Quaternary stratigraphy of Poland – current status

Leszek Marks


A critical verification of the previous stratigraphic Quaternary subdivisions has updated the setting of the stratigraphic units in Poland. Inconsequently applied classification and terminology in the Polish Quaternary stratigraphy has been accompanied by arbitrary correlation with marine isotope stages. This has resulted in the creation of several stratigraphic units, occasionally with ambiguous stratigraphic setting and chronology, and usually devoid of the type sections. A record of most of the Early and Middle Pleistocene is full of sedimentary hiatuses. The detailed stratigraphic setting of 5 glaciations (Nidanian, Sanian 1, Sanian 2, Odranian and Vistulian) and 4 interglacials (Podlasian, Ferdynandovian, Mazovian and Eemian) has been established in the Pleistocene of Poland. The palaeomagnetic Brunhes/Matuyama boundary was determined within the Podlasian Interglacial and therefore, the oldest glaciation (Nidanian) has no equivalent anywhere in Europe. The stratigraphic units distinguished are correlated with those in Western Europe and with the marine isotope stages. The Quaternary stratigraphy in Poland is faced with the necessity of how to define regional stratotypes of the main stratigraphic units and boundaries. A crucial issue is to change the approach from a qualitative description of the stratigraphic units to one based also on selected quantitative criteria.


Pleistocene; Holocene; Climatostratigraphy; Chronostratigraphy; Glaciations; Interglacials; Central Europe

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