The last million years recorded at the Stari Slankamen (Northern Serbia) loess-palaeosol sequence: revised chronostratigraphy and long-term environmental trends

Slobodan B. Marković, Ulrich Hambach, Thomas Stevens, George J. Kukla, Friedrich Heller, William D. McCoy, Eric A. Oches, Björn Buggle, Ludwig Zöller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Stari Slankamen loess-palaeosol section is located on the northeastern part of the Srem Loess Plateau (Vojvodina region, North Serbia). The c. 40-m thick cliff comprises loess intercalated with 9 major palaeo pedocomplexes and can be considered to be one of the most important Quaternary sections in the Carpathian (Panonnian) basin. Here we present new magnetostratigraphic and aminostratigraphic evidence that demonstrates the importance of the site in terms of its age and the long-term palaeoclimatic record it preserves.

Directional palaeomagnetic data, obtained through alternating field demagnetization demonstrates the presence of reversed polarity below a profile depth of 36 m indicating a Matuyama chron age of this interval. This interpretation is confirmed by new high resolution palaeomagnetic investigations (434 oriented samples) from the lower part of the profile. The new magnetic susceptibility record and aminostratigraphy indicate a missing pedocomplex (V-S2), with an erosional unconformity represented by a distinct gravel layer. The combined new magnetostratigraphic and aminostratigraphic based age model requires a significant revision of hitherto published chronostratigraphic subdivisions at the site.

The relative completeness and long time frame covered by the section is unusual in European loess sequences. Hence, the sequence could form the basis of a continental scale stratigraphic scheme that would alleviate much current chronostratigraphic uncertainty and enable more broad-scale climatic reconstructions. The section also provides a rare opportunity to investigate detailed and long-term climatic change over the Middle Pleistocene in a region influenced by air masses originating from high and middle latitudes, as well as the North Atlantic and Mediterranean. The changing relative importance of these air masses through time provides insight into local and regional atmospheric systems and their evolution through the last c.1 Ma. The section can thus be considered as one of the key climatic archives in the Europe.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1142-1154
Number of pages13
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Issue number9-10
Early online date9 Mar 2011
Publication statusPublished - May 2011


  • Loess;
  • Magnetism;
  • Serbia;
  • Stari Slankamen;
  • Matuyama-Brunhes;
  • Pleistocene;
  • Aminostratigraphy;
  • Palaeosol;
  • Palaeoclimate

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