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High-resolution analysis of upper Miocene lake deposits: Evidence for the influence of Gleissberg-band solar forcing

Kern, Andrea K., Harzhauser, Mathias, Soliman, Ali, Piller, Werner E., Mandic, Oleg
Palaeogeography, palaeoclimatology, palaeoecology 2013 v.370 pp. 167-183
Miozoa, Tortonian age, bacteria, carbon, eutrophication, gamma radiation, geochemistry, geophysics, hinterland, lakes, models, molluscs, pollen, sediments, sulfur, vegetation, wetlands, wind direction, Austria
A high-resolution multi-proxy analysis was conducted on a 1.5-m-long core of Tortonian age (~10.5Ma; Late Miocene) from Austria (Europe). The lake sediments were studied with a 1-cm resolution to detect all small-scale variations based on palynomorphs (pollen and dinoflagellate cysts), ostracod abundance, geochemistry (carbon and sulfur) and geophysics (magnetic susceptibility and natural gamma radiation). Based on an already established age model for a longer interval of the same core, this sequence can be limited to approx. two millennia of Late Miocene time with a resolution of ~13.7years per sample. The previous study documented the presence of solar forcing, which was verified within various proxies on this 1.5-m core by a combination of REDFIT spectra and Gaussian filters. Significant repetitive signals ranged in two discrete intervals corresponding roughly to 55–82 and 110–123years, fitting well within the lower and upper Gleissberg cycle ranges.Based on these results, the environmental changes along the 2000-year Late Miocene sequence are discussed. No major ecological turnovers are expected in this very short interval. Nonetheless, even within this brief time span, dinoflagellates document rapid changes between oligotrophic and eutrophic conditions, which are frequently coupled with lake stratification and dysoxic bottom waters. These phases prevented ostracods and molluscs from settling and promoted the activity of sulfur bacteria. The pollen record indicates rather stable wetland vegetation with a forested hinterland. Shifts in the pollen spectra can be mainly attributed to variations in transport mechanisms. These are represented by a few phases of fluvial input but mainly by changes in wind intensity and probably also wind direction. Such influence is most likely caused by solar cycles, leading to a change in source area for the input into the lake.Furthermore, these solar-induced variations seem to be modulated by longer solar cycles. The filtered data display comparable patterns and modulations, which seem to be forced by the 1000-year and 1500-year cycles. The 1000-year cycle modulated especially the lake surface proxies, whereas the 1500-year cycle is mainly reflected in hinterland proxies, indicating strong influence on transport mechanisms.