Multiple Quaternary erosion and infill cycles in overdeepened basins of the northern Alpine foreland

Buechi, M. W.; Graf, Hans Rudolf; Haldimann, Peter; Lowick, Sally; Anselmetti, Flavio (2018). Multiple Quaternary erosion and infill cycles in overdeepened basins of the northern Alpine foreland. Swiss journal of geosciences, 111(1-2), pp. 133-167. Birkhäuser 10.1007/s00015-017-0289-9

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The cumulative effect of repeated extensive glaciations represents a poorly constrained component in the understanding of landscape evolution in mid-latitude mountain ranges such as the Alps. Timing, extent, and paleo-climatic conditions of these glaciations are generally poorly understood due to the often-fragmentary character of terrestrial Quaternary records. In this context, the sedimentary infills of subglacial basins may serve as important archives to complement the Quaternary stratigraphy over several glacial--interglacial cycles. In this study, sedimentary facies, valley-fill architecture, and luminescence dating are used to describe nine erosional and depositional cycles (Formations A--I) in the Lower Glatt valley, northern Switzerland. These cycles can be related to the `Birrfeld' Glaciation (~ MIS2), the `Beringen' Glaciation (~ MIS6), and up to three earlier Middle Pleistocene glaciations that can be tentatively correlated to the regional glaciation history. Evidence suggests that deep bedrock trough incision and/or partial re-excavation last occurred mainly during the `Beringen' and `Habsburg' Glaciations. Second-order, 'inlaid' glacial basins document separate glacier re-advances during the Beringen Glaciation. The arrangement of subglacial basins in the Glatt valley with different sub-parallel or bifurcating bedrock troughs, re-excavated segments, and inlaid basins document changes in the magnitude and the spatial focus of subglacial erosion over time. The Glatt valley may thus serve as a key example for the glacial landscape evolution in many other repeatedly glaciated forelands.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences

Graduate School:

Graduate School of Climate Sciences

UniBE Contributor:

Büchi, Marius; Lowick, Sally and Anselmetti, Flavio


500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology








Marius Büchi

Date Deposited:

18 Apr 2018 13:29

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:11

Publisher DOI:





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