Late Glacial ice advance in the Kellerjoch region near Schwaz (Tyrol, Eastern Alps)

Philipp Gschwentner 1 , Hanns Kerschner 2 , and Christoph Spötl 1
  • 1 Institute of Geology, University of Innsbruck, Innrain 52, 6020, Innsbruck, Austria
  • 2 Institute of Geography, University of Innsbruck, Innrain 52, 6020, Innsbruck, Austria

Abstract

The Kellerjoch forms a small isolated massif at the northernmost rim of the central Eastern Alps of Tyrol and shows a number of geomorphological features of glacial and periglacial origin. Mapping yields evidence of two local glaciations postdating the Last Glacial Maximum. Using a simple glaciological approach the palaeoglaciers related to these events were reconstructed. The older glaciation yields an equilibrium line altitude (ELA) ranging from 1660 m for the maximum extent to 1800 m a.s.l. for the innermost moraine. For the younger glaciation, ELAs were reconstructed at 1905 m and 1980 m (depending on the reconstruction) for the Kellerjoch palaeoglacier 2, as well as 1870 m and 2060 m a.s.l. for the Proxen palaeoglacier and the Gart palaeoglacier, respectively. A comparison with published data from the Eastern Alps shows that the older glaciation in the Kellerjoch region likely corresponds to the Gschnitz stadial. Low basal shear stresses of the glacier tongues point towards a cold and dry climate, similar to the reconstruction for the Gschnitz type locality at Trins. The younger glaciation cannot unambiguously be assigned to a specific Late Glacial ice advance, but a Younger Dryas age is a distinct possibility.

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