Moraine ridges are present in the highest cirques of the Durmitor massif in Montenegro and post-date the widespread Pleistocene moraines of this area. Lichenometry suggests that at least eight glaciers were present in the 19th century and correlate with the culmination of the Little Ice Age in the European Alps. Cooler temperatures combined with local topoclimatic controls, including windblown and avalanching snow as well as shading, were crucial for the formation and survival of these glaciers below the regional equilibrium-line altitude. The resultant regional equilibrium line altitude (ELA) was positioned close to the highest peaks between 2400 and 2500 m, with local controls such as avalanche, windblown snow and shading depressing the ELA in the northern cirques to 2130-2210 m. This ELA position was very low for this latitude and lower than for most glaciers in the European Alps at any time during the Holocene, and even equivalent to many Alpine glaciers during the Younger Dryas. Today, one glacier still survives in Montenegro, in a deep northeast-facing cirque characterized by the largest combined areas of potential avalanche and windblown snow. © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
- Little Ice Age