XVI INQUA Congress
Paper No. 30-8
Presentation Time: 11:10 AM-11:30 AM


VAN KOLFSCHOTEN, Thijs, Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden Univ, P.O. Box 9515, Leiden 2300 RA Netherlands, t.van.kolfschoten@arch.leidenuniv.nl.

An increasing number of paleoclimatologists believe that Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 11 is more appropriate as a past analogue for the Holocene than the Eemian. This assumption led to a growing interest among biostratigraphers, paleozoologists and paleobotanists, who investigate the terrestrial-equivalent late Middle Pleistocene record, as well as the stages directly preceding and following this event. Their studies show that during this time-span in the European flora and fauna, species, regarded as Pliocene and Early Pleistocene relicts, became extinct. It is implicit therefore that the modern terrestrial flora and fauna was established during late Middle Pleistocene. The detailed studies of the Middle Pleistocene revealed a large number of temperate flora and fauna assemblages indicating several warm/temperate stages. Which of these warm/temperate continental stages is the equivalent of MIS 11? In Europe the Holsteinian seems to be a good candidate. However, in the literature one can find correlations between the Holsteinian and MIS 7, 9, 11 or 13 which indicates that a correlation between the marine oxygen isotope stratigraphy and the Holsteinian is still a matter of debate. The debated arguments will be summarized in the presentation and the conclusion that Holsteinian is the best candidate will be argued.

Assuming that the Holsteinian is the equivalent, what do we know about that stage? In glaciated areas as in the northern part of Western and Central Europe it is possible to find the Elsterian glacial deposits and hence, it is possible to trace the succeeding Holsteinian deposits and to characterize the stage paleobotanically and paleozoologically. This is crucial in order to be able to recognize the Holsteinian in the extra-glaciated areas where only scattered, fragmented parts of the Middle Pleistocene geological record can be studied. Furthermore it is possible in long sections such as Lac du Bouchet, Tenaghi Philippon to find equivalents of MIS 11 in southern Europe and to investigate the correlation between these equivalents and the northern European Holsteinian Stage. These investigation will also show the geographical gradients in the botanical and zoological characteristics of the terrestrial equivalent of Marine Isotope Stage 11.

XVI INQUA Congress
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 30
Isotope Stage 11: An Analog for the Present Interglaciation?
Reno Hilton Resort and Conference Center: Crystal 3&4
8:00 AM-12:00 PM, Saturday, July 26, 2003

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, , p. 127

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