Late-Glacial radiocarbon- and palynostratigraphy on the Swiss Plateau

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Abstract

A detailed late-glacial radiocarbon stratigraphy for the Swiss Plateau has been established on the basis of over 90 accelerator 14C dates on terrestrial plant macrofossils. Two plateaux of constant.,14C age were observed, occurring at 12,700 B.P. and at 10,000 B.P. The consequences of these plateaux for palaeo-ecological investigations are threefold: (1) a more refined 14C dating within the plateaux is not possible, (2) in teleconnections between different sites (if based on 14C dating and concerning the periods around 12,700 B.P. and 10,000 B.P.) events are considered synchronous which are only synchronous within a plateau of constant age, and (3) exact time-depth relationship and therefore influx calculations are made impossible during these plateau periods. A comparison of the radiocarbon ages derived from terrestrial, telmatic and limnic material at different sites on the Swiss Plateau yields a proposal for modifying the zonation system of Welten for the Late-Glacial. By retaining the limits of chronozones (at 13, 12, 11 and 10ka B.P.) and by refining the palynostratigraphic criteria for the limits of biozones, a separation between chrono- and biozonation at the beginning of the Belling and at the beginning of the Younger Dryas becomes obvious.

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