EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Geomorphological evidence of icefield-style glaciation in the Šumava/Bayerischer Wald mountains, Central Europe

Martin Margold and David Krause
Martin Margold and David Krause
  • Charles University, Department of Physical Geography and Geoecology, Praha 2, Czechia (

The Šumava/Bayerischer Wald mountains are located to the north of the eastern Alps, at the borders of present-day Austria, Bavaria and the Czech Republic. The Šumava/Bayerischer Wald belong to the Variscan mountain ranges of central Europe; these ranges hosted mountain glaciers at the times when the region of central Europe formed a broad unglaciated corridor between the glaciated Alps and the southern margin of the Fennoscandian Ice Sheet. While the region was home to some of the early studies into Pleistocene glaciations in the 19th century, there is still uncertainty both about the maximum extent of Pleistocene glaciation and its chronology. With the availability of high-resolution digital elevation data it is now possible to map the geomorphological traces of glaciation better than before.

We mapped glacial geomorphology from high-resolution digital elevation data for the entire mountain range. We newly find evidence of glacial erosion outside of the well-developed and earlier studied glacial cirques. Widespread traces of glacial erosion in the relatively low-relief, high-elevated central portion of the range indicate that the maximum Pleistocene extent of glaciation might have taken the form of an icefield. The scarcity of glacial depositional landforms beyond the well-developed glacial cirques (the moraines of which have earlier been dated to Marine Isotope Stage 2) may indicate that the icefield existed during one or more of the earlier cold stages of the Pleistocene and most of the depositional landforms formed by those glaciations have since been denudated. Quantitative geochronology would have the potential to correlate the occurrence of the inferred icefield in the Šumava/Bayerischer Wald mountains with the glaciations of the eastern Alps.

How to cite: Margold, M. and Krause, D.: Geomorphological evidence of icefield-style glaciation in the Šumava/Bayerischer Wald mountains, Central Europe, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-8450,, 2020