, Volume 47, Issue 8, pp 893–907 | Cite as

High-temporal resolution landscape changes related to anthropogenic activities over the past millennium in the Vosges Mountains (France)

  • Anne-Lise MarietEmail author
  • Anne-Véronique Walter-Simonnet
  • Frédéric Gimbert
  • Christophe Cloquet
  • Carole Bégeot
Research Article


Iron mining activities in the Bruche valley (Vosges Mountains, France) date historically from the Roman period to the mid-nineteenth century. The geochemical and palynological study of a core from the peat bog of Le Champ du Feu allows highlighting impacts of these activities over the past millennium. Trace metal contamination is recorded for lead (Pb), arsenic, zinc, and antimony during the Middle Ages, the sixteenth century, and from cal. ad 1750–1900, with several sources distinguished by Pb isotope analyses. Forest exploitation is attested by the palynological analysis of the core, with exploitation of Fagus for smelting processes and cutting of Abies for agro-pastoralism. This approach highlights several patterns of contamination, corresponding to the mixing sources and the contamination intensity, which can be linked to the pollen assemblage zones. Hence, anthropogenic activities such as mining and farming led to long-term modification of the landscape composition in this mountainous area.


Lead isotopes Mines Peat bog Pollen Vegetation dynamics 



This work was supported by a grant from the French “Agence de l’Environnement et de la Maîtrise de l’Energie” (ADEME), the Conseil Régional de Franche-Comté, and by the European program Interreg V Rhin Supérieur Regio Mineralia. We thank the “Office National de la Forêt” of Shirmeck for their coring authorization and J.-L. Schreiner, J. Didier, and Q. Cuenot for their help during field and lab work. Thanks also go to D. Leypold for his historical data on the Bruche valley. We thank the reviewers for their comments which help to greatly improve the manuscript.

Supplementary material

13280_2018_1044_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (71 kb)
Fig. S1 (PDF 72 kb)


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Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chrono-EnvironmentUniversity of Bourgogne Franche-Comté, UMR UFC/CNRS 6249 USC INRABesançon CedexFrance
  2. 2.CRPG-CNRSVandoeuvre les NancyFrance

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