The aim of the "First Central European Conference on Geomorphology and Quaternary Sciences", held in Gießen in September 2018, was to create an integrated view of Earth sciences by connecting two closely related and interdependent scientific disciplines. This interdisciplinary approach is crucial since in order to understand present-day environments and current geomorphological processes, a substantial knowledge of past environments and their specific changes is needed. Vice versa, a Quaternary sedimentary archive can only be interpreted when the geomorphological process behind its formation is well understood. As a consequence, this special issue brings together studies on geomorphological process-response systems, Quaternary archives, and palaeoenvironmental and geoarchaeological research from different areas around the globe including various spatial and temporal scales.
By using geochemical and pollen data, this study wanted to close knowledge gaps on the interconnection of climate, environment and human impact in the Kleinwalser Valley (Kleinwalsertal, northern central Alps) over the past 6200 years. For a long time, the Walser people were believed to be the first settlers, who cultivated the valley. However, humans have recurrently used and modified the landscape for at least 5500 years by burning or cutting down forests and practicing pasture management.
It was possible to define the turning point from extremely clayey and organic- rich sedimentation in the Early and Middle Holocene towards the deposition of coarser-grained and less organic overbank fines in the lower Pleiße valley near Leipzig, NW Saxony. This change occurred between 4000 and 3300 BCE more than 1000 years after the beginning of Early Neolithic settlement and was obviously linked with land clearance by the first farmers.
This paper is about deglaciation history in two areas of southern Norway. By dating rock surfaces we can estimate a minimum ice sheet thickness of 1476 m a.s.l. and a timing of deglaciation around 13 000 years ago in the western study area. In the eastern study area the deglaciation history is complex as the bedrock age most likely has inheritance from earlier ice-free periods. Comparing both study areas demonstrates the complex dynamics of the deglaciation in different areas in southern Norway.
This study presents ESR, OSL and C-14 data from Upper and Middle Pleistocene fluvial terraces (Übergangsterrassen, Hochterrassen) and its loess cover in the Bavarian Alpine Foreland. It will be illustrated that the ESR dating of embedded land-snail shells offers a new dating approach with an upper dating limit most probably much older than the penultimate interglacial (MIS 7). Furthermore, it shows that in some areas Hochterrassen gravels are underlain by older interglacial gravel deposits.
Sedimentary deposits provide insights into past Earth surface dynamics via the size distribution of mineral grains documenting the erosion, transport and deposition history. This study introduces structured procedures to decipher the distinct grain-size distributions of sediment samples that were mixed during/after deposition, using the free statistical tool EMMAgeo. Compared with other algorithms, EMMAgeo is unique as it provides uncertainty estimates and allows expert knowledge to be included.