Environmental geohistory in mountain areas. Climate and landscape dynamics in La Molina peatbog (Puente Viego, Cantabria)

2018 edition

Marc Sánchez Morales

The evolution of mountain landscapes during the Late glacial and the Holocene is explained by a multifarious interaction system between society and the environment, where fire has played an essential role. Sedimentary records (peat bogs, lakes, etc.) are deposits where micro-remains (pollen, non-pollen palynomorphs, etc.) and macro remains (mosses, charcoal, seeds, etc.) are accumulated and conserved through time due to non-oxidizing and acid conditions. Sedimentary records obtained from these deposits allow the study of climate and landscape evolution.

La Molina peat bog is a sedimentary record from Cantabria, one of the European regions with more known Paleolithic sites. The study of this site has provided ecological data which cover the Late glacial and the Holocene (from 18.000 cal. yr BP to present) and helps to comprehend the current Cantabrian landscape. Our multiproxy methods have been based on the analysis of macro remains, pollen and non-pollen palynomorphs, LOI (loss on ignition, organic matter) and sedimentary charcoal (< 150 ┬Ám).

In this communication, I will explain the main goals of my thesis, which are related with the interpretation of the Cantabrian landscape evolution.