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Abstract

the Retezat Mountains, this study discusses radiocarbon chronology and sediment accumulation rate changes in two sediment profiles in relation to lithostratigraphy, organic content, biogenic silica and major pollenstratigraphic changes. A total of 25 radiocarbon dates were obtained from sediments of two lakes, Lake Brazi (TDB-1; 1740 m a.s.l.) and Lake Gales (Gales-3; 1990 m a.s.l.). Age-depth modeling was performed on TDB-1 using calibrated age ranges from BCal and various curve-fitting methods in psimpoll. Our results suggest that sediment accumulation began between 15,124–15,755 cal yr BP in both lakes and was continuous throughout the Late Glacial and Holocene. We demonstrated that local ecosystem productivity showed delayed response to Late Glacial and Early Holocene climatic changes in the subalpine and alpine zones most likely attributable to the cooling effect of remnant glaciers and meltwater input. However, regional vegetation response was without time lag and indicated forestation and warming at 14,450 and 11,550 cal yr BP, and cooling at ca. 12,800 cal yr BP. In the Holocene one major shift was detected, starting around 6300 cal yr BP and culminating around 5200 cal yr BP. The various proxies suggested summer cooling, shorter duration of the winter ice-cover season and/or increasing size of the water body, probably in response to increasing available moisture.

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