The Plio-Pleistocene glaciation in eastern Europe, Siberia, and the Caucasus: Evolution of thoughts

Ee. Milanovsky, The Plio-Pleistocene glaciation in eastern Europe, Siberia, and the Caucasus: Evolution of thoughts, ECLOG GEOL, 93(3), 2000, pp. 379-394
Citations number
Categorie Soggetti
Earth Sciences
Journal title
ISSN journal
0012-9402 → ACNP
Year of publication
379 - 394
SICI code
The most convincing concept of the great Pleistocene glaciation in northern Eurasia was developed in the 1870s by the Swedish geologist O. Torell and the Russian geographer and geologist P. A. Kroptokin, who had discovered tr aces of an extensive glaciation in eastern Siberia and Finland, published i n the fundamental book "Researches on the glacial period" (1876, in Russian ). Our paper describes the complex history of glacial research in northern Eurasia by Russian geologists. Unlike Kropotkin, most of them reorganized t he existence of several glaciations separated hy interglacial epochs. The m ain centers of glaciation were distinguished. The most important glaciation developed under the humid climates of northern Europe and western Siberia. In the relatively dry regions of eastern Siberia ice sheets were of more l imited extent and thickness, but there, permafrost reached depths up to 1-1 .5 km. First observations on the Pleistocene and Recent glaciation of the Great Ca ucasus and the Armenian Highland (especially of the Elbrus and Ararat volca noes) were made by G. Abich in 1844-1850. In the first half of the 20(th) c entury the Russian geologists A. P. Gerasimov, A. L. Reinhard, V. P. Rengar ten and others established a history of Caucasian glaciations comparable wi th that developed by Penek and Bruckner, even though disagreements about th e correlations subsisted. In the central part of the Great Caucasus young v olcanic rocks alternate with glacial deposits. The modern chronology of the Great Caucasus glaciations developed by the author and A. V. Kozhevnikov d istinguishes: 1) a Late Pliocene Elbrus Glaciation (analogue of the Danubia n Glaciation of the Alps?)- 2) an Eopleistocene Chegem Glaciation (analogou s to Gunz)- 3) an Early Pleistocene Eltubu Glaciation (analogous to Mindel) - 4) a Middle Pleistocene Terek Glaciation with several phases and stages ( analogous to Riss)- 5) a Late Pleistocene-Early Holocene Bezingi Glaciation (analogous to Wurm and Buhl of the Alps)- 6) advance and retreat of glacie rs in the 17(th) to 19(th) centuries. The Late Pliocene - Eopleistocene gla ciations belonged to the semi-sheet type, Pleistocene glaciations to the tr ough valley type. The maximal advance of glaciers was in the Middle Pleisto cene. In the eastern part of the Great Caucasus and in the Minor Caucasus g laciations are were limited due to a more arid climate and lesser elevation s.