EGU2020-742, updated on 13 Sep 2023
EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Dynamic environmental response to the Younger Dryas cooling in the sediment record of Lake Gościąż

Daniela Müller1, Rik Tjallingii1, Birgit Plessen1, Mateusz Płóciennik2, Arne Ramisch1, Ina Neugebauer1, Markus J. Schwab1, Michał Słowiński3, Mirosław Błaszkiewicz3, and Achim Brauer1
Daniela Müller et al.
  • 1GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Section 'Climate Dynamics and Landscape Evolution', Potsdam, Germany (
  • 2University of Lodz, Department of Invertebrate Zoology and Hydrobiology, Łódź, Poland
  • 3Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization, Department of Environmental Resources and Geohazards, Toruń, Poland

The last deglaciation in the northern hemisphere was interrupted by several short cold setbacks of which the Younger Dryas (YD) was the last and most pronounced. This abrupt and extreme cold period provides valuable insights into regional climate and environmental responses. To decipher the rate of such rapid changes continuous climate archives of annually laminated (varved) sediments are crucial.

Lake Gościąż (central Poland) exhibits an iconic varved lake sediment record that is one of the few European lake records preserving varves throughout the complete YD. To re-investigate this archive, 10 new sediment cores have been obtained along a N-S transect through the deepest part of the lake basin. We used a combination of continuous microfacies analyses, XRF element core scanning, µ-XRF mapping, and high-resolution chironomid-inferred mean July air temperature as well as analyses of stable oxygen and carbon isotopes.

Lacustrine sedimentation begins in the late Allerød, is briefly interrupted by a slump during the early YD and proceeds continuously afterwards. Here, we present a first continuous microfacies investigation of the complete YD in Lake Gościąż. Varve composition during the YD is the most complex and variable one, featuring primarily diatom frustules, calcite, re-worked and re-suspended material. Contrastingly, the simpler structured varves during the early Preboreal and late Allerød are characterized predominantly by calcite, rhodochrosite and dissolved organic matter. The change in microfacies at both YD transitions occurs not simultaneously with the other proxy responses.

Causes of and differences in proxy responses in regard to the dynamics of environmental change during a major change in climate are discussed. Further, we conduct a proxy comparison at both YD transitions and provide a detailed documentation of the transitions through µ-XRF mapping.

This study is a contribution to the Virtual Institute of Integrated Climate and Landscape Evolution Analysis (ICLEA) of the Helmholtz Association (grant number VH-VI-415). It is further a contribution to a scientific project financed by the National Science Centre, Poland – No. UMO-2015/19/B/ST10/03039.

How to cite: Müller, D., Tjallingii, R., Plessen, B., Płóciennik, M., Ramisch, A., Neugebauer, I., Schwab, M. J., Słowiński, M., Błaszkiewicz, M., and Brauer, A.: Dynamic environmental response to the Younger Dryas cooling in the sediment record of Lake Gościąż, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-742,, 2020.