Loess in a cave: Lithostratigraphic and correlative value of loess and loess-like layers in caves from the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland (Poland)


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Quaternary International

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Although debris, loams and clays are usually regarded as typical cave sediments, loess and loess-like sediments are common among clastic cave deposits in the near-entrance facies of caves and rock shelters. Late Weichselian loess layers are very common in caves from the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland and were recognized in almost each excavated cave and rock shelter. These layers were initially dated to the LGM (Last Glacial Maximum), but new chronometric dating results are available that allow us to present a more detailed scheme of the geological age of the series. This paper evaluates the significance of Polish in-cave loess layers as correlative horizons. We present the lateral and vertical stratigraphy and lithological variability of cave loesses and their usefulness as lithostratigraphic markers. These features are especially important for archeology and paleontology, as cave sediments, including loess, are usually the carriers of archeological and paleontological material.

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