The deglaciation after the last major Pleistocene ice advance in northern Vorarlberg


The landscape evolution during the period of deglaciation following the last major Upper Pleistocene glacier advance – called Upper Würmian glacier advance in the northern Alpine region – has been analyzed for the northern Bregenzerwald and adjoining areas in Vorarlberg and southern Germany, i.e. the contact area of the complex Rhine glacier system and local valley glaciers. Successive former glacier-margin positions have been reconstructed based on detailed geomorphological mapping in combination with an assessment of the depositional facies of the Quaternary sediments. The reconstruction of the former ice-marginal and proglacial drainage pattern is a key element of the analysis (see also

A morphostratigraphic scheme has been erected, showing the correlatable landforms and deposits across the study area. It is tied to a scheme of recessional complexes of the Rhine glacier established in the adjacent German Alpine foreland of western Allgäu for the corresponding period. Three complexes have originally been defined in the latter area, RC I to RC III, each corresponding to a more or less stationary phase during deglaciation. A fourth complex, RC IV, is defined in northern Bregenzerwald. Age constraints come from a limited number of 14C age datings. 10Be age datings are also available.

The sequence of events in the Rhine glacier area has been compared with the pattern of oscillations in isotopic curves of Greenland ice cores. The similarities in the two datasets suggest that the patterns result from the same, synchronous (within the available time resolution), changes in climate in both areas. Further age constraints, thus, become available for the complexes in the Rhine glacier area.

Four-map composite of the northern Bregenzerwald enclosed in the publication of De Jong et al. (1995). Displayed are the locations of the main glacial s.l. landforms and deposits used in the reconstruction of the stationary phases of the Upper Würmian deglaciation of the area. The colours represent the relative ages of the landforms and deposits. The numbers are linked to a stratigraphic table (click button Strat Table). High-quality of images of the maps, the stratigraphic table and the publication are available for downloading (see below for Downloads). High-resolution georeferenced TIFs of the maps can be made available upon request (see below for Downloads).


Jong, M.G.G. De, 1983, Quaternary deposits and landforms of Western Allgaeu (Germany) and the deglaciation after the last major Pleistocene ice advance. GUA Papers of Geology Series 1, No. 18, 186pp.

Jong, M.G.G. De, Graaff, L.W.S. de and Rupke, J., 1995, Der Eisabbau im Vorderen Bregenzerwald und in den Nachbargebieten (Vorarlberg, Oesterreich; Bayern, Deutschland) nach dem letzteiszeitlichen Eishochstand. Jahrbuch der geologischen Bundesanstalt, 138/1, 27-54 (mit Anlagen).


Zip file with map images, table and paper (233 MB)

The map images are also available as georeferenced TIFs in high resolution. If you are interested, please send us an email: