Holstein interglacial

The Holstein interglacial (German: Holstein-Warmzeit or Holstein-Interglazial), also called the Mindel-Riss interglacial (Mindel-Riß-Interglazial) in the Alpine region, is the third to last major interglacial before the Holocene, the present warm period. It followed directly after the Elster glaciation and came before the Saale glaciation, during the Middle Pleistocene. The more precise timing is controversial since Holstein is commonly correlated to two different marine isotope stages, MIS 11[3] (424-374 thousand years ago[4]) and MIS 9[5] (337-300 thousand years ago[4]). This ambiguity is much related to the correlation problem described in more detail in the article 'Elster glaciation'.

Subdivisions of the Quaternary System
Age (Ma)
Quaternary Holocene Meghalayan 0 0.0042
Northgrippian 0.0042 0.0082
Greenlandian 0.0082 0.0117
Pleistocene 'Tarantian' 0.0117 0.126
'Chibanian' 0.126 0.773
Calabrian 0.773 1.80
Gelasian 1.80 2.58
Neogene Pliocene Piacenzian 2.58 3.60
Notes and references[1][2]
Subdivision of the Quaternary Period according to the ICS, as of May 2019.[1]

For the Holocene, dates are relative to the year 2000 (e.g. Greenlandian began 11,700 years before 2000). For the beginning of the Northgrippian a date of 8,236 years before 2000 has been set.[2] The Meghalayan has been set to begin 4,250 years before 2000.[1]

'Chibanian' and 'Tarantian' are informal, unofficial names proposed to replace the equally informal, unofficial 'Middle Pleistocene' and 'Upper Pleistocene' subseries/subepochs respectively.

In Europe and North America, the Holocene is subdivided into Preboreal, Boreal, Atlantic, Subboreal, and Subatlantic stages of the Blytt–Sernander time scale. There are many regional subdivisions for the Upper or Late Pleistocene; usually these represent locally recognized cold (glacial) and warm (interglacial) periods. The last glacial period ends with the cold Younger Dryas substage.


The Holstein interglacial is defined by marine sedimentation. On the stratigraphic record at the natural monument of de:Sievertsche Tongrube in Hamburg-Hummelsbüttel, its development is traced from the Elster ice age (Lauenburg clay) through the start of the warm period (freshwater depositions) to its flooding by the Holstein Sea (Cardien Sands).[6][7][8][9][10]

See also


  1. Cohen, K. M.; Finney, S. C.; Gibbard, P. L.; Fan, J.-X. (May 2019). "International Chronostratigraphic Chart" (PDF). International Commission on Stratigraphy. Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  2. Mike Walker; et al. (December 2018). "Formal ratification of the subdivision of the Holocene Series/Epoch (Quaternary System/Period)" (PDF). Episodes. Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy (SQS). 41 (4): 213–223. doi:10.18814/epiiugs/2018/018016. Retrieved 11 November 2019. This proposal on behalf of the SQS has been approved by the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS) and formally ratified by the Executive Committee of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS).
  3. Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy, Global chronostratigraphical correlation table for the last 2.7 million years, v. 2011
  4. Lisiecki, Lorraine E.; Raymo, Maureen E. (2005). "A Pliocene-Pleistocene stack of 57 globally distributed benthic δ18O records". Paleoceanography. 20: n/a. Bibcode:2005PalOc..20.1003L. doi:10.1029/2004PA001071.
  5. German Stratigraphic Commission: Stratigraphische Tabelle von Deutschland 2016
  6. Grube, E.-F. (1959): Die Bedeutung des Holstein-Interglazial-Aufschlusses von Hamburg-Hummelsbüttel für die Geologie Norddeutschlands. - Jahrbuch des Alstervereins: 5-9.
  7. Grube, E.-F. (1963): Geologie der Ziegelei-Tongruben von Hamburg-Hummelsbüttel. - Jahrbuch des Alstervereins 42: 25-30.
  8. Averdieck, F.-R. (1992): Das Holstein-Interglazial von Hamburg-Hummelsbüttel. - Meyniana 44: 1-13.
  9. Dallek, M. (1963): Holstein-Interglazialvorkommen von Hamburg-Hummelsbüttel. - Jahrbuch des Deutschen Jugendbundes für Naturbeobachtung 2: 136-147.
  10. Knudsen, K.L. (1979): Foraminiferal Faunas in Marine Holsteinian Interglacial Deposits of Hamburg-Hummelsbüttel. - Mitteilungen aus dem Geologisch-Paläontologischen Institut der Universität Hamburg 49: 193-214.


  • Hallik, R. (1960): Die Vegetationsentwicklung der Holstein-Warmzeit in Nordwestdeutschland und die Altersstellung der Kieselgurlager der südlichen Lüneburger Heide. - Zeitschrift der Deutschen Geologischen Gesellschaft 112: 326-333.
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