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The ice-marginal depositional sequence of La Massana provides a chronostratigraphic benchmark for reconstructing the Würmian glacial evolution of the Valira catchment in Andorra, SE Pyrenees. The sedimentary record of Andorra confirms the asynchronous chronology of glacier fluctuations in different parts of the Pyrenean mountain range. A major ice recession occurred at the end of Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 4. High magnitude valley-glacier fluctuations during MIS 3 constitute another important finding. Major readvances occurred toward the end of MIS 3, whereas MIS 2 (in particular, the global Last Glacial Maximum, or LGM) featured sharp contrasts in ice recession rates between Pyrenean valleys. Substantial distances separated MIS 4 glacier fronts (the Würmian maximum ice extent, or MIE) from those reached during the global LGM, in contrast to situations in the eastern Pyrenees, where Würmian MIE and global LGM ice fronts nearly coincided. Overall, the Valira glaciers reveal patterns that are more similar to those recorded elsewhere in the western and central Pyrenees than in the eastern Pyrenees. The rapid fluctuations recorded by Andorran glaciers during the second half of the Würm also suggest a response to global forcing events such as Heinrich events in the North Atlantic.

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