Quaternary carbonate-rocky talus slope successions (Eastern Alps, Austria): Sedimentary facies and facies architecture

Diethard Sanders, Marc Ostermann, Jan Kramers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Quaternary carbonate-lithic talus slope successions of the Eastern Alps record an overall correlation between prevalent sedimentary facies, depositional geometry, and geomorphic maturity of the slope. After exposure of high cliffs by deglaciation or rocksliding, a low-dipping immature talus dominated by unsorted rockfalls initially accumulates. With progressive talus buildup, slope segments of different dips develop. Concomitantly, prevalent depositional processes change to grain flows and sorted rockfalls in the proximal, steep-dipping (35° - 30°) slope segment, while deposits of cohesive debris-flows, ephemeral fluid flows and larger rockfalls prevail in the distal, lower-dipping slope segment. In mature talus deposystems, the proximal slope succession overlies the lower-dipping package of the distal slope along a thin 'downlap interval'. Immediately after cliff exposure by deglaciation or rocksliding, talus may aggrade at rates of up to a few tens of meters per 1,000 years, but the accumulation rate slows strongly with progressive maturity of slopes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-373
Number of pages29
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Eastern Alps
  • Facies architecture
  • Quaternary
  • Talus relicts
  • Talus rocks
  • Talus slopes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Stratigraphy
  • Paleontology


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