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A 1600 yr seasonally resolved record of decadal-scale flood variability from the Austrian Pre-Alps

Tina Swierczynski, Achim Brauer, Stefan Lauterbach, Celia Martin-Puertas, Peter Dulski, Ulrich von Grafenstein and Christian Rohr
A 1600 yr seasonally resolved record of decadal-scale flood variability from the Austrian Pre-Alps
Geology (Boulder) (September 2012) 40 (11): 1047-1050


We present a record of extreme spring-summer runoff events for the past 1600 yr preserved in the varved sediments of Lake Mondsee (Austrian Pre-Alps). Combined sediment microfacies analyses and high-resolution micro-X-ray fluorescence element scanning allow us to identify 157 detrital event layers deposited in spring-summer and to discriminate between regional flood and local debris flow deposits. Higher spring-summer flood activity with a mean event recurrence of 3-5 yr occurred in several well-confined multidecadal episodes during the Dark Ages Cold Period and Medieval time (A.D. 450-480, 590-640, 700-750, and 1140-1170) as well as during the early Little Ice Age (LIA; A.D. 1300-1330 and 1480-1520). In contrast, lowest spring-summer flood activity with an event recurrence of only 30-100 yr is observed during the Medieval Climate Anomaly (A.D. 1180-1300) and the coldest interval of the LIA (A.D. 1600-1700). These findings indicate a complex relationship between temperature conditions and extreme hydro-meteorological events and suggest that enhanced summer Mediterranean cyclogenesis triggers large-scale floods in the northeast Alps during climatic transitions. The Lake Mondsee data demonstrate the climatic sensitivity of spring-summer floods and prove the potential of varved sediment records to investigate the impact of changing climate boundary conditions on seasonal flood activity for pre-instrumental time.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 40
Serial Issue: 11
Title: A 1600 yr seasonally resolved record of decadal-scale flood variability from the Austrian Pre-Alps
Affiliation: GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Section Dynamics and Landscape Evolution, Potsdam, Germany
Pages: 1047-1050
Published: 20120904
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 28
Accession Number: 2012-086328
Categories: Quaternary geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: With GSA Data Repository Item 2012295; accessed on September 13, 2012
Illustration Description: illus. incl. geol. sketch map
Source Medium: WWW
N47°49'00" - N47°51'00", E13°22'60" - E13°25'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique, FRA, FranceUniversity of Bern, CHE, Switzerland
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201245
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