Paraglacial adjustment of alluvial fans to the last deglaciation in the Snežnik Mountain, Dinaric karst (Slovenia)

Manja Žebre*, Jernej Jež, Silke Mechernich, Branko Mušič, Barbara Horn, Petra Jamšek Rupnik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (SciVal)
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Glaciokarst depressions are major glacigenic depocenters in the Dinaric mountain karst areas and often store important information about the timing and nature of glacial processes and paraglacial sediment reworking. This study focuses on Praprotna draga, which is one of the largest glaciokarst depressions in the Snežnik Mountain (Dinaric karst), with an area of ~3.4 km 2 and a maximum depth of 140 m. The western slopes of the depression are characterized by undulated moraine morphology and alluvial fans are filling its entire floor. We present the results on the thickness, origin and age of the sediment infill using a complementary geomorphological, sedimentological, geophysical and dating approach. Distribution of moraines point to two glacial advances that were associated with two main alluvial fan aggradation phases recognized using the electrical resistivity tomography measurements. The youngest alluvial deposits were sampled for cosmogenic 36 Cl analysis using amalgamated carbonate pebbles. The depth profile of 36 Cl concentrations suggests an age of 12.3 ± 1.7 ka when assuming a likely denudation rate of 20 mm ka −1 . Since the existence of the Younger Dryas glaciers in the study area is climatically difficult to explain, we tentatively propose that the youngest alluvial deposition in Praprotna draga took place after the glacier retreat during the paraglacial period. Our findings suggest that the time window of paraglacial adjustment in the Snežnik Mountain was brief and likely conditioned by quick recolonization with vegetation and inefficient surface runoff on deglaciated karst terrain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-79
Number of pages14
Early online date07 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 01 May 2019


  • Cosmogenic dating
  • Dinaric karst
  • Electrical resistivity tomography
  • Paraglacial
  • Younger Dryas


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