The glacial history of the Pindus Mountains, Greece

M. A. Gilmour, P. L. Gibbard, P. D. Hughes, G. R. Smith, J. C. Woodward, Mark G. Macklin

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Abstract

Geomorphological evidence for Pleistocene glaciation has been mapped in the Pindus Mountains of northwest Greece, and the chronology of glaciation in this area has been established through soil profile analysis and U-series dating of secondary carbonates (calcite) formed within glacial deposits. Three glacial stages are evident in the sedimentological and geomorphological records. The earliest and most extensive recorded glaciation predates 350,000 yr B.P. and was characterized by extensive valley glaciers and ice fields. A more recent glaciation occurred before the last interglacial and was characterized by glaciers that reached midvalley positions. The last phase of glaciation in Greece is recorded by small cirque glacier moraines and relict periglacial rock glaciers. The glacial and periglacial sequence on Mount Tymphi has been used in conjunction with a reference parastratotype, the long lacustrine sequence at loannina, to provide a chronostratigraphical framework for cold-stage deposits in Greece. The three glacial stages are formally defined: the Skamnellian Stage, equivalent to the Elsterian Stage of northern Europe and marine isotope stage (MIS) 12; the Vlasian Stage, equivalent to the late Saalian Stage of northern Europe and MIS 6; and the Tymphian Stage, which is equivalent to the Weichselian/Wurmian stages of northern Europe and the Alps, respectively, and MIS 5d-2. This is the first formalized chronostratigraphical framework based on the glacial record to be established for cold stages in the Mediterranean and provides a new platform for paleoclimatological investigations in the region.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-434
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Geology
Volume114
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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