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Fluvial geoarcheology of East European valleys (Dniester, Kogylnik, Don) during Extreme Inundation Epoch

Chepalyga A.L., Pirogov A.N., Ñhepalyga R.Yu.

Abstracts. International conference: GEOMORPHIC PROCESSES AND GEOARCHAEOLOGY. From Landscape Archaeology to Archaeotourism. August 20—24, 2012. Moscow — Smolensk, Russia

The latest Paleolithic sites (Epipaleolithic) in the SE European river valleys related to events of Extreme Inundation Epoch (EIE) 17-11 ky: marine, river, slope and interfluvial floods (Chepalyga, 2006). These events influenced of ancient population and remaied footprints in topography, geomorphology, geology and lead to substantially changement of environment.

In Boudjak valleys (Kogylnic, Sarata) these events and their consequences was studied in 2011 together with odessa archaeologists (Kiosak D., Pistruil I., Glavenchuk A.) and marine geologists S. Kadurin and I. Losev.

These investigation in Paleolithic provided near site Belolesie (Sarata district of Odessa region) followed by trench, handle coring and sampling of lower terraces of Sarata river.

1. Anormal wide river valleys of small rivers (balkas) – some kilometers width similar to misfit valleys of Dury (1984). Dry valleys in arid step zone: Kogolnik, Sarata, Yalpug, etc.

2. Macromeanders - wide river paleochanels of the North Black Sea region, flooded now by marine transgression and transformed to marine lagoons (liman): Koujalnik, Tiligul, Jngul, South Bug.

3. Proterrace (new term of A.L. Chepalyga) – intermediate lowermost terrace level between alluvial terraces and flood plain, formed during terminal Pleistocene age (EIE) after LGM cooling (17-10 ka). In Kogilnic and Sarata valleys Proterrace occupied just all valley bottom and have 3-4 km wide and have 2-3 hypsometric levels (3-4, 9-16, 14-17 m) terrace body by fine (clay sand, loam, fine sand) alluvial sediment below Holocene soil. In the top of alluvial loam Upper Paleolithic culture level Belolesie site was excavated and dated by radiocarbon 9-10 ka BP. According palinological data obtained cooling Dryas-3 Lycopodium arcticum Final Pleistocene.

4. Relict cryogenic microtopography on the Proterrace surface, especially on the youngest hypsometric level. It represented by alternation of small mouds and microdepressions with rate of 3-4 metres high and 200-400 m units dimension. In a nearshore area this microdepressions are flooded and transformed to small lakes, lake system and golves. Age of relict criogene microrelief is Drias-3 cooling on the base of radiocarbon and palinologic data.

5. Erosional paleocircuses related to macromeander paleochannels activity. In Kogylnic valley some paleocircus groups of different size and age exist (fig.1). Artsyz paleocircus set represent by 4 units on right slope of valley with mean size of 3-4 km long: Chaga, Pavlovka, Gnadental, Stone Mountain. This is the youngest generation, very good morphologically preserved, because these arcs incised in Neogen layers, armed by hard pontean limestone. Another weaker represented Kunduk paleocircus set of 5 units can be recognize on left valley board: Kunduk 1-5 (Butuk, Dolinka, etc) paleocircuces. The oldest and biggest paleocircuses are recognized on Sasyk liman – West and South Sasyk one with size more 10-15 km. East Sasyk paleocircuses have intermediate size (7-8 km long) and age. This arc complicated by two smaller (3-4 km long) and younger ones insized: Shagan and Liman paleocircuses.

Another one type of slope flooding event was recognized in Don valley near Divnogorie upper Paleolithic site. Paleocircus of Tikhaya Sosna river and Divnogorie paleolake (12-14 ky) was here recovered and studied (fig. 2). Described objects and processes was environmental phone for ancient people tribes and must take in attention for paleoreconstructions.

  1. Chepalyga A.L.. The late glacial Great Flood in the Ponto-Caspian basin. In: The Black Sea Flood question: changes in coastline, climate and human settlement. Springer. 2006. pp.119-148.
  2. Panin A.V, Sidirchuk A.Yu, Vlasov M.V. Mownyj pozdnevaldajskij rechnoj stok v bassejne Dona. . Izvesyiya Akademii Nauk. Seria Geograficheskaya, ¹ 3, 2012. (in Russian)
  3. Lavrushin Yu. A., Bessudnov A.N., Bessudnov E. A., etc. Vysokorazreshajuwaja posledovatel'nost' mestnyh prirodnyh sobytij v centre evropejskoj chasti Rossi. Vestnik VGU, seriya Geologiya, # 2, 2012. (in Russian)

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