Glaciations on ophiolite terrain in the North Pindus mountains, Greece: new geomorphological insights and preliminary 36Cl exposure dating

Aris D. Leontaritis* (Corresponding Author), Kosmas Pavlopoulos, Shasta M. Marrero, Adriano Ribolini, Philip Hughes, Matteo Spagnolo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A glacial geomorphological analysis of three valleys on Mt Mavrovouni (North Pindus Mountains, Greece) is presented alongside a pilot study using cosmogenic 36Cl to obtain surface exposure ages from iron-rich ophiolite glacial and periglacial boulders. At least three distinct morphostratigraphic units of glacial (moraines) and periglacial (relict pronival ramparts) origin have been identified. Four 36Cl surface exposure ages were obtained from the stratigraphically youngest glacial and periglacial deposits. Although this limited dataset with relatively large uncertainties cannot support a robust geochronology, the ages are consistent with the 36Cl-based chronologies of limestone-derived moraines on Mt Tymphi (NW Greece) and Mt Chelmos (S Greece), confirming that the last glaciers on this massif formed during the Last Glacial Maximum as also indicated by other studies in the Pindus mountains. At the same time it provides confidence in the suitability of 36Cl dating for iron-rich samples, such as ophiolites, using an updated 36Cl model that incorporates improved production rates for iron spallation. The presented preliminary chronology of moraines and pronival ramparts is based on those ages as well as on local and regional morphostratigraphic correlations. The stabilisation of the most extensive Late Pleistocene glaciers took place during the Last Glacial Maximum, at 27.0 ± 6.5 ka whereas the presence of pronival ramparts dated at 20.2 ± 4.8 ka suggests persisting cold and arid conditions. Older, still undated glacial deposits exist lower in the valleys which can be attributed to the Middle Pleistocene major glaciation phases (MIS 12 / MIS 6), based on their relative morphostratigraphic position within the glacial sedimentary sequence.
Original languageEnglish
Article number108335
Number of pages17
Early online date8 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2022

Bibliographical note

We would like to thank Dr Costas Athanassas for his help in collecting and crushing the samples. We are also thankful to Dr. Pierre Valla and an anonymous reviewer for their constructive comments during the review process of this article.


  • glacial geomorphology
  • Greece
  • ophiolites
  • cosmogenic 36Cl exposure age dating
  • Last Glacial Maximum


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