6.The Ice Age
Evidence of the Overturn - Lauterbrunnen in Switzerland

The Ice Age
Evidence of the Overturn - Lauterbrunnen in Switzerland

Evidence of a recent, violent past can be found in many world regions that are currently thought to be stable.

From Switzerland, the Lauterbrunnen valley displays shear cliffs with sharp edges. The exit from this valley is a narrow gorge. Glaciers still sit on the peaks surrounding it, yet there are few signs of glaciers flowing through this valley. The sharp cliff edges are not eroded as you would expect if the valley had existed through a long ice age. There is no glacial polishing of the side walls as you would expect if the valley had filled with ice. There is a little polishing, just on the valley floor through the gorge that exits the valley.

I think that this region was thrust up at the end of the last ice age during the overturn.A much more level land surface prior to this developed severe faulting with blocks rotating and chasms such as this one opening up.

Hypothetical suggestions of faulting based on walking through the area

I am proposing that the glaciers only formed on these peaks, and in the Lauterbrunnen chasm only after the overturn - after the ice age had ended, but where the existing ice masses to the north were still cooling the weather enough for glaciers to form with the winter snows. These glaciers were never large enough, or in existence for long enough to carve valleys out of the hard rock.

Errosion of the softer surface rock and soils from the pre-overturn land surface produced the large fans that are visible in the valley floor. That these were produced quickly is evidenced by the fact that the cliff edges remain sharp - they have not been smoother by hundreds of thousands of years of weathering.

There is no evidence of the huge mass of rock debris that would have been produced if the mountains like the Eiger were produced by erosion from an upland plateau. these would have been carried into the chasm of Lauterbrunnen far faster than the river could remove them. This suggests that the north face of the Eiger is a recent fault face formed by the rapid upthrust of a huge block of strata.