Mid-Holocene humid periods reconstructed from calcite varves of the Lake Woserin sediment record (north-eastern Germany)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Time-series of varve properties and geochemistry were established from varved sediments of Lake Woserin (north-eastern Germany) covering the recent period AD 2010–1923 and the mid-Holocene time-window 6400–4950 varve years before present (vyr BP) using microfacies analyses, x-ray fluorescence (µ-XRF) scanning, microscopic varve chronology, and 14C dating. The microscopic varve chronology was compared with a macroscopic varve chronology for the same sediment interval. Calcite layer thickness during the recent period is significantly correlated to increases in local annual precipitation (r = 0.46, p = 0.03) and reduced air-pressure (r = −0.72, p < 0.0001). Meteorologically consistent with enhanced precipitation at Lake Woserin, a composite 500 hPa anomaly map for years with >1 standard deviation calcite layer thickness depicts a negative wave train air-pressure anomaly centered over southern Europe, with north-eastern Germany at its northern frontal zone. Three centennial-scale intervals of thicker calcite layers around the mid-Holocene periods 6200–5900, 5750–5400, and 5300–4950 vyr BP might reflect humid conditions favoring calcite precipitation through the transport of Ca2+ ions into Lake Woserin, synchronous to wetter conditions in Europe. Calcite layer thickness oscillations of about 88 and 208 years resemble the solar Gleissberg and Suess cycles suggesting that the recorded hydroclimate changes in north-eastern Germany are modified by solar influences on synoptic-scale atmospheric circulation. However, parts of the periods of thicker calcite layers around 5750–5400 and 5200 vyr BP also coincide with enhanced human catchment activity at Lake Woserin. Therefore, calcite precipitation during these time-windows might have further been favored by anthropogenic deforestation mobilizing Ca2+ ions and/or lake eutrophication.


External organisations
  • GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
  • University of Kiel
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Geology


  • calcite varves, humid periods, mid-Holocene, varve chronology, varved lake sediments
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)935-946
Number of pages12
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jun
Publication categoryResearch