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First assessment of changes in dust sources in the black forest during the Holocene: case study at Wildseemoor

Première évaluation des changements de source de poussière atmosphérique dans la forêt noire au cours de l’Holocène : étude de cas à Wildseemoor
Martin Steiner, Claire Rambeau, Samuel K. Marx, Jan­‑Hendrik May, Hendrik Vogel et Frank Preusser
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Résumés

Une séquence de tourbe de 600 cm provenant de la tourbière ombrotrophe de Wildseemoor dans le nord de la Forêt Noire, couvrant les derniers ca. 10,000 ans, permet d’identifier les changements potentiels dans l’apport de poussière atmosphérique au cours de l’Holocène. Ces informations sont essentielles à la compréhension des changements environnementaux passés, de l’échelle locale à l’échelle suprarégionale, et permettent d’interpréter en particulier l’histoire des incendies et leurs liens avec le changement climatique ou les impacts anthropiques. La modification de la composition de la poussière atmosphérique a été étudiée en scannant la séquence sédimentaire par fluorescence aux rayons X (X-ray fluorescence core scanning : XRF-CS), pour établir la composition chimique globale de l’apport lithogénique à la tourbière en utilisant les signatures élémentaires, en particulier les ratios Ca/Ti et Ti/Zr. Deux sources principales de poussière atmosphérique ont pu être différenciées, une locale et une distale (longue distance), dont l’importance varie dans le temps. L’apport de poussières atmosphériques distales est élevé au début de l’Holocène (autour de 8,800 - 8,300 cal BP), ainsi qu’autour de 5,000 cal BP, 3,000 cal BP, 2,300 cal BP et pour les dernières ~200 années (Ca/Ti élevé). Les poussières atmosphériques distales pourraient provenir de la remobilisation de dépôts de lœss dans le Fossé du Rhin supérieur ou, à l’occasion, de sources plus lointaines comme le Sahara ou le Massif Central. L’augmentation de l’apport de poussière atmosphérique local (augmentation de Ti/Zr) est en corrélation générale avec les pics de l’afflux de charbon de bois pour la période postérieure à ~3,850 cal BP, enregistrant potentiellement des phases d’influence anthropogénique accrue dans les environs de Wildseemoor. Des recherches supplémentaires dans les tourbières voisines (de la Forêt Noire et des Vosges), ainsi qu’une empreinte géochimique plus précise des différentes sources de poussière atmosphérique, sont nécessaires pour explorer l’étendue et la signification régionales des changements environnementaux holocènes enregistrés à Wildseemoor.

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Texte intégral

We gratefully acknowledge comments and suggestions from Max Engel and an anonymous reviewer, as well as from guest editor Gilles Rixhon.

1 - Introduction

1Ombrotrophic bogs are disconnected from groundwater and their water supply exclusively originates from meteoric input. Combined with their mainly acidic, anaerobic properties hindering decomposition, this makes ombrotrophic bogs excellent archives of past environmental changes, and in particular atmospheric deposition. As a result, elemental input into such bogs originates solely from the atmosphere, with atmospheric dust being the predominate, or only, source of lithogenic elements (Shotyk, 2002; Marx et al., 2009; Vanneste et al., 2016; Hooper et al., 2020). Geochemical analyses of bog sediments can be used to reconstruct past changes in dust composition (Shotyk, 1996, 2002; Shotyk et al., 2000) either natural (change of sources) or humaninduced (e.g., through lead contents related to palaeometallurgy; Weiss et al., 1997; Shotyk, 2002), or changes in deposition rates (such as increases in dust deposition due to human activity; e.g., Marx et al., 2014; Hooper & Marx, 2018). The geochemical signatures of dust in bogs can be used to help discriminate local (direct vicinity of the archive investigated) to regional (more distant) signals (e.g., Robert & Baril, 1984; Marx et al., 2009; Hooper et al., 2020). Hence, information on dust deposition and dust provenance complements other proxy data (e.g., pollen) and helps provide a more complete record of natural/human-driven environment change (e.g., Hölzer & Hölzer, 2003).

2One method to quickly assess the geochemical composition of dust in ombrotrophic peat bogs, in a non-destructive way, is by X-ray fluorescence core scanning (XRF-CS). In most organic-rich environments, however, numerous studies have highlighted the potential influences of biological or diagenetic processes on XRF-CS measurements (Shotyk et al., 2000; Shotyk, 2002; Löwemark et al., 2011; Marx et al., 2021). Hence, XRF-CS has seldom been used for organic-rich sediments, as the interference of organic matter, high water content and surface roughness was expected as too strong to receive reliable signals. However, more recently several studies have shown promising results using XRF-CS on peat (e.g., Longman et al., 2019 and references within).

3In the Swiss Jura, records of past dust deposition have been extensively developed from peat bogs and lakes (Shotyk, 1996, 2002; Shotyk et al., 2000, 2002). The results have provided insights into past climate variability and have also demonstrated a clear anthropogenic signal, in particular metal pollution, originating from mining. Anthropogenic impact was evident in these records through variations in the concentrations of certain metals, in particular lead (Pb) concentrations (e.g., Shotyk et al., 2000; Shotyk, 2002), whereas variability in natural dust flux was assessed using the ratios of minerogenic elements. For example, the ratios Ti/Sc and Zr/Sc were used as indicators for more local dust flux, whereas the ratios of Cu, Zn, As, and other elements over Sc were used as markers for long range dust flux into the studied peat bogs (Shotyk et al., 2002). Following this work, Le Roux et al. (2012) used Ti/Sm and Eu/Sm ratios at the same site, in combination with Nd isotopes, to derive information about dust flux and dust provenance during the Younger Dryas and the Holocene.

4Like in the Jura, peat bogs are also frequently found in the Upper Rhine region, in particular in the mountain ranges of the Vosges and the Black Forest. While these peat bog sequences have been intensively studied with regard to vegetation history and input of pollutants by humans (e.g., Rösch, 2000, 2009, 2012; Hölzer & Hölzer, 2003; Gałka et al., 2022), little is yet known about potential changes in Holocene dust sources and flux.

5Here, we present a first assessment of dust input to this region by investigating the Wildseemoor sequence in the northern Black Forest. Geochemical information was extracted by XRF-CS and interpreted in terms of origin of lithogenic input into the bog. Elemental records are further compared to charcoal data on the same site (Steiner et al., soumis) as well as regional pollen records, to refine interpretations of environmental change during the Holocene in the northern Black Forest. This study is the first to provide a record of Holocene dust variations as recorded in bogs in the Black Forest. Additionally, since little research exists regarding XRF-CS applied to peat cores, this study also contributes to evaluate and demonstrate the practicability of the method on cores from such environments, in a proof-of-concept approach.

2 - Study area

6Wildseemoor is an ombrotrophic peat bog located in the northern Black Forest in SW Germany (fig. 1). It is part of the Kaltenbronn nature reserve, created in 2000 CE and covering ca. 1353 ha (Hämmerle & Stübler, 2000). The nature reserve Wildseemoor itself covers ca. 2 ha, surrounded by a heavily managed forest. Vegetation of the bog is characterised by sphagnum mosses and wetland species adapted to a low-nutrient environment (Kupferer, 1999). As the largest raised bog pond in the Black Forest (Kupferer, 1999; Hämmerle & Stübler, 2000), Wildseemoor is located on a high plateau with an average annual temperature of ca. 6.0°C and precipitation of ca. 1800 mm/a (Kupferer, 1999). The windfield at Wildseemoor is dominated by westerlies originating from the North Atlantic (Trenkle & von Rudloff, 1981 ; Meteoblue.com, 2022). Atmospheric deposition to Wildseemoor is facilitated by its elevation and position on top of the Black Forest range and surrounded by a puny vegetation cover, caused by the nutrient-poor, acidic peat environment (Kupferer, 1999), while the very low slope of the plateau on which Wildseemoor is located reduces runoff input to the wetland.

7The northern Black Forest, containing the study site, forms the eastern shoulder of the southern part of the Upper Rhine Graben, and further to the West, extensive Quaternary fluvial deposits fill the valley between the Black Forest and Vosges massifs, partly recovered by thick sequences of loess related to the last glacial period (Bertran et al., 2021). In terms of geology, the predominant strata in the immediate surrounding of the bog is the Middle Buntsandstein, a Triassic aged coarse sandstone, which is rich in quartz (fig. 2, orange colour). It is divided in “Vogesensandstein” and “Geröllsandstein” (Geyer & Gwinner, 2011). The “Forbachgranit” (fig. 2, pink colour), is a two-mica granite and is the predominant lithology in the adjacent valley to the west. In the transition to the Murg Valley to the west of the study site the “Tigersandstein”, belonging to the “Zechstein” (Upper Permian), and the “Eck-Formation”, part of the Lower Buntsandstein, outcrop (fig. 2, dark brown). Finally, lœss deposits occur near the river Murg, close to the village of Weisenbach, westwards of the site (fig. 2, light green) (LGRB, 2021).

Fig. 1: Location Map.

Fig. 1: Location Map.

a/ Location of the study area within Europe. b/ The Black Forest. Sites of interest are indicated with blue and red circles (WSM = Wildseemoor, WS =Wilder See, GWS = Glaswaldsee, BSM = Blindenseemoor, SSK = Schurtenseekar). Shaded relief data is from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM; version 4) available at https://dwtkns.com/​srtm30m/​ (last access: 23.05.2022). Coordinate systems: ETRS 1989 UTM Zone 32N and WGS 1984. c/ Position of core W1 within the Wildseemoor peatland on an aerial photography (© Google Earth/Copernicus).

Fig. 2: Geological Map.

Fig. 2: Geological Map.

Location and geological setting of Wildseemoor in SW Germany (LGRB, 2021).

3 - Materials and methods

8A 600-cm-thick peat sequence was collected near the edge of Wildseemoor (48°43’2.53’’N, 8°27’32.18’’E; W1 on fig. 1) in May 2017 with a Russian corer, allowing successive sections consisting of half-cylinders of 5 cm diameter by 50 cm length to be extracted from the bog.

9The upper 50 cm of the Wildseemoor peat sequence consist of undecomposed, fresh-looking Sphagnum moss with some straws of weeds and roots (fig. 3). Decomposition state is then increasing over a ca. 20 cm transition zone, down to a more decomposed brownish material with fibrous plant material and identifiable plant parts (up to ca. 5 mm in size) composing the sequence at ca. 70-130 cm depth. For the following 400 cm of sequence, more decomposed peat that is darker, moister and finer (highly decomposed peat or gyttja) with identifiable plant parts up to ca. 1 mm in size (ca. 200 - 230 cm, 260 - 280 cm, 380 - 430 cm and 590 - 600 cm depth) alternates with coarser and more moderately decomposed material (ca. 230 - 260 cm, 280 - 380 cm and 430 - 590 cm depth), that occasionally features abundant fibrous plant material (ca. 230 - 260 cm and 430 - 500 cm depth). No sign of sedimentation interruption could be recognised in the sequence. However, some material went missing during the extraction process at ca. 0 - 10 cm, ca. 50 - 70 cm, and ca. 200 cm depth (fig. 3).

10High moisture content is present throughout the sequence, measured at roughly 90 - 95% for most of it and ca. 85 - 90% in the lowest 50 cm (550 - 600 cm depth; fig. 3). Enhanced wetness is probably responsible for loss of material during coring in the upper parts of the sequence. Organic content is very high throughout the entire sequence, ranging from ca. 96 to 100% of dried sample mass (fig. 3). Although the argument is not definitive, the ash content of ≤ 5% strongly suggests that the investigated sequence was deposited under ombrotrophic conditions (Shotyk, 1988).

11Element composition was inferred semi-quantitatively using an ITRAX XRF core scanner at the Institute of Geological Sciences at the University of Bern. Measurements were performed using a Cr-anode tube set to 30 kV and 50 mA with 20 mm integrals and an integration time of 20 s. In peat profiles, characterised by a heterogeneous texture, and composed mostly of organic material with low amounts of lithogenic matter, only relatively weak intensities are detected for most elements. Nevertheless, for abundant lithogenic elements such as calcium (Ca), titanium (Ti), and zirconium (Zr), intensities are high enough to detect relative changes in lithogenic matter input. Sections with insufficient measurement quality were removed upon inspection of core images, along with elevated argon (Ar) counts as well as sharp and isolated fluctuations in Ca counts showing erroneous measurements, potentially influenced by tape (covering holes and subsection limits). To reduce background noise, the elemental signal was smoothed using an 8-point moving average following equation:

12To correct some of the potential effects of biological or diagenetic processes on element counts/concentrations, that may be expected in water- and organic-rich environments such as peat bogs, the elemental data is normalised to that of a conservative element (Shotyk et al., 2000; Shotyk, 2002; Löwemark et al., 2011; Marx et al., 2021). Suitable and commonly used elements include Ti, Sc, Al, La and Lu among others (Shotyk, 1996; Weiss et al. ; 1997; Kylander et al., 2005; Marx et al., 2010). For the sequence investigated in this study, Ti shows relatively high intensities in contrast to Al. Ti is often used as a normalising element due to its ubiquity (Milnes & Fitzpatrick, 1989), and its high resistance to chemical weathering (Shotyk, 1996 ; Marx et al., 2021). Al, on the other hand, can be affected by matrix effects (Rothwell & Croudace, 2015). We therefore normalised all other elements over Ti (rather than Al) both for reasons of signal robustness and to remove potential influences of biological or diagenetic processes (fig. 4).

13Based on radiocarbon dating of macrofossils (tab. 1), two possible age-depth models were calculated with the open source CRAN rbacon package in R (version 2.5.8), which uses Bayesian statistics (Blaauw & Christen, 2011). Radiocarbon ages were calibrated using the IntCal20 calibration curve (Reimer et al., 2020) integrated in rbacon (fig. 5). These two models include, either periods of reduced sedimentation for certain portions of the sequence (Model A; fig. 5), or periods of depositional hiatuses implemented at depths of 241 cm and at 507 cm. Since the limited number of dates, especially around critical intervals doesn’t allow selecting one model over the other, both models are used for age control in this contribution. Minor uncertainties in age control resulting from this are indicated in all results concerned. Charcoal influx (Steiner et al., soumis) was calculated from 65 subsamples of 1 cm³ extracted from the sequence, sieved to 100, 150, 200 and 250 µm. All charcoal particles were counted under the binocular using a Borogov counting chamber. Charcoal concentrations were calculated as the total number of charcoal particles counted per cm³. Charcoal influx (particles*cm-2*year-1) were calculated by relating the total number of charcoal particles to the number of years contained in each sub-sample, using the two developed age models (fig. 6).

Fig. 3: Log and LOI results of Wildseemoor sequence.

Fig. 3: Log and LOI results of Wildseemoor sequence.

Log of the Wildseemoor sequence, with location and age of individual radiocarbon samples, presented together with the results of loss on ignition analysis (moisture and organic content). Phases of potential reduced accretion are shown in grey, hypothetical hiatuses as red lines. See fig. 5 for more details about age-depth modelling.

Fig. 4: Selected elemental ratios for the Wildseemoor sequence.

Fig. 4: Selected elemental ratios for the Wildseemoor sequence.

Selected elemental ratios (Ca/Ti, Zr/Ti, and Ca/Zr) in the Wildseemoor sequence measured by XRF core scanner. Used here is only age-depth Model A for simplification.

Fig. 5: Calculated age-depth models for Wildseemoor.

Fig. 5: Calculated age-depth models for Wildseemoor.

Age-depth models, CRAN rbacon® package in R with IntCal20, 95% confidence interval (version 2.5.8; Blaauw & Christen, 2011). A/ Model A without implemented hiatuses. B/ Model B with implemented hiatuses at depths of 241 cm and 507 cm.

Fig. 6: Local and distal dust proxies for the Wildseemoor sequence.

Fig. 6: Local and distal dust proxies for the Wildseemoor sequence.

Ca/Ti (black) and Ti/Zr (blue) ratios shown for both age-depth models (A and B).

Tab. 1: Samples dated by radiocarbon.

Lab number, depth range, uncalibrated age, respective error (1σ), age range (calculated with OxCal 4.4 (Ramsey, 2009) using IntCal20 calibration curve (Reimer et al., 2020), and material for the seven macrofossils dated using 14C. (BE- = dated in the MICADAS laboratory in Bern, Poz- = dated in the in Poznań Radiocarbon Laboratory). From Steiner et al. (in review).

4 - Results

14When normalised to Ti, several elements (e.g., Ca, Zr, Cu, Al, and to a certain extent Fe) show very similar down-core profiles (examples as shown in fig. 4). High values are found between ca. 570 - 520 cm depth (age-depth Model A: ca. 9,350 - 8,200 cal BP; Model B: ca. 9,300 - 8,300 cal BP), followed by a period of elevated values until ca. 370 cm depth (ca. 3,000 cal BP) with a peak at ca. 495 cm depth (ca. 5,000 cal BP). From this depth upwards, values are overall considerably lower, with singular peaks standing out, notably around ca. 370 cm (ca. 3,000 cal BP), 315 cm (ca. 2,300 cal BP), and 70 cm depth (Model A: 170 cal BP; Model B: ca. 180 cal BP). Slightly elevated values can be found for the ratios of Ca/Ti, Zr/Ti, as well as Ca/Zr, for the last ca. 200 years (fig. 4).

5 - Discussion

5.1 - Origin of lithogenic elements

15The ratio of Zr over Ti varies with depth (fig. 4) and as these are both largely immobile elements (Turner et al., 2015 and references therein), changes in this ratio should reflect fluctuations in the primary depositional signal. Thus, changes in Zr/Ti are interpreted to indicate variability in lithogenic sources and/or grainsize throughout the sequence’s depositional history. Ti is a component of terrigenous silicates and oxides and is usually derived from erosion of continental rocks (Rothwell & Croudace, 2015). It is known for its residual enrichment in clay minerals during weathering (Shotyk et al., 2002).

16Ca can originate both from carbonate and silicate minerals and is often highly mobile in many depositional settings, especially in acidic conditions where carbonates are readily dissolved (Kylander et al., 2016). However, the similarity between the Ca/Ti and Zr/Ti signals (fig. 4), combined with a strong XRF signal from Ca, suggests that Ca/Ti probably also records changes in the primary depositional signal at Wildseemoor. It is expected that Ca and Zr have a generally similar origin in this context, different from the main source for Ti (fig. 4). Ca is virtually absent in the rocks present in the catchment (fig. 2); for example, the Forbachgranite and Lower to Middle Buntsandstein have negligible Ca concentrations (Erdmannsdörfer & Peters-Radzyk, 1948; Einsele et al., 1987). The Permian “Tigersandstein” takes its name from some small-scale, Fe- and Mn-rich local carbonate concretions (Plinninger, 1998). However, due to the small size and localized pattern of the concretions, as well as the overall size and positioning of the unit in relation to Wildseemoor, the “Tigersandstein” is not considered to possibly be a significant source of Ca-input.

17We therefore interpret increases in Ca/Ti ratios (fig. 7) to reflect the input of long-distance, distal dust to the peatland, with a source generally equally enriched in Ca and Zr. Ti/Ca or Ti/Zr may therefore broadly be used to pinpoint domination of local dust input, from the erosion of catchment siliciclastic bedrock, as inferred by Hölzer & Hölzer (1988) at Blindenseemoor in the central Black Forest.

18It is to be noted, however, that some differences occur between the respective evolution of Ca and Zr, especially towards the bottom of the core, with the Ca/Ti signal being enhanced compared to Zr/Ti. These differences are highlighted by the Ca/Zr ratio (fig. 4). We therefore suggest that the composition of the distal dust component input to the bog may have varied through time, with sources more or less enriched in Ca with respect to Zr when compared to Ti.

19When Ca/Ti and Ti/Zr ratios are plotted through time (fig. 7) using the two possible age-depth models defined (fig. 5), prominent peaks in distal dust appear. These are evidenced by Ca/Ti high ratios and occur in the same position regardless of the age model (fig. 7), during the periods ca. 8,800 - 8,300 cal BP, ca. 5,000 - 4,100 cal BP (although less pronounced), and ca. 3,000 - 2,000 cal BP (with two major peaks at ca. 3,000 and 2,300 BP). Ti/ Zr ratios through the core show a generally opposite signal to Ca/Ti with strongly pronounced peaks at ca. 3,850 - 3,100 cal BP, ca. 2,550 cal BP (less marked), between ca. 1,800 - 1,600 cal BP, and at ca. 750 cal BP (fig. 4), which are interpreted to mark a relative increase in flux from local dust sources.

Fig. 7: Comparison between charcoal influx and local dust proxy.

Fig. 7: Comparison between charcoal influx and local dust proxy.

Comparison between the charcoal record at Wildseemoor (Steiner et al., submitted) and local dust input marked by Ti/Zr (this contribution) for both age-depth models (A and B). Share of charcoal particles > 200 μm is highlighted in grey. Signals at ca. 750 and 250 cal BP were cut at 35 particles per cm2 per year to enhance readability of the figure.

5.2 - Provenance of dust to Wildseemoor

20Due to a very low detrital signal in sediments that are mainly organic, chemical variations in peat deposits should be interpreted with great care. However, differences in the elemental ratios Ca/Ti and Ti/Zr can be interpreted to reflect either the dominance of dust from local origin (peaks in Ti/Zr) or from distal sources (enriched in Ca with various amounts of Zr; figs. 4 & 7).

21Loess originally deposited along the Rhine River during the last glacial period, remobilized during the Holocene, could be a plausible source of distal dust input into Wildseemoor. In Europe, thick deposits of loess related to the last glacial period are recorded around valleys of rivers draining the Alps (Rhine, Danube, Rhône and Po) and are particularly widespread in the Upper Rhine Graben (Bertran et al., 2021). Loess shows a quite similar geochemical composition throughout central Europe, with a relatively high Ca-content, enrichment in Zr, as well as minor depletion in Ti when compared to the composition of the upper crust (e.g., McLennan, 2001; Hartmann et al., 2012; Schatz et al., 2015). For example, loess from Nussloch (near Heidelberg) has a CaO-content of ca. 18%, a Zr-content of ca. 400 ppm, and a Ti-content of ca. 0.5% (Schatz et al., 2015). As loess is mainly composed of fine-grained silt, it is easily remobilized by wind if its protecting vegetation cover is removed. The closest occurrence of loess deposits to the Wildseemoor is located along the Murg River, ca. 10 km towards the west and upstream in the general wind direction (Trenkle & von Rudloff, 1981). Additionally, much more extensive loess deposits are located further west in the Upper Rhine Graben and further north in the Enz area (e.g., Bertran et al., 2021). Remobilization of loess deposits in the Upper Rhine Graben may have been related to increased dryness in the valley, locally reduced vegetation cover, and/or anthropogenic land use (e.g., ploughing, which may have started in the region around 4,000 BC; Kalis et al., 2003).

22Distal dust deposited in Wildseemoor could potentially also originate from greater distances. According to Rogora et al. (2004), Saharan dust is an important source of Ca in the region of Lake Maggiore in Italy. Le Roux et al. (2012) reconstructed dust input into the Etang de la Gruere peatland in Switzerland and identified in particular two prominent dust flux events at 9,200 - 8,800 cal BP and around 8,400 cal BP, which they attributed to volcanic eruptions in the Massif Central in France, and to Saharan dust input, with the latter identified as a contributing dust source using εNd and trace element signatures. At Blindenseemoor, in the central Black Forest, Hölzer & Hölzer (1988) identified an African source for dust using Ca, Sn, Fe, Mo concentrations in combination with Ephedra pollen. Shifting proportions of different dust sources through time, between a more regional (Rhine Graben) to supraregional (Saharan/Massif Central) component, may result in slightly different composition of the distal dust at Wildseemoor, as for example during the Early Holocene (fig. 4). This point is important to note, since an increase of distal dust component at the bog may then not necessarily record environmental changes within a local to regional (nearby Rhine valley) scale, but rather reflect changes occurring over a far wider geographical range. If these potential very distal dust sources can be confirmed by more sophisticated analysis - e.g., by isotopic and more detailed elemental analysis using full acid digestion (Marx et al., 2010; Vanneste et al., 2016) or Mid Infrared Spectroscopy (e.g., Chapkanski et al., 2020) - differing intensities in their input could reflect the impact of large scale phenomena altering wind directions and intensities, such as the North Atlantic Oscillation (e.g., Moulin et al., 1997; Francis et al., 2022).

23Patterns in charcoal influx to the site may corroborate the interpretation of dust sources. Generally, total charcoal influx to Wildseemore increases in periods of enhanced local dust input (higher Ti/Zr ratios; fig. 6). Furthermore, as discussed in Steiner et al. (submitted), charcoal mean size in the Wildseemoor sequence may reflect transport distance of charcoal particles to the site (smaller particles having a higher chance to travel long distances, while bigger particles may reflect more local fire events). Variability in charcoal size broadly agrees with the interpreted dust flux provenance, especially when the age-depth model without hiatus is used (fig. 8).

Fig. 8: Synthesis figure.

Fig. 8: Synthesis figure.

Tendencies in charcoal influx transport distance (Steiner et al., submitted) and in dust influx origin (this contribution), as well as deforestation phases at Glaswaldsee (GWS) and Wilder See am Ruhestein (WS) as interpreted by Rösch (2009). A synthesis of all proxies for the origin of atmospheric deposition to the bog is also provided. Upper figure uses age-depth model A (periods of reduced accretion), lower figure age-depth model B (hiatuses) (see also fig. 4 and Steiner et al. submitted).

5.3 - Indications of environmental change around the site

24Shotyk et al. (2002) describe an increase in vegetation cover in the Black Forest during the Holocene Climatic Optimum (Atlantic period, ca. 7,800 - 5,700 cal BP). This would have prevented local erosion and reduced local dust input to Wildseemoor, resulting in a relative increase in distal dust input to the bog around that time. This may have been enhanced due to increased anthropogenic pressure in the Rhine Valley. Increased input in Ti has been interpreted in some cases as an indicator for human activity, including deforestation or agriculture (Görres & Frenzel, 1993; see also Hölzer & Hölzer, 1988, 1998 for the Black Forest). Other proxies such as pollen and charcoal can also help pinpointing periods with enhanced human impact on the landscape. At Schurtenseekar, ca. 80 km southwest of Wildseemoor, Friedmann (2002) detected first signs of deforestation (indicated especially by an increase in cereal pollen related to agricultural activity) during the Subatlantic period (ca. 3,300 cal BP), which matches with the largest Ti/Zr peak in the Wildseemoor sequence (fig. 7). At the same time, an increase in locally derived charcoal occurs (figs. 6 & 8), suggesting a similar origin for both proxies, and potentially due to enhanced anthropogenic activity. Rösch (2009) also found several periods with shifts in the pollen assemblage, indicating periods of deforestation occurring at around 3,000 cal BP, at 2,400 - 2,200 cal BP, 1,700 - 700 cal BP and 500 - 400 cal BP at the Glaswaldsee, and at 3,300 - 3,000 cal BP, 2,700 - 2,000 cal BP, 1,500 - 1,300 cal BP and 1,200 - 800 cal BP at the Wilder See (ca. 30 km southwest of Wildseemoor; fig. 8). In addition to pollen, Rösch (2009) investigated the charcoal record at both sites, finding between 3,300 cal BP and late medieval times (around 1,300 CE) only singular peaks at both sites. This is interpreted as indicating single, localised, slash and burn deforestation events. From 1,300 CE to present, Rösch (2009) describes a constant, but relatively high, flux of charcoal at both sites, interpreted to represent widespread application of “forest field cultivation”, a farming technique using burn clearings of farmlands every 10 - 30 years to create arable land. Increases in the Ti/Zr ratio and charcoal influx between ca. 3,850 cal BP to the present are therefore probably connected to anthropogenic activity in the northern Black Forest and reflect deforestation events in the surroundings of the site.

6- Conclusions

25This study shows that XRF-CS analysis provided valuable information on dust deposition history at Wildseemoor for the last ca. 10,000 years. Two main sources of atmospheric dust input were identified, marked by different elemental ratios. These are a local dust source, denoted by increased Ti/Zr ratios in the studied sequence, and more distal sources, highlighted by increases in Ca/ Ti ratios. Local dust input at Wildseemoor may relate mostly to human pressure on the landscape in proximity to the site. It increased from ca. 3,850 cal BP onwards and matches changes in the local pollen and charcoal records, which are also indicative of anthropogenic landscape and vegetation modification.

26Sources of distal (regional to supra-regional) dust to Wildseemoor likely include the Upper Rhine graben (in particular via loess remobilisation) and more distant sources including the Sahara or Massif Central. Increases in distal dust may therefore mark environmental changes (dry events and/or anthropogenic impact) happening in the nearby Rhine valley or more distant geographical realms. Considering the dominant role of the North Atlantic Oscillation on the wind field in the region, an increase of dust input from very distal sources may even reflect large scale impact of climate change. To determine dust provenance more definitely, further studies may consider isotopic and detailed elemental analysis, using full acid digestion of core samples, alongside analysis of samples of potential dust sources such as Saharan sediments, loess deposits from the Upper Rhine and tephra deposits from the Massif Central. Other techniques such as Mid Infrared Spectroscopy may also offer insights into dust provenance. Similarly, pollen analysis, focusing on tracking exotic species, may be helpful to trace dust sources to Africa.

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Table des illustrations

Titre Fig. 1: Location Map.
Légende a/ Location of the study area within Europe. b/ The Black Forest. Sites of interest are indicated with blue and red circles (WSM = Wildseemoor, WS =Wilder See, GWS = Glaswaldsee, BSM = Blindenseemoor, SSK = Schurtenseekar). Shaded relief data is from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM; version 4) available at https://dwtkns.com/​srtm30m/​ (last access: 23.05.2022). Coordinate systems: ETRS 1989 UTM Zone 32N and WGS 1984. c/ Position of core W1 within the Wildseemoor peatland on an aerial photography (© Google Earth/Copernicus).
URL http://journals.openedition.org/quaternaire/docannexe/image/19199/img-1.jpg
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Titre Fig. 2: Geological Map.
Légende Location and geological setting of Wildseemoor in SW Germany (LGRB, 2021).
URL http://journals.openedition.org/quaternaire/docannexe/image/19199/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 100k
URL http://journals.openedition.org/quaternaire/docannexe/image/19199/img-3.jpg
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Titre Fig. 3: Log and LOI results of Wildseemoor sequence.
Légende Log of the Wildseemoor sequence, with location and age of individual radiocarbon samples, presented together with the results of loss on ignition analysis (moisture and organic content). Phases of potential reduced accretion are shown in grey, hypothetical hiatuses as red lines. See fig. 5 for more details about age-depth modelling.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/quaternaire/docannexe/image/19199/img-4.jpg
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Titre Fig. 4: Selected elemental ratios for the Wildseemoor sequence.
Légende Selected elemental ratios (Ca/Ti, Zr/Ti, and Ca/Zr) in the Wildseemoor sequence measured by XRF core scanner. Used here is only age-depth Model A for simplification.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/quaternaire/docannexe/image/19199/img-5.jpg
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Titre Fig. 5: Calculated age-depth models for Wildseemoor.
Légende Age-depth models, CRAN rbacon® package in R with IntCal20, 95% confidence interval (version 2.5.8; Blaauw & Christen, 2011). A/ Model A without implemented hiatuses. B/ Model B with implemented hiatuses at depths of 241 cm and 507 cm.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/quaternaire/docannexe/image/19199/img-6.jpg
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Titre Fig. 6: Local and distal dust proxies for the Wildseemoor sequence.
Légende Ca/Ti (black) and Ti/Zr (blue) ratios shown for both age-depth models (A and B).
URL http://journals.openedition.org/quaternaire/docannexe/image/19199/img-7.jpg
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Légende Lab number, depth range, uncalibrated age, respective error (1σ), age range (calculated with OxCal 4.4 (Ramsey, 2009) using IntCal20 calibration curve (Reimer et al., 2020), and material for the seven macrofossils dated using 14C. (BE- = dated in the MICADAS laboratory in Bern, Poz- = dated in the in Poznań Radiocarbon Laboratory). From Steiner et al. (in review).
URL http://journals.openedition.org/quaternaire/docannexe/image/19199/img-8.jpg
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Titre Fig. 7: Comparison between charcoal influx and local dust proxy.
Légende Comparison between the charcoal record at Wildseemoor (Steiner et al., submitted) and local dust input marked by Ti/Zr (this contribution) for both age-depth models (A and B). Share of charcoal particles > 200 μm is highlighted in grey. Signals at ca. 750 and 250 cal BP were cut at 35 particles per cm2 per year to enhance readability of the figure.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/quaternaire/docannexe/image/19199/img-9.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 40k
Titre Fig. 8: Synthesis figure.
Légende Tendencies in charcoal influx transport distance (Steiner et al., submitted) and in dust influx origin (this contribution), as well as deforestation phases at Glaswaldsee (GWS) and Wilder See am Ruhestein (WS) as interpreted by Rösch (2009). A synthesis of all proxies for the origin of atmospheric deposition to the bog is also provided. Upper figure uses age-depth model A (periods of reduced accretion), lower figure age-depth model B (hiatuses) (see also fig. 4 and Steiner et al. submitted).
URL http://journals.openedition.org/quaternaire/docannexe/image/19199/img-10.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 50k
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Martin Steiner, Claire Rambeau, Samuel K. Marx, Jan­‑Hendrik May, Hendrik Vogel et Frank Preusser, « First assessment of changes in dust sources in the black forest during the Holocene: case study at Wildseemoor »Quaternaire, vol. 35/1 | 2024, 29.

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Martin Steiner, Claire Rambeau, Samuel K. Marx, Jan­‑Hendrik May, Hendrik Vogel et Frank Preusser, « First assessment of changes in dust sources in the black forest during the Holocene: case study at Wildseemoor »Quaternaire [En ligne], vol. 35/1 | 2024, mis en ligne le 23 avril 2024, consulté le 25 mai 2024. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/quaternaire/19199 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/quaternaire.19199

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Auteurs

Martin Steiner

Institute of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Freiburg, Albertstraße 23b, DE-79104 FREIBURG. Email : martinsteinermartin@yahoo.de

Claire Rambeau

Laboratoire Image Ville Environnement (LIVE), LIVE - UMR7362 Université de Strasbourg, 3 rue de l’Argonne, FR-67000 STRASBOURG. Email: claire.rambeau@live-cnrs.unistra.fr

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Samuel K. Marx

GeoQuEST Research Centre – School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Wollongong, AU-NSW 2522. Email: smarx@uow. edu.au

Jan­‑Hendrik May

School of Geography, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Melbourne, 253 Elgin St, Carlton, AU-VIC 3053. Email janhendrikmay@unimelb.edu.au

Hendrik Vogel

Institute of Geological Sciences and Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Baltzerstrasse 1+3, CH-3012 BERN. Email: hendrik.vogel@geo.unibe.ch

Frank Preusser

Institute of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Freiburg, Albertstraße 23b, DE-79104 FREIBURG. Email : frank.preusser@geologie.uni‑freiburg.de

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