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Embleton‐Hamann, C. and Slaymaker, O., 2012. The Austrian Alps and paraglaciation. Geografiska Annaler: Series A, Physical Geography, 94, 7–16. doi:10.1111/j.1468‐0459.2011.00447.x

There is some confusion in the geomorphological literature with respect to the usage of the term ‘paraglacial’. We review the meaning of the term as defined in the Anglo‐Canadian literature between 1972 and the present. We then show that many of these ideas were implicit in the early‐twentieth‐century German literature but were never, to our knowledge, synthesized into an overarching framework for the study of post‐glacial glaciated landscapes. It was not until the end of the twentieth century that the paraglacial model was directly applied to the interpretation of the European Alps. The first decade of the twenty‐first century has seen a growing appreciation and some critique of that model in research in the Austrian Alps. The post‐glacial glaciated landscape is interpreted as a landscape of transition between the full glacial of the Last Glacial Maximum and the present almost entirely deglaciated landscape. It provides a conceptual framework and a challenge to determine exactly how far any specific glaciated landscape has evolved in response to non‐glacial processes and whether it remains a disturbance regime landscape.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Geography and Regional Research, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria 2: Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Publication date: March 1, 2012

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