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17. Middle Pleistocene glacial outwash in poljes of the Dinaric karst

By
K.R. Adamson
K.R. Adamson
Geography and Environmental Management, School of Science and the Environment, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, M1 5GD, UK
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J.C. Woodward
J.C. Woodward
Quaternary Environments and Geoarchaeology Research Group, Geography, School of Environment, Education and Development, The University of Manchester, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK
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P.D. Hughes
P.D. Hughes
Quaternary Environments and Geoarchaeology Research Group, Geography, School of Environment, Education and Development, The University of Manchester, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK
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Published:
January 01, 2016

Poljes are distinctive features of Mediterranean karst landscapes, but their Pleistocene sedimentary fills have not been widely investigated. Most previous research has focused on their formation and hydrology. Many Mediterranean poljes are situated downstream of high mountains that were glaciated during the cold stages of the Pleistocene, so that meltwater streams delivered glacially derived sediment into these basins. This study examines the Pleistocene alluvial records in karst poljes surrounding Mount Orjen in western Montenegro and explores their wider significance. There is a record of at least four glaciations preserved on Mount Orjen—two from the Middle Pleistocene (marine isotope stages [MIS] 12 and 6) and two from the last cold stage (MIS 5d-2), including the Younger Dryas. Detailed sedimentological analysis and uranium-series dating indicate that the Orjen poljes were filled with thick deposits of coarse- and fine-grained alluvium prior to 350 ka, during the major glacial phase of MIS 12. During the cold stages that followed MIS 12, ice was less extensive and limited to the Orjen plateau, and there is little evidence of outwash deposition during these later glaciations. Surface runoff and sediment supply were greatly reduced after MIS 12 and largely channeled into the subterranean karst network. The poljes around Orjen contain some of the best-preserved records of Middle Pleistocene glacial outwash in the Mediterranean, representing an important legacy of an extensive Middle Pleistocene glaciation for which wider impacts have not been fully appreciated.

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GSA Special Papers

Caves and Karst Across Time

Joshua M. Feinberg
Joshua M. Feinberg
Institute for Rock Magnetism, Earth Sciences Department, University of Minnesota, 310 Pillsbury Dr. SE, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455, USA
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Yongli Gao
Yongli Gao
Center for Water Research, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Texas at San Antonio, One UTSA Circle, San Antonio, Texas 78249, USA
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E. Calvin Alexander, Jr.
E. Calvin Alexander, Jr.
Earth Sciences Department, University of Minnesota, 310 Pillsbury Dr. SE, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455, USA
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Geological Society of America
Volume
516
ISBN print:
9780813725161
Publication date:
January 01, 2016

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