Rock glaciers in the central Cantabrian Mountains: palaeoenvironmental indicators

R. Pellitero, E. Serrano, J. J. González Trueba

Abstract


Rock glaciers are considered reliable indicators of permafrost occurrence, developed in environments with average temperatures below -2ºC. Relict rock glaciers and protalus lobes are well preserved landforms which permit us to deduce the environment in which they were active. This article analyzes the distribution and characteristics of 32 rock glaciers and 9 protalus lobes in the central part of Cordillera Cantábrica. Based on the shape, orientation, altitude and morphostratigraphy of rock glaciers we have established 5 different phases of rock glacier formation. Finally a chronological hypothesis is purposed, and a palaeoclimatic inference is suggested for each phase.



DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18172/cig.1259

© Universidad de La Rioja, 2013

ISSN 0211-6820

EISSN 1697-9540