Late Quaternary glaciations in the eastern Mediterranean

Sarıkaya M. A., Ciner A.

QUATERNARY GLACIATION IN THE MEDITERRANEAN MOUNTAINS, vol.433, pp.289-305, 2017 (Scopus) identifier


Fourteen mountains in the eastern Mediterranean, between southern Turkey and Lebanon, are high enough to support Quaternary valley glaciers or ice caps. The timing of the glaciations has been established mainly by cosmogenic dating. We re-evaluated the dated sites and recalculated some of the published cosmogenic ages using up-to-date production rates. The oldest geochronological records reported from the region belong to glaciations before the globally defined Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). These glaciers probably developed during the beginning of the last glaciation (Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 4; around 71 ka) and stopped advancing at the end of MIS 3 (at 29-35 ka). Later, glaciers expanded and reached their most extensive positions during MIS 2 (after 29 ka). This locally occurred between 21.5 and 18.5 ka, which was synchronous with the global LGM. After the LGM, glaciers started to retreat to less extensive positions and deposited their moraines similar to 16 ka during the late-glacial. Younger Dryas (similar to 12 ka) advances have also been reported from a few mountains. Rare early Holocene glaciations were dated to 8.5 ka in the interior regions. Late Holocene (1-4 ka) and Little Ice Age advances have also been observed on mountains higher than 3500 m.