The Eburonian (German: Eburon or Eburonium), or, much less commonly, the Eburonian Stage, is a glacial complex in the Calabrian stage of the Pleistocene epoch and lies between the Tegelen and the Waalian interglacial. The transition from the Tegelen to the Eburonian started about 1.78 million years ago, lasted 480,000 years (to 1.3 million years ago), its base marking the boundary between the Neogene and Quaternary deposits of the Netherlands.
As early as the 1920s, the names of the three well known glaciations - the Elster, the Saale and the Weichselian - had become established at the recommendation of Konrad Keilhack and Paul Woldstedt. After Penck & Brückner successfully identified a fourth glaciation in the Alps, there were many attempts to find traces of this ice age in the northern Central Europe. Investigations in the Netherlands, into both sedimentology and vegetation, revealed that the number of cold and warm periods must have been considerably greater. In 1957 Zagwijn expanded the hitherto known glacials and interglacials (the Weichselian, Eemian, Saalian, Holstein, Elster and Cromer) by the Menapian glacial, Waalian interglacial, Eburonian glacial, Tegelen interglacial and Pre-Tegelen glacial. After the initial view that there had been continuous warm or cold periods, it quickly became clear that we were looking at "complexes" that included both warm and cold periods. The Eburonian was subdivided into four cold periods, each separated from one another by warmer periods.
Climate & vegetation
Very little is known about the development of the climate and vegetation during the Eburonian. The cold period is subdivided into 7 climatic sections, which differ in their average temperatures. As in the cold periods of the Menapian glacial and the Tegelen interglacial, the average temperature of the Eburonian in summer was about ca. 10 °C and the average annual temperature was -6 to -4 °C. During the warmer sections of the Eburonian, the land was covered by cool coniferous forests; during the cold periods the vegetation was open and treeless.
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