DETERMINING THE GLACIAL EQUILIBRIUM LINE ALTITUDE (ELA) FOR THE NORTHERN RETEZAT MOUNTAINS, SOUTHERN CARPATHIANS AND RESULTING PALEOCLIMATIC IMPLICATIONS FOR THE LAST GLACIAL CYCLE
The Carpathians are one of the dominating mountain ranges in Europe. Their transitional climatic situation between maritime (west) and continental (east) air masses arouses special interest with respect to the timing of the glaciations. In reconstructing the past history of the Pietrele-Nucşoara glacier complex on the northern slope of the Retezat mountains, Southern Carpathians, a combined geomorphological, pedological and geochronological (surface exposure dating) study was carried out. A
... carried out. A detailed GPS survey assisted in reconstructing the paleoequilibrium line altitude (pELA) in a Geographical Information System (GIS). Two glacial stages were identified. Using exposure ages, the younger (Capra-Judele, M2) advance dates back to about 16.5 kyr, delayed in comparison to the onset of deglaciation in other mountain ranges like the Alps. The respective pELA-depression was determined to about 1050 m (present-day snowline, approx. 2900 m asl as reference level). Due to the absence of datable boulders, it was not possible to date the older (Lolaia, M1) advance. Hence, pedological investigations assisted in estimating the age of the Lolaia advance. Our results indicate that the maximum advance of the Pietrele-Nucşoara glacier complex corresponds to the early Wuermian (MIS 4?). The pELA-depression of the Lolaia advance during the early Wuermian was estimated to be approx. 1100 m (present-day snowline as reference level). Further investigations in other mountain ranges in the Southern Carpathians are required to confirm our preliminary interpretations.