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formerly Central European Journal of Geosciences

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Tracking potential source areas of Central European loess: examples from Tokaj (HU), Nussloch (D) and Grub (AT)

Ann-Kathrin Schatz
  • Soil Science and Geomorphology Group, Department of Geosciences, Faculty of Science, University of Tübingen, Rümelinstr. 19-23, 72072 Tübingen, Germany
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Yue Qi
  • School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, 230026 Hefei, China
  • State Key Laboratory of Isotope Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Wolfgang Siebel / Jiade Wu
  • Research School of Earth Sciences, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Austral
  • School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, 230026 Hefei, China
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Ludwig Zöller
Published Online: 2015-11-19 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/geo-2015-0048


There are several competing hypotheses for the origin of loess in Europe but quantitative evidence is still rare. Here, Sr-Nd isotopic and bulk elemental composition of loess from Marine Isotope Stages 2 and 3 from three study regions in Central Europe – Nussloch (Germany), Grub (Austria) and Tokaj (Hungary) - are analyzed. This study aims at examining differences and similarities of loess deposits throughout Europe, correlating loess with potential source rocks from major mountain ranges and comparing loess with floodplain sediments from main rivers as integrated samples of the drainage areas. The results show that European loess deposits are largely uniform and that sediment sources have been rather stable in the Southern and Eastern parts of Central Europe and more variable in West Central Europe. However, the methods used are not sufficient to unequivocally confirm and reject potential sediment sources but, in combination, help to identify the most likely sediment origins. While a direct correlation of loess and potential source rocks is dif- ficult, the comparison with floodplain sediments is most promising and confirms previous hypotheses. Loess from Tokaj and Grub is most likely a mix of material transported by the Danube River and sediments from the surrounding mountains. Rhine River sediments are probably the main source of loess at Nussloch.

Keywords: loess; provenance; Sr-Nd; geochemistry; dust


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About the article

Received: 2014-07-08

Accepted: 2014-12-23

Published Online: 2015-11-19

Citation Information: Open Geosciences, Volume 7, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 2391-5447, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/geo-2015-0048.

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©2015 A.-K. Schatz et al.. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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