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Rößler, D., Moros, M. & Lemke, W. 2010: The Littorina transgression in the southwestern Baltic Sea: new insights based on proxy methods and radiocarbon dating of sediment cores. Boreas, 10.1111/j.1502-3885.2010.00180.x. ISSN 0300-9483.

The Littorina transgression is one of the most pronounced environmental events in the Holocene history of the Baltic Sea. It changed the hydrographic system from the freshwater Ancylus Lake into the brackish-marine Littorina Sea. Here, 18 cores from two western Baltic basins, Mecklenburg Bay and the Arkona Basin, were analysed. We show that, besides biological indicators, sedimentary organic carbon, C/N ratio, bulk δ13C isotope values and carbonate content display clearly the transition from Ancylus Lake to the Littorina Sea. The first appearances of benthic foraminifers, marine molluscs and ostracods represent the onset of brackish-marine conditions in the bottom waters. Central Arkona Basin sediments display more abrupt shifts in geochemical parameters and microfossil records at the transition from Ancylus Lake to the Littorina Sea than those from Mecklenburg Bay. Mixing of reworked Ancylus material with Littorina Sea stage material was stronger in Mecklenburg Bay, resulting in less pronounced proxy parameter changes and older bulk material dates. Radiocarbon dating of both calcareous material (benthic foraminifers, mollusc shells) and bulk fractions at the transgression horizon shows large age discrepancies. Based on calcareous fossil dates it appears that marine waters began to enter Mecklenburg Bay c. 8000 cal. a BP. In the Arkona Basin the first marine signals are recorded approximately 800 years later, c. 7200 cal. a BP. This indicates a transgression pathway via the Great Belt into Mecklenburg Bay and then into the Arkona Basin.