A multi-dating approach applied to proglacial sediments attributed to the Most Extensive Glaciation of the Swiss Alps

Authors


Abstract

Dehnert, A., Preusser, F., Kramers, J. D., Akçar, N., Kubik, P. W., Reber, R. & Schlüchter, C. 2010: A multi-dating approach applied to proglacial sediments attributed to the Most Extensive Glaciation of the Swiss Alps. Boreas, Vol. 39, pp. 620–632. 10.1111/j.1502-3885.2010.00146.x. ISSN 0300-9483.

The number and the timing of Quaternary glaciations of the Alps are poorly constrained and, in particular, the age of the Most Extensive Glaciation (MEG) in Switzerland remains controversial. This ice advance has previously been tentatively correlated with the Riss Glaciation of the classical alpine stratigraphy and with Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 6 (186–127 ka). An alternative interpretation, based on pollen analysis and stratigraphic correlations, places the MEG further back in the Quaternary, with an age equivalent to MIS 12 (474–427 ka), or even older. To re-evaluate this issue in the Swiss glaciation history, a multi-dating approach was applied to proglacial deltaic ‘Höhenschotter’ deposits in locations outside the ice extent of the Last Glacial Maximum. Results of U/Th and luminescence dating suggest a correlation of the investigated deposits with MIS 6 and hence with the Riss Glaciation. Cosmogenic burial dating suffered from large measurement uncertainties and unusually high 26Al/10Be ratios and did not provide robust age estimates.

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