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Quaternary periglacial geomorphology of southern Africa: review and synthesis
2002 (English)In: South African Journal of Science, ISSN 0038-2353, E-ISSN 1996-7489, Vol. 98, no 1/2, 47-55 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The literature on southern African Quaternary periglacial andglacial studies is qualitative in nature with an apparent lack ofscientific rigour. Landforms attributed to being of periglacial andglacial origin exist through a broad belt of high relief from theWestern Cape mountains along the Great Escarpment to theLesotho highlands. Present-day frost action is limited to thesurficial action of needle-ice and segregation ice resulting fromdiurnal to mild seasonal freeze–thaw cycles. Environmentalcontrols on current frost action are still poorly understood forthe Lesotho highlands, where frost-induced processes are animportant factor in accelerating land degradation. Relict periglaciallandforms are most reliably identified in the form of large patternedground, widespread solifluction mantles and blockstreams. Theseobservations are supported by adjunct information, which togetherindicate somewhat drier conditions than present. Erosional forms,such as nivation hollows, cirques, and cryoplanation terraces, lackpositive evidence and imply wetter conditions than at present.Interpretations suggesting rock glaciers, glacial cirques andformer ice wedges at low relative altitudes are highly anomalouswith respect to the other periglacial records and proxy data for theregion. The limitations of the current research literature suggestthat future emphasis should be directed towards sedimentaryrecords by means of clay mineral, soil micro-structural andchemical analysis and dating to improve the reliability and accuracyof the interpretations and their temporal framework

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. Vol. 98, no 1/2, 47-55 p.
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-42222OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-42222DiVA: diva2:70123
Available from: 2008-10-17 Created: 2008-10-17 Last updated: 2013-09-10Bibliographically approved

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Boelhouwers, J., Meiklejohn, I.
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