Since the year 2000 we carry out research projects in the area of the Pleistocene Salzach glacier, the Inn terraces of the ‘Innviertel’, as well as in the area of the Traun-Enns Plate (Traun-Enns-Platte) in Upper Austria. Five papers of the special issue are concerned with Quaternary sediments, paleosols and recent soils in Upper Austria. The focus is placed on the Oberlaab Loess-paleosols sequence, which was studied in great detail. National as well as international working groups were successively involved and there are numerous studies, which comprise classical field and laboratory methods, microscopic, magnetic, and paleobotanic analyses. The research works started on the base of the project ‘Geomorphological and Pedological Investigations in the Former Foreland Glacier of the River Salzach/Austria‘, which was funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Erhard Bibus, Tübingen. Moreover, subsequent studies were supported by the University of Tübingen and an international project, which was part of the ICSU Grant Program under the title ‘Polygenetic Models for the Pleistocene Paleosols: A new Approach to decoding the Paleosol-Sedimentary Records‘. The research team was formed by a German-Austrian-Mexican-Russian group, of which the major part participated in the present special issue (Ottner & Sedov, Sedov et al., Solleiro-Rebolledo et al., Terhorst; this volume). A further project in the area was organised by Prof. Dr. van Husen (ÖAW; Austrian Academy of Science). In the frame of this project concerned with the stratigraphy of the Middle Pleistocene (Untersuchungen zur zeitlichen Gliederung des mittleren Abschnitts des Quartärs), detailed studies were carried out in the former brickyard of Wels-Aschet (see Scholger & Terhorst, this volume).
Since 2007 the research area was extended to the east by the loess region of Lower Austria. The research team experienced an enlargement by the cooperation with Austrian archeologists in the Krems region. The extension of the research area is represented by the paper of Sprafke et al. (this volume) and deals with the well-known outcrop of Paudorf.
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