Piroska Pazonyi, László Kordos, Enikő Magyari, Elena Marinova, Levente Fükőh and Márton Venczel (2014)
Pleistocene vertebrate faunas of the Süttő Travertine Complex (Hungary)
Quaternary International , 319:50 - 63.
Numerous fossil remains (vertebrates, molluscs and plants) were found in more than twenty sites of the Süttő Travertine Complex during the last 150 years. The majority of these remains were recovered from fissures of the travertine, but also from the travertine and an overlying loess–paleosol sequence. The aims of this study were to review the fossil content, to determine the stratigraphical positions of the various vertebrate faunas of Süttő and provide paleoecological interpretation of the periods on the basis of their faunas and floras. In addition, this paper describes new faunas and floras from the sites Süttő 16–20 and provides 14C dates for Süttő 16. On the basis of the new uranium series isotope and optical dating (OSL), the age of the travertine complex is Middle Pleistocene (235 ± 21–314 ± 45 ka, \MIS\ 7–9), while the age of the loess–paleosol sequence in superposition of the travertine is Middle–Late Pleistocene (MIS 2–MIS 6). In contrast, the fossils of the travertine indicated an older, Pliocene–Early Pleistocene age. A fissure (Süttő 17) and a red clay layer (Süttő 19) contained mammal faunas of Early–Middle Pleistocene age. These results indicated the existence of older travertine in certain quarries (Hegyháti quarry, Cukor quarry). Sedimentological and \OSL\ data of well-dated layers of the loess–paleosol sequence (Süttő/LPS) at Süttő allowed a correlation with the layers of Süttő 6. The paleosol layer in the upper part of the sequence of Süttő 6, was correlated with a pedocomplex of the overlying loess–paleosol sequence, which was dated to \MIS\ 5c (upper, dark soil) and \MIS\ 5e (lower, reddish brown soil). The paleoecological analysis of the mammal and mollusc faunas supported the former interpretation of Novothny et al. (2011) inferring warm, dry climate during the sedimentation of the upper layers, and more humid climate for the lower layers). However, the fauna of the lower soil layer indicated cold climate, so an age of \MIS\ 5d is suggested. Dating of the fissure faunas is based on similarity studies. For some faunas, this method cannot be used, because of the low number of species. On the basis of the species compositions and former interpretations, these faunas originated mainly from sediments that were deposited under cold climatic conditions. Other fissure faunas were dated by \AMS\ 14C (Süttő 16), or by correlation with soil layers of Süttő 6. According to these results, most of the fissure faunas can be correlated with different phases of \MIS\ 5. However, there are a younger (MIS 2) and an older (Early–Middle Pleistocene) fissure fauna also.