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Quaternary glaciations in the Verkhoyansk Mountains, Northeast Siberia

  • Georg Stauch (a1) and Frank Lehmkuhl (a1)


Geomorphological mapping revealed five terminal moraines in the central Verkhoyansk Mountains. The youngest terminal moraine (I) was formed at least 50 ka ago according to new IRSL (infrared optically stimulated luminescence) dates. Older terminal moraines in the western foreland of the mountains are much more extensive in size. Although the smallest of these older moraines, moraine II, has not been dated, moraine III is 80 to 90 ka, moraine IV is 100 to 120 ka, and the outermost moraine V was deposited around 135 ka. This glaciation history is comparable to that of the Barents and Kara ice sheet and partly to that of the Polar Ural Mountains regarding the timing of the glaciations. However, no glaciation occurred during the global last glacial maximum (MIS 2). Based on cirque orientation and different glacier extent on the eastern and western flanks of the Verkhoyansk Mountains, local glaciations are mainly controlled by moisture transport from the west across the Eurasian continent. Thus glaciations in the Verkhoyansk Mountains not only express local climate changes but also are strongly influenced by the extent of the Eurasian ice sheets.


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