The Sárrét marshland is situated along the northeastern foothills of the Bakony Mountains, along a NE-SW-trending neotectonic zone. Investigation of the marshland and the reconstruction of its evolution are especially interesting to compare to the present and the expected future stage of Lakes Balaton and Velence. Based on the sedimentological characteristics of the core sequence and the geochemical, physical, and mineralogical composition of the layers, three sedimentological cycles could be separated. The three cycles represent the most important evolutionary phases of lake formation: flourishing and progressive aging. First, a nutrient-poor, open-water lake existed, where clastic sediments (sand and silty clay) were deposited. During the second phase, phytoplankton-produced autogenic lime mud was deposited in the progressively more eutrophic water. Peat accumulation during the third stage indicates the marsh phase of the lake.The results suggest that the studied sequence developed from Late Glacial to Middle Holocene. According to radiocarbon dating the accumulation rate in Sárrét (Sümegi, this volume) corresponds to the sedimentation rates in the Tapolca Basin and Lake Balaton.
The Sirok Nyírjes-tó peat bog provides an almost full Holocene climatic record reconstructed by bog surface wetness investigations based on plant macrofossil analysis. The method of bog surface wetness reconstruction has not so far been adapted to the characterization of continental peat bogs. The emergence of a deep oligotrophic lake was dated to cc. 9500 cal. yr BP. The driest phase of the peatland was recorded at 6400 cal. yr BP, at the time of the Holocene climatic optimum. The deterioration of the climate, which began at 3500 cal BP, culminates here in the Carpathian Basin, as was shown by numerous records. An increase in the amount of Sphagna from 2800 cal. yr BP in the Nyires-tó peat bog marks the cooling of the climate and the accompanying rise in rainfall. The first oligotrophic Sphagnum peatland developed at Sirok between 2300 and 1500 cal. yr BP. Since 2300 cal. yr BP a record of alternating phases of Sphagnum peatlands and sedge/reed peatlands was demonstrated. A sudden expansion of Sphagna was recorded at least 10 times. Sphagnum-peaks at 2150, 1750, 1300, 1000, 850, 500 and 200 cal. yr BP perfectly match the humid periods identified in western Europe.
Authors:Gusztáv Jakab, Pál Sümegi, and Enikő Magyari
A new quantitative paleobotanical method for the description of Quaternary organic sediments is presented. The Peat Component System, with the paleobotanical description of macroscopic organic material, allowed us to reconstruct the hydroseral succession. The modified "semi-quantitative quadrate and leaf-count macrofossil analysis technique" (QLCMA) was used to quantify the peat components. This quantitative plant macrofossil technique, together with pollen, mollusk, and radiocarbon analyses, was used to reconstruct the postglacial mire development of an eutrophic peat bog in S Hungary. The analysis of the Holocene peat sequence was used to reconstruct the development of a filling-up spillstream of the river Danube. Multiple cores made it possible to reconstruct vegetation development in space and time.
Authors:Gábor Szilágyi, Katalin Náfrádi, and Pál Sümegi
The aim of this study is to identify the milestones of landscape evolution around the Ecse Mound (Karcag-Kunmadaras, Hortobágy National Park, Hungary) in the Holocene period by sedimentological and malacological analysis of strata underneath and within the body of the kurgan concerned, including that of the same characteristics of the artificially piled layers. An undisturbed core drilling was carried out and the sedimentological properties of both the mound and of the substrate baserock were revealed, analysis of which has been supported by three radiocarbon (AMS) measurements. The baserock formation during the last phase of the Ice Age, Middle and Upper Pleniglacial, and Late Glacial phases was followed by soil development in the Holocene, while the mound was constructed in two phases at the end of the Copper Age by the communities of the Pit Grave (Yamna or Ochre Grave) Culture. By publishing these preliminary data, it is also intended to draw attention to the need of focused research efforts by standardized methodology in kurgan research, in order to make the results of different studies consistent and comparable.
Authors:Katalin Náfrádi, Gergő Persaits, and Pál Sümegi
Environmental historical analyses, including sedimentological, pedological, palynological, archeobotanical and phytolith analyses were carried out on samples derived from the Kadicsfalva/Cãdiseni archeological site. Our aim was to provide paleoenvironmental data to the archeological results in order to reconstruct the former milieu of the Gothic population, and to provide information regarding their environment management. At the end of the Pleistocene loess and alluvial loess developed from the eolian dust that accumulated on the wet surfaces of the Pleistocene sediments. The site provided favorable conditions to host a settlement and supports its long-term colonization owning to the riverside terrace surface location. The comparative analysis of the recent and the Gothic soil horizon proved that the recent soil horizon is over-utilized; its productivity can be maintained only by intensive fertilization and almost every one of its parameters is below the element and nutrient composition of the Gothic soil horizon.
Authors:Elek Benkő, Pál Sümegi, Tünde Törőcsik, Elvira Bodor, Balázs Sümegi, and Gusztáv Jakab
The study aims to contribute to the medieval environmental history of the eastern periphery of the Transylvanian Plain (Câmpia Transilvaniei/Mezőség). With the help of archaeological and historical data and the multi-aspect analysis of undisturbed core sequences, the economic life of the Pauline Monastery founded in the 14th century near Sâncraiu de Mureş (Marosszentkirály) and the surrounding villages was investigated. The multidisciplinary research focuses on the paleochannels of the Mureş and the artificial watercourses (ditches) that branch off the river, and the mills built on them. The work also provides new data on the general environmental changes in the middle course of the Mureş river during the Middle Ages and the early modern period, which are largely due to the very intense human activity here.
Authors:Gusztáv Jakab, Lóránd Silye, Pál Sümegi, Tünde Törőcsik, Attila Tóth, Balázs Pál Sümegi, and Elek Benkő
The medieval market-town of Sic (Szék in Hungarian) was an important Transylvanian settlement due to its remarkable salt mining. The impact of the mining activities on the environment and the history of water management were investigated based on a palaeoecological study, performed on the large Reedbed of Sic (Stufărişurile/Nádas-tó). We found that in the last 3000 years the anthropogenic impact has been continuous in the territory, but the types and intensity of the disturbances changed with time. The most notable environmental transitions took place after 1000 AD, suggesting a significant intensification of salt mining. Forest cover significantly drop, but salt concentration and the frequency of halophytic species in the investigated marshland increased during the Late Middle Ages. The dominance of halophytic marshland species reached their peak in the 17th century. This coincides with the apogee of mining activities and human lake management. The most remarkable deforestation occurred in the 18th century, when the present-day landscape with negligible forest cover was developed.
Authors:Attila Demény, Gabriella Schöll-Barna, Pál Sümegi, Péter Sipos, and Brigitta Réka Balázs
In this paper we present sedimentological and geochemical data for a section of fluvial deposits from SE Hungary covering the period of 25 to 5 ky BP. Major and trace element geochemistry of bulk sediments as well as stable C and O isotope compositions of the carbonate content indicate significant changes in depositional facies and/or sediment provenance. Correlations of mineralogical and geochemical compositions were used to determine the stable isotope compositions of authigenic calcite component. Additionally, C and O isotope compositions of Unio crassus shell fragments were analysed that show a good agreement with climate change. Major climate change events within the studied time period were detected both in the shells and the authigenic calcite's compositions.
Authors:Attila Demény, Gabriella Schöll-Barna, István Fórizs, János Osán, Pál Sümegi, and Bernadett Bajnóczi
Stable carbon and oxygen isotope compositions of living Unio shells and oxygen isotope compositions of water samples were determined in order to demonstrate how the shells' compositions can reflect environmental conditions. With this information in hand, fossil shell fragments from a sedimentary section at Tiszapüspöki covering the period of about 3.5 to 10 ky BP were analyzed for their stable isotope as well as trace element compositions. Beside the determination of sedimentary facies effects on the geochemical compositions, the combined evaluation of isotopic and trace element records allowed us to detect past environmental changes at a millennial scale. The data indicate that the period of 6 to 8 ky BP was characterized by humid summers that — on the basis of comparison with an Alpine speleothem record — was associated with a generally warmer climate and increased winter precipitation in the Alps.