Trimlines and Paleonunataks

C. K. Ballantyne*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    Paleonunataks are mountain summits that remained above the surface of Pleistocene ice sheets and ice fields. Periglacial (or glacial) trimlines are weathering limits separating glacially eroded terrain on lower slopes from periglacial morphology on summits and plateaus. Trimlines were traditionally interpreted as representing the upper limits of former ice masses, but it is now established that many trimlines represent the transition zone between an upper zone of landforms preserved under cold-based glacier ice and a lower zone of glacial erosion. Approaches to the interpretation of trimlines include relative-age dating, surface exposure dating, geomorphological evidence, and paleoglaciological constraints.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Quaternary Science
    Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
    PublisherElsevier Inc.
    Number of pages12
    ISBN (Electronic)9780444536433
    ISBN (Print)9780444536426
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


    • Blockfields
    • Clay mineralogy
    • Cosmogenic isotopes
    • Frost action
    • Glacial erosion
    • Glacier reconstruction
    • Last Glacial Maximum
    • Nunataks
    • Paleonunataks
    • Periglacial
    • Regolith
    • Relative-age dating
    • Surface exposure dating
    • Tors
    • Trimlines
    • Weathering limits


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