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Peter Pišút, Eva Břízová, Tomáš Čejka and Radovan Pipík

Paleofloristic and paleofaunistic analysis of Dudváh River oxbow and implication for Late Holocene paleoenvironmental development of the Žitný ostrov Island (SW Slovakia)

Žitný ostrov, the largest island of the Danube River (SW Slovakia) gained its present shape in the Neoholocene period. As a result of increased flood and geomorphological Danube river activity dated to 1378-1528 AD, the Lower Dudváh River was abandoned and its alluvium became a part of the Žitný ostrov. Study of a Dudváh terrestrialized paleomeander by means of pollen and macrofossil analysis provides new information about the paleoenvironments of the Danubian Plain. The meander under study was cut-off during the Sub-Boreal period when the land was mostly covered by oak-dominated mixed forest with a notable high frequency of Fagus and Abies. In low-lying depressions, Alnus glutinosa formed typical alder carrs. The largest decline of the mixed forest occurred during the Sub-Atlantic period. Until the mid-19th century the region was strongly influenced by shallow groundwater and periodical floods, as reflected by pollen of aquatics and marsh species. Amongst non-arboreal taxa, pollen of Cyperaceae, Brassicaceae/Cuscuta, Poaceae and Apiaceae prevailed. Local successional changes started with i) stage of abandoned oxbow still with influx of moving water, poor in both macrophytes and molluscs, ii) shallow eutrophic oxbow lake with slowly flowing or stagnant water overgrown with aquatics (Ranunculus subgen. Batrachium, Potamogeton sp., Ceratophyllum demersum etc.) and abundant molluscs, iii) an open marsh dominated by Cyperaceae (mainly Carex riparia) with Atriplex prostrata, supporting diverse molluscan and Ostracod fauna. Present-day habitat is a result of landscape changes, which have been associated with draining, intensified agriculture, ruderalisation and spread of invasive species.

Open access

Thomas A. Neubauer, Mathias Harzhauser and Radovan Pipík


The present work displays the first detailed taxonomic study on the freshwater gastropod fauna of the Upper Miocene Lake Turiec. Apart from several mentions of species and genus names in the literature, the mollusc fauna has been poorly studied up to now. Some of the cited genera implied peculiar paleobiogeographic relationships, urging a taxonomic investigation to either prove or revise such arising claims. Variable degrees of preservation, however, limited the possibility to identify all the fossils at species level. The fauna includes at least ten species, of which five turned out to be new to science. Four of those were sufficiently well preserved to be described as new species, namely Viviparus pipiki Neubauer & Harzhauser nov. sp., Melanopsis glaubrechti Neubauer & Harzhauser nov. sp., Tournouerina turiecensis Neubauer & Harzhauser nov. sp., and Radix kovaci Neubauer & Harzhauser nov. sp. Additionally, the new genus Popovicia Neubauer & Harzhauser nov. gen. is introduced for the primary homonym Metohia Popović, 1964 non Absolon, 1927. Most importantly, this taxonomic study revises many of the names cited in the literature and proves most of the alleged paleobiogeographic relationships wrong. The only biogeographic and stratigraphic surprise is the record of Popovicia cf. compressa, a species described from lower Pliocene deposits of the Metohia Basin in Kosovo. The majority of the fauna, however, has only been documented for the Turiec Basin, once more confirming the high degree of its endemicity. The faunal relationships indicate a latest Middle to early Late Pannonian (Middle to Late Tortonian) age, which is in agreement with available age models.

Open access

Michal Kováč, Jozef Hók, Jozef Minár, Rastislav Vojtko, Miroslav Bielik, Radovan Pipík, Miloš Rakús, Ján Kráľ, Martin Šujan and Silvia Králiková

Neogene and Quaternary development of the Turiec Basin and landscape in its catchment: a tentative mass balance model

The development of the Turiec Basin and landscape evolution in its catchment has been reconstructed by methods of geological research (structural geology, sedimentology, paleoecology, and geochronological data) as well as by geophysics and geomorphology. The basin and its surrounding mountains were a subject of a mass balance study during periods of tectonic activity, accompanied by considerable altitudinal differentiation of relief and also during quiet periods, characterized by a development of planation surfaces in the mountains. The coarse clastic alluvial fans deposited beneath the offshore pelitic sediments document the rapid Middle Miocene uplift of mountains on the margin of the Turiec Basin. The Late Miocene finegrained sedimentation represents the main fill of this basin and its origin was associated with the formation of planation surfaces in the surrounding mountains. The rapid uplift of the western and northern parts of the catchment area during the latest Miocene and Early Pliocene times further generated the deposition of coarse-grained alluvial fans. The Late Pliocene basin inversion, due to uplift of the whole Western Carpathians mountain chain, was associated with the formation of the Early Quaternary pediment and ultimately with the formation of the Turiec river terrace systems.