The loess series at St. Pierre-les-Elbeuf and St. Sauflieu are key successions for the western European Quaternary stratigraphy. The present study proposes a detailed record of the last interglacial-glacial climatic cycle at St. Pierre and its integration into the synthetic pedosedimentary record of north-western France using detailed correlations with the type sections of St. Sauflieu and Achenheim. Finally, comparisons with the marine isotope, Greenland GRIP chronologies and dust records are proposed. At St. Pierre, the pedostratigraphic and sedimentological analyses (total iron, organic matter, carbonate, grain size), in association with low field magnetic susceptibility measurements, demonstrate that this loess succession records the major climatic events of the Upper Pleistocene. The basal soil complex at St. Pierre is similar to those from the main successions of North (St. Sauflieu) or Northeast France (Achenheim). It shows a Bt horizon of brown leached soil, a deeply reworked grey forest soil and two isohumic steppe soils separated by a non-calcareous loess layer. This loess level corresponds to the first aeolian event clearly observed in the succession and can be correlated with Marker II of the Central European stratigraphy located around the marine isotope stage (MIS) 5/4 boundary. The main aeolian sedimentation starts after the soil complex and ends with the top soil (brown leached soil). Finally, a good parallel is observed between the strongest peaks of the dust records of the ice cores and the main period of loess deposition in St Pierre-les-Elbeuf occurring during MIS 2.
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