The Italian Mountains: glacial landforms during deglaciation (18.9–14.6 ka)

Adriano Ribolini, Matteo Spagnolo, Carlo Giraudi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Citations (Scopus)


In the mountains of peninsular Italy, a nonlinear deglaciation followed the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), and phases of glacial readvances/standstill occurred. The LGM valley glaciers, where ice converged from various tributary cirques, fragmented into single bodies and withdrew within the glacial cirques or just beyond their threshold during the deglaciation. Compared to the LGM, the reduction of glacial tongues was of the order of 80% with a rise of the Equlibrium Line Altitude (ELA) up to 450 m. The readvance and recessional phases (in the Central Apennines dated respectively from 18–19 to 16 cal ka BP and from 16 to 14 cal ka BP) have resulted in the formation of numerous frontal and lateral moraines, and scattered glacial deposits. The combined use of radiocarbon datings and, above all, dated stratigraphic markers (volcanic tephra and aeolian deposits) has favoured the building of a coherent chronological palimpsest of these glacial phases, ultimately leading to the identification of a glacial stage common to at least the central and southern Apennines. This stage corresponds to the 18–14 ka BP time interval.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEuropean Glacial Landscapes
Subtitle of host publicationThe Last Deglaciation
EditorsDavid Palacios, Philip D. Hughes, José M. García Ruiz, Nuria Andrés
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9780323918992
ISBN (Print)9780323985116
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023


  • Deglaciation
  • moraines
  • aeolian sediments
  • volcanic tephra
  • Apennines


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