Eemian landscape response to climatic shifts and evidence for northerly Neanderthal occupation at a palaeolake margin in northern Germany

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


  • Michael Hein
  • Brigitte Urban
  • David Colin Tanner
  • Anton Hermann Buness
  • Mario Tucci
  • Philipp Hoelzmann
  • Sabine Dietel
  • Marie Kaniecki
  • Jonathan Schultz
  • Thomas Kasper
  • Hans Suchodoletz
  • Antje Schwalb
  • Marcel Weiss
  • Tobias Lauer
The prevailing view suggests that the Eemian interglacial on the European Plain was characterized by largely negligible geomorphic activity beyond the coastal areas. However, systematic geomorphological studies are sparse. Here we present a detailed reconstruction of Eemian to Early Weichselian landscape evolution in the vicinity of a small fingerlake on the northern margin of the Salzwedel Palaeolake in Lower Saxony (Germany). We apply a combination of seismics, sediment coring, pollen analysis and luminescence dating on a complex sequence of colluvial, paludal and lacustrine sediments. Results suggest two pronounced phases of geomorphic activity, directly before the onset and at the end of the Eemian period, with an intermediate period of pronounced landscape stability. The dynamic phases were largely driven by incomplete vegetation cover, but likely accentuated by fluvial incision in the neighbouring Elbe Valley. Furthermore, we discovered Neanderthal occupation at the lakeshore during Eemian pollen zone (PZ) E IV, which is chronologically in line with other known Eemian sites of central Europe. Our highly-resolved spatio-temporal data substantially contribute to the understanding of climate-induced geomorphic processes throughout and directly after the last interglacial period. It helps unraveling the landscape dynamics between the coastal areas to the north and the loess belt to the south.
ZeitschriftEarth Surface Processes and Landforms
Seiten (von - bis)2884-2901
Anzahl der Seiten18
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 11.2021