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Marcin Szymanek

Abstract

A research was conducted on the Holocene lake sediments from the full-cored FA-1 drilling at the southern shore of the Qarun Lake in the Faiyum Oasis in northern Egypt. Altogether 10 taxa of molluscs and 8 taxa of ostracods were identified in the examined deposits, with total amounts of 768 and 2872 individuals, respectively. The fauna was investigated with palaeoecological purpose and allowed for preliminary reconstruction of sedimentary environment in the lake. The occurrence of Valvata nilotica Jickeli, 1874 and Gomphocythere sp. in the lower part of the core and a low proportion of carapaces (2.4-28%) indicated freshwater and higher-energy conditions, respectively. Rapid expansion of Cyprideis torosa (Jones, 1850) at a depth of 18 m could point to very short saline episode in the lake. The increase in salinity and drop of water level were evidenced in the uppermost part of the core (4-3.5 m), when the lake was dominated by Hydrobia ventrosa (Montagu, 1803), Cerastoderma glaucum (Poiret, 1789) and C. torosa. The steady sedimentation in a shallow lake was also supported by considerable amount of complete ostracod carapaces (45%). The faunal assemblage and smooth valves of C. torosa suggested salinity of 14-25‰.

Open access

Marcin Szymanek

Abstract

For quantitative estimation of past water temperature of four Holsteinian (MIS 11) palaeolakes from eastern Poland, the oxygen isotope palaeothermometer was applied to shells of the aquatic gastropods Viviparus diluvianus and Valvata piscinalis. The δ18O composition of their shells demonstrated the average growth-season water temperatures during the mesocratic stage of the interglacial (Ortel Królewski Lake), during its climatic optimum – the CarpinusAbies Zone (Ossówka-Hrud, Roskosz and Szymanowo Lakes), and in the post-optimum (Szymanowo Lake). The calculation was based on δ18OShell values and the δ18OWater assumed for the Holsteinian from the modern oxygen isotope composition of precipitation and the expected amount of evaporative enrichment. The mean oxygen isotope palaeotemperatures of Ortel Królewski lake waters were in the range of 18.1–21.9°C and were uniform for the Taxus and PinusLarix zones. Ossówka-Hrud and Roskosz Lakes had mean temperatures of 17.4–21.0°C during the climatic optimum, whereas the temperature of Szymanowo lake waters was estimated at 20.6–21.7°C at that time. These values are concordant with the pollen-inferred July air temperatures noted during the Holsteinian in eastern Poland. Relatively high values of ~25°C in the post-optimum noted at Szymanowo were connected with the presence of a shallow and warm isolated bay indicated by pollen and mollusc records.

Open access

Marcin Szymanek

Abstract

The malacofauna of the palaeolake deposits at Szymanowo (eastern Poland) was investigated. It represents the younger part of the climatic optimum of the Mazovian (Holsteinian) Interglacial (~MIS 11) and possibly the postoptimal period. The mollusc assemblage is composed of both standing and running water species, mostly connected with temperate climate. The presence of biostratigraphical indicators of the Mazovian, Viviparus diluvianus (Kunth, 1865), Lithoglyphus jahni Urbański, 1975 and Pisidium clessini Neumayr, 1875, is noteworthy. Variability in the structure and composition of the assemblage enables palaeoecological reconstruction. Changes in the water-level, vegetation and energy conditions are inferred from the malacological succession. Three stages of the lake development were distinguished. The first one is connected with deeper conditions and predominance of V. diluvianus and L. jahni. The second one, dominated by Bithynia tentaculata (Linnaeus, 1758), records a fall of the water-level and the growth of aquatic plants, evidenced by high frequencies of Valvata cristata Muller, 1774 and Acroloxus lacustris (Linnaeus, 1758). The third stage corresponds to another rise of the water-level and an increase in V. diluvianus, L. jahni, Valvata piscinalis Muller, 1774 and Pisidium henslowanum (Sheppard, 1823), which evidence some higher energy conditions.

Open access

Jerzy Nitychoruk, Marcin Szymanek, Krzysztof Bińka, Maria Kasprzycka and Łukasz Zbucki

Abstract

The wooden structures unearthed in 2012 during archaeological excavation in the courtyard of the Museum of Archaeology and History in Elbląg have been dated using the dendrochronological method to the period between 1245 and 1302, which allows them to be considered to be parts of a Teutonic fortress. The remains of the wooden building located directly on the prehistoric lacustrine sediments created a unique opportunity to reconstruct the near-shore sedimentation of the Drużno Lake. Geological, malacological and palynological methods were applied during the investigation. The results, compared with the ranges of both the Drużno Lake and the Vistula Lagoon, known from previous studies of the region, allowed the correlation of a phase of a deep lake with the “Roman Period”. Rapid shallowing of the lake occurred in the “Migration Period”. The final disappearance of the lake in the area of modern Elbląg occurred in the early Middle Ages.

Open access

Leszek Marks, Jan Dzierżek, Robert Janiszewski, Jarosław Kaczorowski, Leszek Lindner, Aleksandra Majecka, Michał Makos, Marcin Szymanek, Anna Tołoczko-Pasek and Barbara Woronko

Abstract

Though the stratigraphical and palaeogeographical framework of the Quaternary in Poland is still to be completed, several crucial points have been confirmed recently. The preglacial series, accepted for years as belonging to the Lower Pleistocene, is undoubtedly of Early Pliocene age, with a huge hiatus above almost until the uppermost Lower Pleistocene. The earliest glaciation in Poland (Nidanian) occurred at about 900 ka BP when the ice sheet reached the mid-southern part of the country. The following Podlasian Interglacial embraced the Brunhes/Matuyama boundary in the middle, in a similar fashion to the corresponding Cromerian Complex in Western Europe. The late Early and early Middle Pleistocene interglacials in Poland comprised 2–3 optima each, whereas every one of the younger interglacials was characterised by a single optimum only. The Late Vistulian ice sheet was most extensive in the western part of Poland (Leszno Phase) whereas the younger Poznań Phase was more extensive in the central and eastern part of the country. This was due to the varied distance from the glaciation center in Scandinavia, making the ice sheet margin reach a terminal position in different times. Palaeoclimatological research in the Tatra Mountains has provided new evidence for the atmospheric circulation over Europe. During cold phases of the Pleistocene in Poland a continental climate extended further westwards, quite the opposite that occurring during warmer intervals.

Open access

Leszek Marks, Alaa Salem, Fabian Welc, Jerzy Nitychoruk, Zhongyuan Chen, Abdelfattah Zalat, Aleksandra Majecka, Marta Chodyka, Marcin Szymanek and Anna Tołoczko-Pasek

Abstract

The Lake Qarun (Faiyum Oasis, northern Egypt) is a relic of the much larger Holocene lake. Past lake levels and extensions were reconstructed, based on setting of archaeological sites scattered along northern paleoshores of the ancient lake. However, geoarcheological works did not yield enough data to establish continuous environmental history of the lake. A deep drilling FA-1 on the southeastern shore of the lake, performed in 2014, supplied with a core, 26 m long that is the one of the longest lake sediment cores in northeastern Africa. The basal section of the core consisted of thin-laminated diatom marly deposits, underlain at the Late Pleistocene/Holocene boundary by coarse-grained sands. The sediment lamine were quite well developed, especially in the lower part of the core. Preliminary results indicated annually deposited sediment sequence with seasonality signals provided by microlamine of diatoms, calcite, organic matter and clastic material. Early Holocene varved sediments from the Faiyum Oasis supplied with exceptional paleoenvironmental data for northeastern Africa, which enriched a record from previous logs drilled at the southwestern margin of the Qarun Lake.

Open access

Abdelfattah A. Zalat, Leszek Marks, Fabian Welc, Alaa Salem, Jerzy Nitychoruk, Zhongyuan Chen, Aleksandra Majecka, Marcin Szymanek, Marta Chodyka, Anna Tołoczko-Pasek, Qianli Sun, Xiaoshuang Zhao and Jun Jiang

Abstract

This study evaluates changes in the environmental and climatic conditions in the Faiyum Oasis during the Holocene based on diatom analyses of the sediment FA-1 core from the southern seashore of the Qarun Lake. The studied FA-1 core was 26 m long and covered the time span ca. 9.000 cal. yrs BP. Diatom taxa were abundant and moderately to well-preserved throughout the core sediments. Planktonic taxa were most abundant than the benthic and epiphytic forms, which were very rare and sparsely distributed. The most dominant planktonic genera were Aulacoseira and Stephanodiscus followed by frequently distribution of Cyclostephanos and Cyclotella species. The stratigraphic distribution patterns of the recorded diatoms through the Holocene sediments explained five ecological diatom groups. These groups represent distinctive environmental conditions, which were mainly related to climatic changes through the early and middle Holocene, in addition to anthropogenic activity during the late Holocene. Comparison of diatom assemblages in the studied sediment core suggests that considerable changes occurred in water level as well as salinity. There were several high stands of the freshwater lake level during humid, warmer-wet climatic phases marked by dominance of planktonic, oligohalobous and alkaliphilous diatoms alternated with lowering of the lake level and slight increases in salinity and alkalinity during warm arid conditions evident by prevalence of brackish water diatoms.