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Vilnius, Lithuania

Molodkov A.,Tallinn University of Technology | Bitinas A.,Vilnius University | Damusyte A.,Lithuanian Geological Survey
Quaternary Geochronology

Glacial till and inter-till deposits exposed in the Lithuanian coastal region are evidence for multiple glacial advances during the Pleistocene. Stratigraphically, tills are the most important, prominent and well preserved deposits. However, despite the importance of these deposits, there is limited chronological control and it is widely debated whether they belong to one or another Pleistocene glaciation. The aim of the present study was to find features of the glacigenic tills, which allow us to temporally constrain these deposits, which are usually deemed to be undateable by luminescence methods. To achieve the goal, 15 samples from five different till beds and 12 samples from underlying sandy inter-till deposits from the same area were taken for analysis by feldspar-based IR-OSL technique. This paper presents the results, which suggest that the studied deposits, including glacial tills, are mostly of late Pleistocene age (MIS 5 and 4). We discuss analytical data obtained for these materials and implications for stratigraphic subdivision of the till-bearing deposits in the Lithuanian Maritime Region. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Buynevich I.V.,Temple University | Bitinas A.,Klaipda University | Bitinas A.,Vilnius University | Damuyt A.,Lithuanian Geological Survey | Pupienis D.,Vilnius University

Throughout Earth's history, tectonic forces, often violent and unpredictable, have been responsible for exposing geological formations to scientific scrutiny. But forces of uplift are not restricted to plate boundaries. For example, when looking at forested coastal dunes bordering placid Curonian Lagoon along the Lithuanian coast of the Baltic Sea, one hardly suspects that any powerful forces are at work. Yet this is a site where massive migrating hills of sand have put pressure on the deep strata of the ancient lagoon, forcing its sediments to the surface and offering rare access to fossils of the Holocene, which spans the past 10,000 years. Source

Buynevich I.V.,Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution | DamuSyte A.,Lithuanian Geological Survey | Bitinas A.,Klaipeda University | Olenin S.,Klaipeda University | And 2 more authors.
Special Paper of the Geological Society of America

Present address: Department of Earth and Environmental Science, Temple University, 1901 N. 13th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19122, USA; coast@ temple.edu. An accurate chronology for the exchange of aquatic species between water basins is important for paleoenvironmental reconstruction on both regional and continental scales. During the early Holocene, the range of zebra mussels, Dreissena polymorpha, was limited to the Black, Azov, Caspian, and Aral Seas, as well as the estuaries and lower and middle reaches of the Pontic-Caspian rivers. We present new fi ndings that challenge the currently held view that this species migrated into the Baltic Sea watershed during the early 1800s through the canals joining the tributaries of rivers that drain into the Black and Baltic Sea basins. Geological investigations along the southeast Baltic Sea coast (Curonian and Vistula spits and lagoons) have uncovered shells of D. polymorpha that yielded radiocarbon ages older than 1000 radiocarbon yr B.P. We propose two scenarios to explain the new radiocarbon dates for D. polymorpha. The fi rst scenario involves an anomalously large reservoir effect-as large as 600- 800 yr-however, several lines of evidence cast doubt upon the validity of such a large reservoir correction. The second scenario that might explain the old zebra mussel ages is the earlier arrival of Dreissena polymorpha into the Baltic region. Natural exchange may have been facilitated by the proximity of the tributaries draining the Pontic and Baltic watersheds. Human-mediated transport is also considered in association with Viking voyages from the Baltic to the Black and Caspian Seas between A.D. 800 and 1000, and the riverine trade exchange during the Lithuanian expansion into the Pontic steppe in subsequent centuries. It is likely that both scenarios played a role, with implications for late Holocene biogeography and paleoecology of the Pontic-Caspian and Baltic basins. © 2011 Geological Society of America. Source

Dobrotin N.,Klaipeda University | Bitinas A.,Klaipeda University | Michelevicius D.,Vilnius University | Damusyte A.,Lithuanian Geological Survey | Mazeika J.,Institute of Geology and Geography
Bulletin of the Geological Society of Finland

One of the unique places in Europe in both environmental and cultural terms is the Curonian Spit - a massive sandy barrier separating the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea. Straddling both the Lithuanian and the Russian parts, the spit is included into the UNESCO list of cultural heritage monuments. From the geological point of view, it is still an "alive" environment dominated by aeolian deposits. With the help of modern geophysical and geochronological techniques (ground-penetrating radar [GPR] surveys, LIDAR data, and radiocarbon [14C] dating), detailed investigations of paleosols were carried out in the Dead (Grey) Dunes massif located between Juodkrante and Pervalka settlements on the Lithuanian half of the Curonian Spit. Several soil-forming generations (phases) during 5800-4500, 3900-3100, 2600-2400, and from 1900 calendar years BP until the present have been distinguished. GPR surveys enabled a series of paleogeographic reconstructions of the massif for different time intervals of its evolutionary history. Source

Satkunas J.,Lithuanian Geological Survey | Satkunas J.,Vilnius University | Grigiene A.,Lithuanian Geological Survey | Buynevich I.V.,Temple University | Taminskas J.,Institute of Geology and Geography

The Middle Weichselian (OIS 4-3) and the transition from Early to Middle Weichselian are the most problematic and disputed time intervals of the Late Pleistocene with regard to the palaeogeography of the Fennoscandian glaciations. The number of sites with sediments of Middle Weichselian age in the Baltic region is very limited. An extensive area (77km2) of lacustrine sediments (sand, clay, silt with humus and interlayers of peat), under the relief-forming Upper Weichselian till, was discovered in the vicinity of the Venta settlement, northwestern Lithuania, and named the Venta Palaeolacustrine Basin. The Svirkanciai outcrop (56°18′05″N, 22°53′00″E) (15m in height) of this palaeobasin is composed of two sediment complexes of different genesis and age. The lower part consists of silt and very fine-grained sand of lacustrine origin. According to palynological data, the lacustrine sediments accumulated under boreo-arctic climatic conditions. The pollen records suggest that local vegetation was sparse forest with open areas. An Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) date of the lacustrine sand yielded an age of >79±6ka, which indicates that lacustrine conditions may have occurred during part of the Early Weichselian Odderade Interstadial (Jonionys 2). However, the palynological data from Svirkanciai suggest a Middle Weichselian age, possibly correlating with the Oerel Interstadial (Jonionys 3) 55ka ago. No traces of early Middle Weichselian Schalkholz (Nemunas 2a) stadial glacial advance have been found in the Venta sections. This also suggests a Middle Weichselian age for the Svirkanciai lacustrine sediments. © 2012 The Authors. Boreas © 2012 The Boreas Collegium. Source

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