In situ charcoal fragments as remains of natural wild fires in the upper Würm of the Carpathian Basin

Pál Sümegi, Zita Edina Rudner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Charcoal layers were found in loess layers of the Younger Würm period, at 11 localities around Kopasz Hill, Tokaj, in the Carpathian Basin. Detailed sedimentological, geochemical, radiocarbon, palaeontological and anthracological investigations show that Picea-containing taiga forest-steppe habitats existed on the area between 29,000 and 21,000 years BP, on the basis of radiocarbon measurements. These forests fell victim to extensive fires that seem to have spread across the basin. This fact is supported by the characteristic macro- and microstructure of the charred remains, using SEM identification and thermoanalytical examination. The firing temperature was 600-700°C, suggesting a natural forest fire. Fire scars can also be observed on the remains, as well as the burnt sediment forming a silhouette (the so-called burning court) of the fallen trunks or roots. Thus, these fragments have remained in their in situ position.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-176
Number of pages12
JournalQuaternary International
Volume76-77
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 26 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes

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