Geological value of Biśnik Cave sediments (Cracow-Częstochowa Upland)

Joanna Mirosław-Grabowska

Abstract


The Biśnik Cave is located near the town of Pilica in the central part of the Smoleń-Niegowonice Range (Cracow-Częstochowa Upland). During archaeological excavations a section of clastic sediments above 7 m thick was exposed. Based on sedimentological, mineralogical and archaeological data, the lithology and stratigraphy of the deposits were documented. Series I (layers 18-8) accumulated in a dry cave environment in the Tertiary (layer 18), during the Middle Polish Glaciation (layers 17-14), the Eemian Interglacial (layers 13-12) and in the older part of the Vistulian (layers 11-8). Series II (layers 7-5) reflects accumulation under fluvial conditions during the Middle Vistulian. Series III (layers 4-2) consists of aeolian deposits accumulated during the Upper Vistulian. The humus layers (layers 1b-1a) were formed during the Holocene. The composition of the rich palaeontological material was used for reconstruction of the natural environment and the climatic conditions during the accumulation of the sediments. The existence of forest is documented during the time of the accumulation of layers 15, 13, 12. The presence of aquatic species of fauna testifies to the existence of a small river in the neighbourhood of the cave (e.g. layers 11, 6-7). The high proportion of remains of steppe-tundra fauna indicates a periglacial environment (e.g. layers 14, 8, 2). The results of the investigations of the BiÊnik Cave sediments helped in reconstructing the evolution of the relief of the surrounding area.


Keywords


Cave sediments, Cracow-Częstochowa Upland, Quaternary

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