Holocene environmental changes as recorded in the geochemistry of glacial lake sediments from Retezat Mountains, South Carpathians

Katalin Hubay, M. Braun, Krisztina Buczkó, Ilona Pál, Daniel Veres, Marianna Túri, T. Bíró, E. Magyari

Research output: Article

6 Citations (Scopus)


Sediment cores obtained from two deep (>15 m) glacial lakes were analyzed in context of terrestrial vegetation development and in-lake processes from the Retezat Mountains (Southern Carpathians, Romania). Only the Holocene parts were chosen for study for testing what is the connection between geochemical changes and biotas around and in the lakes. The lakes are situated at slightly different altitudes on the northern (Lake Gales, 1990 m a.s.l.) and southern slope (Lake Bucura, 2040 m a.s.l.), respectively. Changes in geochemical composition were relatively low amplitude during the studied period (10,300–1790 and 10,300–695 cal yr BP) in both lakes, but the applicability of enrichment factor (EF) for geochemical elements and diatom ecological traits (guilds) in paleoecological reconstruction were demonstrated in this paper. The main changes have been observed at ca. 10,670–9000, 6500 and 3100 cal yr BP in geochemistry, vegetation and siliceous algal assemblages. Catchment soil stabilization was apparent from ∼9000 cal yr BP onwards, in-lake and terrestrial productivity was the highest between 9000 and 6500 cal yr BP and human impact became the dominant driver in both terrestrial vegetation and sediment geochemical changes and in-lake processes over the last ∼3400 years in both lakes. The geochemical record displayed frequent erosional events within the Holocene. The strongest soil erosions clustered around 6500–7400 and 3200-900 cal yr BP.

Original languageEnglish
JournalQuaternary International
Publication statusAccepted/In press - jan. 1 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes

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