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Book Sections Year : 2022

Glacial landscape of the Pyrenees


The Pyrenees form a continuous mountain barrier between France and Spain and a land bridge between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. The highest elevations occur within a 140-km long central segment where more than 100 summits exceed 3000 m, but present-day residual glaciers are extremely small. The modern climate hinges on two regional-scale rainfall and temperature gradients. The sharpest gradient opposes the cooler and moister, Atlantic-influenced, region of the north, to the warmer and drier, Mediterranean-influenced, climate in the south. The spatial distribution of reconstructed Late Pleistocene glaciers conforms quite narrowly to the modern climatic pattern. The inventory and stratigraphy of Pleistocene deposits and landforms started with maps and surveys in the late 19th century, but interest for glacial chronology arose later. The first 100 years of research were successful at documenting the positions of Late Pleistocene glaciers in a number of Pyrenean valleys. Since the 1980s an ongoing drive toward obtaining multiple radiometric age constraints on ice-marginal deposits has shifted the focus to establishing the age of the Late Pleistocene’s most extensive glaciation, to testing whether or not it was synchronous with the global LGM (last glacial maximum), and to documenting the post-LGM deglacial history in different parts of the mountain range.
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hal-03989983 , version 1 (28-04-2023)



Magali Delmas, Yanni Gunnell, Marc Calvet, Théo Reixach, Marc Oliva. Glacial landscape of the Pyrenees. European Glacial Landscapes. Maximum Extent of Glaciations, Elsevier, pp.123-128, 2022, 978-0-12-823498-3. ⟨10.1016/B978-0-12-823498-3.00043-1⟩. ⟨hal-03989983⟩
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