We present new chronological data and Equilibrium Line Altitude (ELA) information for palaeoglaciers in the Maritime Alps during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and the early deglaciation. Three relatively small catchments were investigated to test if the response of small (1-10 km2) glaciers to LGM climatic forcing was distinguishable from that of larger glacial systems. Palaeoglacier geometries and ELAs were reconstructed using geomorphological evidence and toolboxes in a geographic information system. Chronological control was provided through 10Be surface exposure dating of erratic boulders located on frontal and lateral moraine ridges. Our data indicate two phases of glacier advance or stabilisation in the Maritime Alps, the first occurring at ca. 25 to 24 ka and the second at ca. 20.5 to 19 ka. This is consistent with ages that have been reported from larger outlet lobes along the south -western Alpine fringe, where the second LGM advance is usually preserved in the form of a recessional moraine. Within the uncertainty of the dating technique, there are no distinguishable differences between the responses of small and large Alpine glaciers to the LGM climate. The reconstructed ELAs for palaeoglaciers in the Maritime Alps indicate a considerable variability, which appears to be linked to differences in received solar radiation, from ca. 1600 m a.s.l. for north-facing cirque glaciers to almost 2000 m a.s.l. for glaciers with a southerly aspect. We argue that such influence of solar radiation needs to be considered when using ELAs for palaeoclimatic inferences at regional scales. The calculated ELAs are up to 450 m higher than those in the northern Apennines or the Corsican mountains, indicating a relatively dry LGM climate on the Italian side of the Maritime Alps.

Responses of small mountain glaciers in the Maritime Alps (south-western European Alps) to climatic changes during the Last Glacial Maximum

Ribolini, Adriano
Conceptualization
;
2024-01-01

Abstract

We present new chronological data and Equilibrium Line Altitude (ELA) information for palaeoglaciers in the Maritime Alps during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and the early deglaciation. Three relatively small catchments were investigated to test if the response of small (1-10 km2) glaciers to LGM climatic forcing was distinguishable from that of larger glacial systems. Palaeoglacier geometries and ELAs were reconstructed using geomorphological evidence and toolboxes in a geographic information system. Chronological control was provided through 10Be surface exposure dating of erratic boulders located on frontal and lateral moraine ridges. Our data indicate two phases of glacier advance or stabilisation in the Maritime Alps, the first occurring at ca. 25 to 24 ka and the second at ca. 20.5 to 19 ka. This is consistent with ages that have been reported from larger outlet lobes along the south -western Alpine fringe, where the second LGM advance is usually preserved in the form of a recessional moraine. Within the uncertainty of the dating technique, there are no distinguishable differences between the responses of small and large Alpine glaciers to the LGM climate. The reconstructed ELAs for palaeoglaciers in the Maritime Alps indicate a considerable variability, which appears to be linked to differences in received solar radiation, from ca. 1600 m a.s.l. for north-facing cirque glaciers to almost 2000 m a.s.l. for glaciers with a southerly aspect. We argue that such influence of solar radiation needs to be considered when using ELAs for palaeoclimatic inferences at regional scales. The calculated ELAs are up to 450 m higher than those in the northern Apennines or the Corsican mountains, indicating a relatively dry LGM climate on the Italian side of the Maritime Alps.
2024
Rettig, Lukas; Kamleitner, Sarah; Mozzi, Paolo; Ribolini, Adriano; Ivy-Ochs, Susan; Rea, Brice R.; Monegato, Giovanni; Christl, Marcus; Spagnolo, Matt...espandi
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1245368
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