Articles | Volume 15, issue 1
01 Nov 1964
 | 01 Nov 1964

Das Mittelwürm in Mitteleuropa und angrenzenden Gebieten

Hugo Gross

Abstract. The Mid-Würmian "interstadial W I/II" plays a prominent part in the literature dealing with Pleistocene archaeology since 1931. This is not the case in the geological literature. Numerous strata dated by C14 measurement and sedimentanalysis, respectively, to be of Mid-Würmian age (between ca. 50000 and 30000 B.P.) in various Upper Pleistocene sequences are for the most part interstadial; ca. ten Würmian loess sequences dated by terrace morphology contain a Mid-Würmian considerable loam zone and a very weak vounger loam zone. These facts prove the reality of an interpleniglazial Mid-Würm between the two cold peaks of Early Würm and Young Würm. The interpleniglacial climate of Middle Würm was on the average rather a cool temperate one interrupted by warmer and colder oscillations. Within the Alps and in northern Europe the expansion of the Würmian and Weichselian ice-masses was stopped, they stagnated, their fronts oscillated more or less widely. At the close of the Middle Würm, the Würmian ice overflowed the northern Alpine passes and the Weichselian ice the Baltic basin, both as far as the Young Endmoraine girdle (Young Würm). In Central Europe Middle Würm divides the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic periods. To the Middle Würm has often been ascribed heretofore the well known loam stratum within the loess of Göttweig (Lower Austria), and with this loam has been correlated the basal loam zone of the triple Stillfried A complex of fossil soils displayed by loess sections of particularly arid regions (CSSR and eastern Lower Austria). Recent studies (the latest by palynology) of this loam have proved it to be of Riß/Würm Interglacial age. Till now, this correlation has not yet been demonstrated for the loam stratum of the type locality of Göttweig (also not datable by terrace morphology!). Therefore the term "Göttweig Interstadial" must be replaced by another name: Würmian Interpleniglacial.