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Radiocarbon-Dated Vegetal Remains from the Cave Ice Deposits of Velebit Mountain, Croatia

  • Z Kern (a1) (a2), N Bočić (a3) and Gy Sipos (a4)

Organic material and a few tree trunks have been recovered from the shrinking ice deposits of Velebit Mountain, Croatia. Ten radiocarbon (14C) dates, seven new measurements and three recalibrated ones, from three cave ice deposits were evaluated. The new data argue for the preservation of a ~1000-yr-old deposit in the Kugina Ice Cave and a <500-yr-old accumulation in the Ledena Pit. A 14C age suggests that the ice in the lower section of Vukušić cave ice deposit is very likely older than 3500 yr. The work is in progress to verify this suggestion. Evaluation of the temporal distribution of the calibrated ages of the 14C-dated vegetal remains allowed constraining the accumulation and ablation history of cave ice in the northern and central Velebit. Periods lacking vegetal remains in these cave ice deposits (before the 11th century and in the 15th century) tend to match with similar patterns from other cave ice deposits from the Eastern Alps and the Swiss Jura Mountains, suggesting large-scale coherence regulating European cave ice mass balance changes over the past ~1200 yr.

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