To exploit the potential of rock glaciers as indicators of past climate condition it is first necessary to date them.
The combined application of both relative and absolute dating techniques is a promising approach. In this study, we
present Schmidt-hammer rebound value measurements and weathering rind thicknesses on four active and one relict rock
glacier in the Albula area of the eastern Swiss Alps. Associated landforms such as the moraines in front of rock glaciers
and glacially polished bedrock also were used to set up the temporal framework. This was done using soil chemical
analyses, radiocarbon dating of the stable fraction of soil organic matter and surface exposure dating of boulders.
Schmidt-hammer and weathering rind measurements showed, in most cases, well-pronounced trends with increasing
surface ages. These values are in line with measurements from other nearby rock glaciers with comparable lithologies.
Use of this information together with the numeric ages makes it possible to derive two main activity phases: one started
soon after the ice retreat following the Younger Dryas, the main activity occurred most likely in the early Holocene and
lasted approximately until the Holocene climate optimum. The second activity phase continues today and had an unclear
start between 10 to 6 cal ky BP.