Pencks Heirs - Pleistocene Stratigraphy in Southern Bavaria

Ernst Kroemer1
1 Ref. 102 Geologische Landesaufnahme, Bayerisches Landesamt für Umwelt

P 1.6 in Progress in Quaternary Stratigraphy

Bayerisches Landesamt für Umwelt, Geologischer Dienst, Dienststelle Hof, Hans-Högn-Str. 12, D-95030 Hof/Saale, ernst.kroemer@lfu.bayern.de



Penck & Brückner (1901-1909) introduced a primarily morphostratigraphical model for the Pleistocene landscape evolution of the alpine piedmont. They identified 4 glaciations, which were named after small rivers: Würm, Riß, Mindel and Günz (from young to old). Corresponding terraces of gravel accumulation are named as Niederterrasse (Würm), Hochterrasse (Riß), Jüngere Deckenschotter (Mindel) and Ältere Deckenschotter (Günz).

Investigations and mapping up to now show that this differentiation is still state of the art. In Bavaria (Doppler et al., 2011) and also in Austria (Van Husen & Reitner, 2011) only these 4 Glaciations can be identified in the field. It is clear that during the Pleistocene many cold phases existed, but we can not identify more than 4 Glaciations which reach the alpine Piedmont.

Outside the former glaciated areas many river terraces of glaciofluvial type may represent these different cold times.

Eberl (1930) identified a group of 3 terraces which were on higher elevation than the “Ältere Deckenschotter” near Memmingen and introduced a glacial epoch named Donau, which he cut off from Günz sensu Penck.

Schäfer (1955) expanded Pencks former tetraglacial system to a new epoch called Biber according to Pencks nomenclature. He defined this by gravel deposits of the “Staufenbergschotter” and of the “Aindliger Terrassentreppe”, which had been part of Donau by Eberl (1930).

The nomenclature of the Geological Survey in Bayaria for corresponding gravel accumulation  tries to show this as a part of the original tetraglacial system: Tiefere Ältere Deckenschotter (Günz), Höhere Ältere Deckenschotter (Donau) and Älteste Deckenschotter (Biber).

The Geological survey of Austria (Van Husen & Reitner 2011) uses the tetraglacial system of Penck & Brückner (1901-1909). The geological survey of Bavaria works with an extended tetraglacial system (Penck & Brückner 1901-1909, Eberl 1930, Schäfer 1955).

In contrary, the geological survey of Baden-Württemberg (Ellwanger et al. 2011) uses a much different model. They changed from a modification of the primarily tetraglacial model (Tab. 1) to an uncomformity bounded lithostatigraphical interpretation of the Quaternary sediments in the Rhine glacier area.

Tab. 1: Stratigraphic systems for the Quaternary of Southern Bavaria according to the Deutsche Stratigraphische Kommission (2002), Ogg & Smith (2004), Ellwanger et al. (2003).

Out of the Bavarian climate stratigraphic terms only the Würmian age/stage is formally defined by Chaline & Jerz (1984). Therefore, we will not use the ending ‘ian’ for all our terms consequently (adopted from Doppler et al. 2011).




Deutsche Stratigraphische Kommission [Hrsg.] (2002): Stratigraphische Tabelle von Deutschland 2002. – Potsdam.

Doppler, G., Kroemer, E., Rögner, K., Wallner, J., Jerz, H. & Grottenthaler W. (2011): Quarternary Stratigraphy of Southern Bavaria. – E&G, vol. 60: 329-365.

Eberl, B. (1930): Die Eiszeitenfolge im nördlichen Alpenvorlande – Ihr Ablauf, ihre Chronologie aufgrund der Aufnahmen des Lech- und Illergletschers. – 427 p.; Augsburg.

Ellwanger, D., Lämmermann-Barthel, J. & Neeb, I. (2003): Eine landschaftsübergreifende Lockergesteinsgliederung vom Alpenrhein zum Oberrhein. – In: Schirmer, W. (ed.): Landschaftsgeschichte im Europäischen Rheinland. – GeoArchäoRhein, 4: 81-124; Münster.

Ellwanger, D., Wielandt-Schuster, U., Franz, M. & Simon, T. (2011): The Quaternary of the southwest German Alpine Foreland (Bodensee-Oberschwaben, Baden-Württemberg, Southwest Germany). -- E&G, vol. 60: 306-328.

Ogg, J. G. & Smith, A. G. (2004): The geomagnetic polarity time scale. – In: Gradstein, F. M., Ogg, J. G. & Smith, A. G. (eds.): Geologic Time Scale 2004: 63-86; Cambridge (University press).

Penck, A. & Brückner, E. (1901-1909): Die Alpen im Eiszeitalter. – 3 Bände: 1199 p.; Leipzig.

Schaefer, I. (1955): Sur la division du Quaternaire dans l’avant pays des Alpes en Allmagne. – Actes IV. Congress International du Quaternaire (INQUA), Rome, Pise, 1953, vol 2: 910-914.

Van Husen, D. & Reitner, J. (2011): An Outline of the Quaternary Stratigraphy of Austria. -- E&G, vol. 60: 366-387.


Tab. 1:	Stratigraphic systems for the Quaternary of Southern Bavaria according to the DEUTSCHE STRATIGRAPHISCHE KOMMISSION (2002), OGG & SMITH (2004), ELLWANGER et al. (2003).
Tab. 1: Stratigraphic systems for the Quaternary of Southern Bavaria according to the DEUTSCHE STRATIGRAPHISCHE KOMMISSION (2002), OGG & SMITH (2004), ELLWANGER et al. (2003).

last modified 2012-07-19