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Distribution, geometry, age and origin of overdeepened valleys and basins in the Alps and their foreland

Distribution, geometry, age and origin of overdeepened valleys and basins in the Alps and their foreland,10.1007/s00015-010-0044-y,Swiss Journal of Ge

Distribution, geometry, age and origin of overdeepened valleys and basins in the Alps and their foreland   (Citations: 2)
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Overdeepened valleys and basins are commonly found below the present landscape surface in areas that were affected by Quaternary glaciations. Overdeepened troughs and their sedimentary fillings are important in applied geology, for example, for geotechnics of deep foundations and tunnelling, groundwater resource management, and radioactive waste disposal. This publication is an overview of the areal distribution and the geometry of overdeepened troughs in the Alps and their foreland, and summarises the present knowledge of the age and potential processes that may have caused deep erosion. It is shown that overdeepened features within the Alps concur mainly with tectonic structures and/or weak lithologies as well as with Pleistocene ice confluence and partly also diffluence situations. In the foreland, overdeepening is found as elongated buried valleys, mainly oriented in the direction of former ice flow, and glacially scoured basins in the ablation area of glaciers. Some buried deeply incised valleys were generated by fluvial down-cutting during the Messinian crisis but this mechanism of formation applies only for the southern side of the Alps. Lithostratigraphic records and dating evidence reveal that overdeepened valleys were repeatedly occupied and excavated by glaciers during past glaciations. However, the age of the original formation of (non-Messinian) overdeepened structures remains unknown. The mechanisms causing overdeepening also remain unidentified and it can only be speculated that pressurised meltwater played an important role in this context.
Journal: Swiss Journal of Geosciences - SWISS J GEOSCI , vol. 103, no. 3, pp. 407-426, 2010
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    • ...The presented sedimentary evidence is in general accordance with the large scale reconstruction of the climax of the LGM around 24‐21.5 kyr cal BP (Preusser 2004) which was at the time when the Inn glacier as the biggest one in the Eastern Alps, was connected with other Alpine glaciers and formed a network (‘‘Eisstromnetzwerk’’; van Husen 1987; Fig. 2) in the sense of transection glaciers (Benn and Evans 1998)...
    • ...It has to be emphasized that such data for pleniglacial conditions of the Wu ¨rmian vary between 3 kyrs (Preusser 2004) and more than 5 kyrs (Monegato et al. 2007)...

    Jürgen M. Reitneret al. Alpine overdeepenings and paleo-ice flow changes: an integrated geophy...

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