Articles | Volume 66, issue 2
Research article
21 Dec 2017
Research article |  | 21 Dec 2017

Late Quaternary climate and environmental reconstruction based on leaf wax analyses in the loess sequence of Möhlin, Switzerland

Lorenz Wüthrich, Marcel Bliedtner, Imke Kathrin Schäfer, Jana Zech, Fatemeh Shajari, Dorian Gaar, Frank Preusser, Gary Salazar, Sönke Szidat, and Roland Zech

Abstract. We present the results of leaf wax analyses (long-chain n-alkanes) from the 6.8 m deep loess sequence of Möhlin, Switzerland, spanning the last  ∼  70 kyr. Leaf waxes are well preserved and occur in sufficient amounts only down to 0.4 m and below 1.8 m depth, so no paleoenvironmental reconstructions can be done for marine isotope stage (MIS) 2.

Compound-specific δ2Hwax analyses yielded similar values for late MIS 3 compared to the uppermost samples, indicating that various effects (e.g., more negative values due to lower temperatures, more positive values due to an enriched moisture source) cancel each other out. A pronounced  ∼  30 ‰ shift towards more negative values probably reflects more humid conditions before  ∼  32 ka. Radiocarbon dating of the n-alkanes corroborates the stratigraphic integrity of leaf waxes and their potential for dating loess–paleosol sequences (LPS) back to  ∼  30 ka.