Palaeoshorelines of glacial Lake Kuray–Chuja, south-central Siberia: form, sediments and process
P. A. Carling, M. Knaapen, P. Borodavko, J. Herget, I. Koptev, P. Huggenberger, S. Parnachev, 2011. "Palaeoshorelines of glacial Lake Kuray–Chuja, south-central Siberia: form, sediments and process", Ice-Marginal and Periglacial Processes and Sediments, I. P. Martini, H. M. French, A. PéRez Alberti
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Glacial lake Kuray–Chuja which occupied the Kuray and Chuja Basins during the Quaternary Period (Marine Isotope Stages 2 and 3) left distinct shoreline features around the basin margins. At the greatest extent the lake had a surface area of 2951 km2 with wind fetches up to 70 km. Wind waves constructed erosional, erosional-accumulative and accumulative strandlines, the latter including spits, tombolos, barrier beaches and offshore bars. Strandlines range in altitude between c. 1600 and 2100 m, the range in altitudes demonstrating lake level variations through time. The shoreline forms and stratigraphy are detailed. Particular attention is given to the presence of pocket beaches on rock-coasts, the alluvial strandlines of which have distinctive alongshore gradients. Although reasonably ascribed to regional differential tectonic uplift, the possibility that the local alongshore gradients are augmented as a process response to alongshore drift of sediment in a sediment-starved system of closed coastal cells is explored using a simple numerical model.
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Understanding the sediments deposited by glaciers or other cold-climate processes assumes enhanced significance in the context of current global warming and the predicted melt and retreat of glaciers and ice sheets.
This volume analyses glacial, proglacial and periglacial settings focusing, among others, on sedimentation at termini of tidewater glaciers, on hitherto not-well-understood high-mountain features, and on sediments such as slope and aeolian deposits whose clasts were sourced in glacial and periglacial regions, but have been transported and deposited by azonal processes. Difficulties are thus often encountered in inferring Pleistocene and pre-Pleistocene cold-climate conditions when the sedimentary record lacks many of the specific diagnostic indicators. The main objective of this volume is to establish the validity and limitations of the evidence that can be obtained from widely distributed clastic deposits, in order to achieve reliable palaeogeographic and palaeoclimatic reconstructions. At a more general level and on the much longer geological timescale, an understanding of ice-marginal and periglacial environments may better prepare us for the unavoidable reversal towards cooler and perhaps even glacial times in the future.