The Italian Mountains: glacial landforms from the Bølling–Allerød Interstadial (14.6–12.9 ka)

Adriano Ribolini, Matteo Spagnolo, Carlo Giraudi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The effects of the Bølling–Allerød warm period on the environments of Peninsular Italy were registered by several terrestrial and marine climate proxies. The landscape was characterised by thermophilic and xerophilic vegetation at low altitudes, coniferous and deciduous woods up to altitudes above 1000 m where lakes were almost totally absent or experienced a negative hydrological balance with strong processes of evapotranspiration.

In the Apennine glacial chronology, the correlation of the various palaeoenvironmental data make it possible to define the Venaquaro Interstadial as equivalent to the Bølling–Allerød. During this interstadial, the Apennines were characterised by warm air temperature and dry conditions that led to the exhaustion of almost all glaciers, and even the disappearance of lakes in proglacial environments. Some small glaciers survived in higher parts of the central Apennines and deposited small frontal moraines. This glacial standstill led to the formation of moraines that became stable around 14.9±0.4 ka cal BP (Aquila 1 stade), consistent with a cold episode at the beginning of the Bølling–Allerød.

The sedimentation rate of loess of Saharan origin underwent a decrease/interruption, as indicated by the sedimentary records of some lakes. This might indicate a reduction in the advection of southern air masses. As these dust-rich currents were also generally humid, their reduction may have accelerated the already ongoing retreat of the Apennine glaciers.
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 pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9780323918992
ISBN (Print)9780323985116
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023


  • Deglaciation
  • climate proxy records
  • moraines
  • lake levels
  • Apennines


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