News
Home  >  News > Reconstruction of glacier evolution at the mountains of the Iberian Peninsula...

Reconstruction of glacier evolution at the mountains of the Iberian Peninsula over the last hundred thousand years

Vall de Ruda, in Garona, has a transversal U-shaped profile, evidence of the ice during the Quaternary.

Vall de Ruda, in Garona, has a transversal U-shaped profile, evidence of the ice during the Quaternary.

03/04/2019

Recerca

The UB researcher Marc Oliva is the first signer of a study published in the journal Earth-Science Review, which gathers the impact of the glaciers at the Iberian mountains during the late quaternary glacial period, in particular over the last hundred thousand years. The study shows, for instance, that in the Pyrenees, the glaciers reached areas which are now Pont de Suert, Seu d’Urgell and Puigcerdà, during the moment of maximum glacial extension. Actually, the exceptionality is the current situation, with a lack of permanent ice.

 

 

For about 11,700 years, the landscape of high Iberian mountains has been similar to the current ones, without glaciers, except for the coldest periods such as the Little Ice Age (from 1300 to 1850). However, before that period, large glaciers and permanently iced peaks were more common, so areas such as the current Viella were covered by a layer of ice which could be from 600 to 800 meters thick. There is known due evidence of the important presence of glaciers in the past: the landmarks with glacial origins such as U-shaped valleys, glacial cirques, verrous and glacial lakes.

During the coldest stages of the last glaciation, average temperatures were 10º lower than now, which made it possible for the glaciers to cover high Iberian mountains. “The landscape of the Pyrenees was more similar to the current Alps, with large glaciers and permanently iced peaks”, says Marc Oliva, principal researcher of the Research Group Antarctic, Arctic and Alpine Environments (ANTALP) of the UB.

The study gathered more than 350 datings carried out by ten experts and their criteria were unified. In particular, the study analyses the Pyrenees, the Cantabrian Mountains, the northern western ranges, the Iberian mountains, and Sierra Nevada.

Oliva, M.; Palacios, D.; Fernández Fernández, J. M.; Rodríguez Rodríguez, L.; García Ruiz, J. M.; Andrés, N.; Carrasco, R. M.; Pedraza, J.; Pérez Alberti, A.; Valcárcel, M., and Hughes, P. D. «Late Quaternary glacial phases in the Iberian Peninsula», Earth-Science Review, March 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.earscirev.2019.03.015

Share this at:
| More |
  • Follow us:
  • Button to access University of Barcelona's Facebook profile
  • Button to access University of Barcelona's Twitter profile
  • Button to access University of Barcelona's Instagram profile
  • Button to access University of Barcelona's Linkedin profile
  • Button to access University of Barcelona's Youtube profile
  • Button to access University of Barcelona's Google+ profile
  • ??? peu.flickr.alt ???
Member of International recognition of excellence HR Excellence in Research logo del leru - League of European Research Universities logo del bkc - campus excel·lència logo del health universitat de barcelona campus

© Universitat de Barcelona