The first major incision of the Swiss Deckenschotter landscape

Akçar, Naki; Ivy-Ochs, Susan; Alfimov, Vasily; Claude, Anne; Graf, Hans R.; Dehnert, Andreas; Kubik, Peter W.; Rahn, Meinert; Kuhlemann, Joachim; Schlüchter, Christian (2014). The first major incision of the Swiss Deckenschotter landscape. Swiss journal of geosciences, 107(2-3), pp. 337-347. Birkhäuser 10.1007/s00015-014-0176-6

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The Swiss Deckenschotter (“cover gravels”) is the oldest Quaternary units in the northern Swiss Alpine Foreland. They are a succession of glaciofluvial gravel layers intercalated with glacial and/or overbank deposits. This lithostratigraphic sequence is called Deckenschotter because it “covers” Molasse or Mesozoic bedrock and forms mesa-type hill-tops. Deckenschotter occurs both within and beyond the extent of the Last Glacial Maximum glaciers. The Swiss Deckenschotter consist of two sub-units: Höhere (Higher) and Tiefere (Lower) Deckenschotter. Although the Höhere Deckenschotter sub-unit (HDS) is topographically higher than the Tiefere Deckenschotter, it is older. The only available age for the Swiss Deckenschotter is 2.5–1.8 Ma based on mammal remains found in HDS at the Irchel site. In this study, we present an exposure age for the topographically lowest HDS, calculated from a cosmogenic 10Be depth-profile. Our results show that the first phase of the Deckenschotter glaciations in the Swiss Alps terminated at least 1,020+80−120 ka ago, which is indicated by a significant fluvial incision. This line of evidence seems to be close to synchronous with the beginning of the Mid-Pleistocene Revolution, when the frequency of the glacial-interglacial cyclicity changed from 41 to 100 ka and the amplitude from low to high, between marine isotope stages 23 and 22.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences

UniBE Contributor:

Akçar, Naki; Claude, Anne; Dehnert, Andreas and Schlüchter, Christian


500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology








Sarah Antenen

Date Deposited:

10 Aug 2015 11:45

Last Modified:

10 Aug 2015 11:45

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Switzerland, Quaternary geology, Cosmogenic exposure dating, 10Be depth profile, Late Glacial Maximum, Mid-Pleistocene Revolution




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