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Switzerland at the last glacial maximum (LGM)

Vergletscherungskarte der Schweiz 1:500000

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The map, “Switzerland at the last glacial maximum (LGM) 1:500,000” illustrates the maximum extent of the glaciers at the peak of the last ice age about 24,000 years ago. In this map the latest results of current ice age research are cartographically visualized.

 

How did Switzerland look during the last ice age? Where did the glaciers lie? What areas were not covered by ice? Answers to these questions are now to be found in a map which illustrates current findings on the extent of the glaciers during this ice age.


One of the recent results of paleo-glaciological research worthy of mention are the great central alpine ice domes, whose surface lay at an altitude of 2900 to 3100 meters above sea level (e.g. the ice dome over Oberengadin).


The maximum of the last ice age is a paleo-climatic extreme event – of the cold type. The build up and melting of glaciers are the result of significant climate-steered environmental changes in recent planetary history. The reconstruction of the extent of the glaciers allows conclusions to be drawn concerning atmospheric circulation at the height of the last ice age. Additionally, the map provides a significant contribution to the discussion of climate-driven environmental changes in most recent planetary history.


The Swiss Commission for Quaternary Research SKQ and Prof. Christian Schlüchter from the Institute of Geology at the University of Bern have complied the cartographic elevations or assumed the coordination of this work. Swisstopo [note: not capitalized in the German. A mistake?] is responsible for the editing, cartography, printing and the financing. This last together with the Institute for Geology of the University of Bern, the SKQ, the Swiss Foundation for Alpine Research and the Academy of Natural Sciences sc|nat.


Participating Organizations

Institute of Geology at the University of Bern

Swiss Commission for Quaternary Research

Swiss Foundation for Alpine Research

Academy of Natural Sciences scnat.

Swisstopo