Late Quaternary climate and environmental reconstruction based on leaf wax analyses in the loess sequence of Möhlin, Switzerland
- 1Geographical Institute, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
- 2Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
- 3Geo and Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany
- 4Institute of Geology, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
- 5Institute of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
- 6Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
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.