Extent of Late Quaternary glaciers in the Upper Soc??a River Region (Southern Julian Alps, SE Europe) has been analyzed using a combination of geological mapping, glaciological modeling, and sediment dating (radiocarbon, U/Th series and Infrared Stimulated Luminescence-IRSL). Field investigations focused mainly on relatively well preserved Quaternary sequences in the Bovec Basin, an intramontane basin located SW of the Mediterranean/Black Sea divide and surrounded by mountain peaks reaching from approximately 2100 up to 2587 m a.s.l. Within the Basin we recognized two Late Quaternary sedimentary assemblages, which consist of the same facies association of diamictons, laminated lacustrine deposits and sorted fluvial sediments. Radiocarbon dating of the upper part of the lake sediments sequence (between 12790??85 and 5885??60 14C years b.p.) indicates that the younger sedimentary assemblage was deposited during the last glacial maximum and through early Holocene (Marine Isotope Stage 21, MIS 2-1). Sediment ages obtained for the older assemblage with U/Th and IRSL techniques (between 154.74??22.88 and 129.93??7.90 ka b.p. for selected samples) have large errors but both methods yield results consistent with deposition during the penultimate glacial-interglacial transition (MIS 6-5). Based on analyses of field data combined with glaciological modeling, we argue that both sediment complexes formed due to high sediment productivity spurred by paraglacial conditions with glaciers present in the uplands around the Bovec Basin but not extending down to the basin floor. Our study shows that the extent and intensity of direct glacial sedimentation by Late Quaternary glaciers in the region was previously significantly overestimated. ?? 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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Late Quaternary glaciation of the Upper Soc??a River Region (Southern Julian Alps, NW Slovenia)