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Ice wedges in the loess profile of southern Lower Saxony and northern Hesse, Germany



Ice wedges in the loess profile of southern Lower Saxony and northern Hesse, Germany



Biuletyn Peryglacjalny 16: 225-245



After a detailed stratigraphical classification of the periods of the Wuerm glaciation in some north-Hessian and Lower Saxon loess profiles the stratigraphical position of the numerous loess wedges was investigated. They are thought to be fossil ice wedges. There were indications of two ice wedge generations in the middle-Wuerm and five in the young-Wuerm. A regular alternation of periods of loess drift together with ice wedge development and warm periods during which the ice wedges were filled up and soils formed more or less was apparent. Also the phenomenon of seasonal frost action could be located in the latter period. From this may be deduced a frequent formation and degradation of permafrost during 'climatic waves of the second order'. Ice wedges found in the neighbourhood seem to prove that also during the early-Wuerm (two generations of ice wedges) and in the Young Dryas permafrost was developed.

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