The site Pilgrimstad in central Sweden has often been cited as a key locality for discussions of ice-free/ice-covered intervals during the Early and Middle Weichselian. Multi-proxy investigations of a recently excavated section at Pilgrimstad now provide a revised picture of the climatic and environmental development between ∼80 and 36ka ago. The combination of sedimentology, geochemistry, OSL and 14C dating, and macrofossil, siliceous microfossil and chironomid analyses shows: (i) a lower succession of glaciofluvial/fluvial, lacustrine and glaciolacustrine sediments; (ii) an upper lacustrine sediment sequence; and (iii) Last Glacial Maximum till cover. Microfossils in the upper lacustrine sediments are initially characteristic for oligo- to mesotrophic lakes, and macrofossils indicate arctic/sub-arctic environments and mean July temperatures >8°C. These conditions were, however, followed by a return to a low-nutrient lake and a cold and dry climate. The sequence contains several hiatuses, as shown by the often sharp contacts between individual units, which suggests that ice-free intervals alternated with possible ice advances during certain parts of the Early and Middle Weichselian.
- Programområde 5: Natur og klima