Distinguishing glacial diamictons and landforms using till macrofabric and grain size analysis: Serra da Cabreira Mountains, NW Portugal

Publication Date

October 2023

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Publication Title

Physical Geography



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Information on the nature of processes occurring in modern glaciers can be obtained through the study of diamictons and landforms that are the product of past glaciations. Macrofabric and grain size analysis of late Quaternary glacial diamictons and moraines present in several valleys of the Serra da Cabreira Mountains in northwest Portugal revealed the presence of two types of diamictons deposited in different stages and were used to re-construct the glacial paleo process history of this mountainous region. Supraglacial melt-out tills and paraglacially reworked tills by debris flows are dominant in this range. Supraglacial melt-out tills, representative of periods of glacial stability followed by recession, present girdle to transitional fabrics and coarser to medium, poorly sorted sediments. Paraglacially reworked tills by debris flows, representative of postglacial mass wasting activity, present girdle fabrics and coarser, poorly sorted sediments. These diamictons and landforms are of particular importance in the reconstruction of the glacial dynamics and history of the Serra da Cabreira Mountains due to a scarcity of chronological data based on absolute dating methods. These Atlantic mountains are also the lowest glaciated range in the Iberian Peninsula, which makes them a compelling area to investigate mountain glacial dynamics in low-elevation Atlantic ranges.


Glacial geomorphology, till macrofabric, grain size, Serra da Cabreira Mountains, NW Portugal