Swiss Journal of Geosciences

, Volume 111, Issue 1–2, pp 295–303 | Cite as

10Be surface exposure dating of the last deglaciation in the Aare Valley, Switzerland

  • Lorenz WüthrichEmail author
  • Ezequiel Garcia Morabito
  • Jana Zech
  • Mareike Trauerstein
  • Heinz Veit
  • Christian Gnägi
  • Silke Merchel
  • Andreas Scharf
  • Georg Rugel
  • Marcus Christl
  • Roland Zech


The combined Rhone and Aare Glaciers presumably reached their last glacial maximum (LGM) extent on the Swiss Plateau prior to 24 ka. Two well-preserved, less extensive moraine stades, the Gurten and Bern Stade, document the last deglaciation of the Aare Valley, yet age constraints are very scarce. In order to establish a more robust chronology for the glacial/deglacial history of the Aare Valley, we applied 10Be surface exposure dating on eleven boulders from the Gurten and Bern Stade. Several exposure ages are of Holocene age and likely document post-depositional processes, including boulder toppling and quarrying. The remaining exposure ages, however yield oldest ages of 20.7 ± 2.2 ka for the Gurten Stade and 19.0 ± 2.0 ka for the Bern Stade. Our results are in good agreement with published chronologies from other sites in the Alps.


Pleistocene Cosmogenic nuclides Exposure dating Alpine foreland 



We thank Melissa Graber and Claudio Brändli for help in the field and laboratory and the Amt für Umwelt, Bern for the sampling permission. Parts of this research were carried out at the Ion Beam Centre (IBC) at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf e. V., a member of the Helmholtz Association. We would like to thank the DREAMS operator team for their assistance with AMS-measurements. Régis Braucher and Gilles Rixhon are thanked for theit reviews, which improved the paper significantly.


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Copyright information

© Swiss Geological Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lorenz Wüthrich
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Ezequiel Garcia Morabito
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jana Zech
    • 1
  • Mareike Trauerstein
    • 1
  • Heinz Veit
    • 1
  • Christian Gnägi
    • 1
  • Silke Merchel
    • 3
  • Andreas Scharf
    • 3
  • Georg Rugel
    • 3
  • Marcus Christl
    • 4
  • Roland Zech
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of GeographyUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  2. 2.Oeschger Center for Climate Change ResearchUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  3. 3.Helmholtz-Zentrum, Dresden-RossendorfDresdenGermany
  4. 4.Laboratory of Ion Beam PhysicsETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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