European glacial landscapes from the Bølling–Allerød Interstadial

David Palacios, Nuria Andrés, Jose Maria García Ruiz, Philip Hughes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The Bølling–Allerød Interstadial (B-A) was a period dominated by a warm climate in the Northern Hemisphere, when temperatures rose sharply in Europe by 5°C–10°C. Summer temperatures are considered to have been as warm as at present. However, several short cold events interrupted this trend, although their number, regional distribution and synchrony are unclear. During the B-A, the European Ice Sheet Complexdisappeared from the current marine-based areas and was retreating intensely to inland positions in Scandinavia, Iceland and Scotland, and remained in the Arctic archipelagos within the limits of the present coast. The mountain glaciers further south, which had already begun to retreat before the arrival of this period, continued this trend during the B-A until they disappeared completely or were confined to the cirque interiors, except for some major glaciers in the Alps. The European glacial landscape at the end of B-A was not very different from today, since most of the glacial landforms had been exposed, although they were partly transformed by melting processes in the former ice sheet areas and by paraglacial processes in the mountain areas, where many rock glaciers were formed. The glacial evolution and the landscapes derived from this evolution are very similar in other northern continents, such as North America. In contrast, glaciers advanced in the southern hemisphere, under the influence of the Antarctic Cold Reversal.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEuropean Glacial Landscapes
Subtitle of host publicationThe Last Deglaciation
EditorsD. Palacios, P. Hughes, J.M. García-Ruiz, N. Andrés
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherElsevier BV
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9780323918992
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2022


  • Bølling–Allerød
  • deglaciation
  • Interstadial
  • Older Dryas


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