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Quaternary geology of eastern Germany (Saxony, Saxon-Anhalt, South Brandenburg, Thuringia), type area of the Elsterian and Saalian stages in Europe

, : Quaternary geology of eastern Germany (Saxony, Saxon-Anhalt, South Brandenburg, Thuringia), type area of the Elsterian and Saalian stages in Europe. Quaternary Science Reviews 21(11): 1275-1346

The characteristic feature of the Quaternary geology of eastern Germany (location map, Fig. 1) is a sequence of more than 50 horizons and complexes of glacial (laminated clays, tills, glaciofluvial sediments) and periglacial (river gravels, gelifluction sheets, alluvium, loess) facies. In the period between the younger Tertiary and the first Elsterian continental glaciation, at least four gravel terraces were built up under cold climate conditions. The youngest of these gravel bodies lacks Scandinavian rocks and is interbedded with Elsterian glaciolacustrine deposits. Pre-Elsterian temperate periods have been recorded at a number of places (i.e. Zeuchfeld, Untermassfeld, Voigtstedt, Sussenborn). Two major ice advances with additional minor oscillations have been identified, of Elsterian and Saalian ages. Complete Eemian and Holsteinian sequences are represented showing vegetational development through each interglacial cycle (cool, temperate-warm, cool). The Weichselian glacial Stage in eastern Germany is represented by thick periglacial sedimentation, including gravels, gelifluction sheets, alluvium, debris covers and loess. Within these sediments is a wide variety of glaciotectonic structures and periglacial soil structures, including classical involutions and ice-wedge casts. An outline of the present state of knowledge of the Quaternary of eastern Germany is given in Tables 1-3 while Table 4 presents a stratigraphical comparison with the neighbouring regions and countries. The palaeogeography of the region during the periods of the European continental glaciation is depicted in Fig. 2.


DOI: 10.1016/S0277-3791(01)00075-0

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