Palynological and sedimentological records of Holocene human impact from the Etang de Berre, southeastern France
AbstractPollen and sedimentological analyses of Holocene sediments from the Etang de Berre, close to the Rhone Delta, allow human impact on the Holocene vegetation and hence on the landscape of the Lower Rhone Valley to be considered from c. 5600 BP to 1000 BP. Data, from three Holocene cores provide evidence of erosion layers connected with reductions in the tree cover. These layers, distinguished by a peak in the angle of smectite (θSm) and a decline in the smectite/illite ratio, are interpreted as soil-derived materials transfered to lowland sites by runoff enhanced by forest clearances that repeatedly occurred during the mid- and late-Holocene. This changed the vegetation, lowering the protection of the landscape against anthropic and/or climatic factors.