Outline of Quaternary glaciations in the Tatra Mts.: their development, age and limits

Leszek Lindner, Jan Dzierżek, Barbara Marciniak, Jerzy Nitychoruk


Geomorphological and geological data collected over many years suggest at least eight episodes during which the Tatra Mts. were glaciated during the Quaternary. Evidence of glaciers can be found both in the Slovakian and Polish parts of the mountains as glaciofluvial deposits located at different altitudes, and in some cases also as terminal and lateral moraines. There are no moraines for the three oldest glaciations, Biber, Donau and Günz, maybe as a result of less intense development of glaciers. During the Mindel (Sanian 2) Glaciation the glaciers occuped a larger area in the High Tatra Mts. in comparison to the Western Tatra Mts., whereas during the succeeding younger pre-Riss (Liviecian) Glaciation their development was more restricted. A greater extent of the Tatra Mts. glaciers occurred again during the Riss I (Odranian) Glaciation, while they were less extensive during the Riss II (Wartanian) Glaciation. During the Würm (Vistulian) Glaciation the glaciers were surprisingly large. This might have resulted from many factors, including changes in atmospheric circulation responsible for the distribution of precipitation, as well as changes in the position of the permanent snow limit due to climatic changes and/or neotectonic movements. Glaciers finally retreated from the Tatra Mts. by the end of the pre-optimal part of the Holocene.


Tatra Mts.; Pleistocene; Holocene; glaciers stratigraphy

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