. Based on our new data and previous researches, we conclude that the modern Yellow River, with headwaters in the Tibet Plateau and debouching in the Bohai Sea, should date from at least 1.2 Ma. Ancient large lakes (such as the Hetao and Sanmen Lakes) developed as exorheic systems and flowed through the modern Yellow River at that time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluvial Archives: Climatic and Topographical Influences)
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Article
Mapping Food Production in Hyper-Arid and Arid Saharan Africa in the Holocene—A View from the Present
Quaternary 2021, 4(2), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/quat4020013 - 22 Apr 2021
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Abstract
The reconstruction of land use practices in hyper-arid Saharan Africa is often hampered by the accuracy of the available tools and by unconscious biases that see these areas as marginal and inhospitable. Considered that this has been for a long time the living [...] Read more.
The reconstruction of land use practices in hyper-arid Saharan Africa is often hampered by the accuracy of the available tools and by unconscious biases that see these areas as marginal and inhospitable. Considered that this has been for a long time the living space of pastoral mobile communities, new research is showing that agriculture might have been more important in these areas than previously thought. In this paper, after a review of present-day land use strategies in Saharan Africa, we show how ethnographic and ethnoarchaeological data can offer us a different point of view and help in better defining land use and food production strategies in this area. Ultimately, these insights can be integrated into the ongoing efforts to reconstruct past land use globally. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Activities and Development of Food Production in the Holocene)
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Article
Reconsidering the Equids from the Early Pleistocene Fauna of Apollonia 1 (Mygdonia Basin, Greece)
Quaternary 2021, 4(2), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/quat4020012 - 09 Apr 2021
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Abstract
The remains of equids are abundant in the Early Pleistocene faunas of Greece. “Apollonia-1” is one of the richest localities from the latest Villafranchian, providing eight skulls, mandibular remains and plenty of postcranial material during several field campaigns. This study focuses mainly on [...] Read more.
The remains of equids are abundant in the Early Pleistocene faunas of Greece. “Apollonia-1” is one of the richest localities from the latest Villafranchian, providing eight skulls, mandibular remains and plenty of postcranial material during several field campaigns. This study focuses mainly on the skulls, mandibular remains and metapodials from the old and new collection described in detail. The specimens are compared with equids from several Greek and European fossiliferous localities dating from the late Villafranchian to the middle Galerian. The systematic position of Equus apolloniensis is also discussed. Based on its basicranial proportions, E. apolloniensis is considered a true Equus. A second species has also been identified recently, here referred to as Equus sp.; it is poorly represented, and it is even larger and more robust than E. apolloniensis based on a single metacarpal and third phalanges. The presence of two equid species in Apollonia 1 validates its Epivillafranchian (=latest Villafranchian) age. Full article
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Article
The Interplay between Tectonic Activity, Climate and Sea-Level Change in the Suriname River Valley, Tropical South America
Quaternary 2021, 4(2), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/quat4020011 - 25 Mar 2021
Viewed by 465
Abstract
Suriname is part of the Guiana Shield, a cratonic area in northern South America. It is drained by several major rivers that are characterized by river terraces. The formation of terraces along the Suriname river is closely related to climatic changes during the [...] Read more.
Suriname is part of the Guiana Shield, a cratonic area in northern South America. It is drained by several major rivers that are characterized by river terraces. The formation of terraces along the Suriname river is closely related to climatic changes during the Quaternary, due to the effects of climate on vegetation and precipitation changes. The terraces along the Suriname River valley show levels of 5, 15, and 20 m above the current mean water level. The reason behind the scarce terrace differentiation is the limited amount of long-term vertical incision. Therefore, each level along the Suriname River valley encompasses multiple climate cycles, which cannot be separated on morphological grounds. The limited incision reflects tectonic stability, which is typical for cratonic areas. Fieldwork along the river combined with topographic maps were used to determine and correlate the various terrace levels. While in the upper part of the river, climatically induced changes in vegetation cover and sediment delivery is dominant. In the lowermost reach, sea level change is especially important. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluvial Archives: Climatic and Topographical Influences)
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