Abstract

Erosional and depositional evidence on Mount Olympus, Greece, and across the adjacent piedmont provides clear indication that the mountain was more extensively glaciated over a longer period of time than has been previously reported. The stratigraphic record of Pleistocene–Holocene events on Mount Olympus is most clearly documented on the eastern piedmont, where three discrete sedimentary packages (units 1–3), each capped by a distinctive soil, reflect glacial and nonglacial activity in the Mount Olympus region. A working stratigraphic framework for sediments and soils is proposed and is tentatively correlated with a dated alluvial succession south of Mount Olympus. We suggest that the oldest sedimentary package (unit 1) predates 200 ka (isotope stage 8?). Lithologic and pedologic equivalents of the piedmont stratigraphy are found within major valleys draining Mount Olympus, as well as within cirque basins and on the summit plateau surface. These deposits can be clearly tied to three stages of cirque development on the upland and at valley heads. Taken together, upland and piedmont glacial features and deposits indicate the following general scenario: (1) earliest glaciation (isotope stage 8?) produced upland ice and valley glaciers that extended as piedmont lobes east, north, and west of Mount Olympus; (2) nonglacial (interglacial) conditions (isotope stage 7?) were accompanied by extensive erosion and subsequent pedogenesis; (3) a second glaciation (isotope stage 6?) involved production of upland ice and valley glaciers that did not reach the piedmont; (4) interglacial (interstadial) conditions (isotope stage 5?) provided time for stream erosion and substantial pedogenesis; (5) final(?) glaciation (isotope stages 4–2?) was restricted to valley heads (no upland ice) and glaciers that extended to mid-valley positions; (6) nonglacial conditions (isotope stage 1?) were associated with additional pedogenesis and stream incision. The largest cirque on the mountain (Megali Kazania) may contain depositional evidence for neoglaciation. Study of the neotectonic history of the Mount Olympus region indicates that uplift has persisted throughout the mid-Pleistocene and Holocene at a rate of about 1.6 m/k.y.; the total uplift since deposition of unit 2 is approximately 200 m.

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