Articles | Volume 56, issue 3
01 Sep 2007
 | 01 Sep 2007

The Upper Pleistocene loess/palaeosol sequence from Schatthausen in North Baden-Württemberg

Manfred Frechen, Birgit Terhorst, and Wolfgang Rähle

Abstract. The loess/palaeosol sequence from the section at Schatthausen in North Baden-Württemberg gives evidence for a younger Bt horizon superimposing the last interglacial palaeosol. This result requires a more careful investigation of polygenetic superimposing palaeosols to avoid misinterpretation of the chronostratigraphic positions. The humic horizon and the underlying Bt horizon were most likely formed during two soil forming periods, as evidenced by means of palaeopedology, phytoliths and luminescence dating. The lowermost Bt horizon (Bt1) was most likely formed during the Eemian interglacial, marine isotope substage (MIS) 5e. The sediment of the uppermost Bt horizon (Bt2) was deposited about 71.5±7.4 ka ago and subsequently superimposed by soil formation most likely during early MIS 3. The Ah horizon covering the Bt gave infrared optically stimulated luminescence (IRSL) age estimates between 52.5±5.5 ka and 45.4±4.7 ka confirming soil formation during MIS 3. Periods of increased dust accumulation rates can be distinguished for the loess/palaeosol sequence by IRSL age estimates. These are from the youngest to the oldest: The Late Glacial loess (MIS 2) with a weighted mean age of 15.2±0.6 ka (N=7), the Middle Pleniglacial sediments (MIS 3) with a weighted mean age of 48.9±2.5 ka (n=4) and the Lower Pleniglacial/Early Glacial sediments (MIS 4/MIS 5) with a deposition age of 71.5±7.4 ka and older loess deposits. The IRSL age estimates are in excellent agreement with the geological estimates and correlate well with the dust peaks of Greenland Icecore record (GRIP). The loess record from Schatthausen complements the loess/palaeosol sequence from the nearby Nußloch section with the late glacial loess and its intercalcated Cryic Gleysols.