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The timing of glacier advances in the northern European Alps based on surface exposure dating with cosmogenic 10Be, 26Al, 36Cl, and 21Ne

By
Susan Ivy-Ochs
Susan Ivy-Ochs
Insitut für Teilchenphysik, ETH-Hönggerberg CH-8093 Zurich, Switzerland, and Geographisches Institut, Universität Zurich-Irchel, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland
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Hanns Kerschner
Hanns Kerschner
Institut für Geographie, Universität Innsbruck, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria
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Anne Reuther
Anne Reuther
Insitut für Physische Geographie, Universität Regensburg, D-93040 Regensburg, Germany
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Max Maisch
Max Maisch
Geographisches Institut, Universität Zurich-Irchel, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland
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Rudolf Sailer
Rudolf Sailer
Institut für Naturgefahren und Waldgrenzregionen, Bundesforschungs- und Ausbildungszentrum für Wald, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria
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Joerg Schaefer
Joerg Schaefer
Lamont Doherty Earth Institute, Palisades, New York 10964, USA
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Peter W. Kubik
Peter W. Kubik
Paul Scherrer Institut, c/o Institut für Teilchenphysik, ETH Hönggerberg, CH-8093 Zürich, Switzerland
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Hans-Arno Synal
Hans-Arno Synal
Paul Scherrer Institut, c/o Institut für Teilchenphysik, ETH Hönggerberg, CH-8093 Zürich, Switzerland
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Christian Schlüchter
Christian Schlüchter
Geologisches Institut, Universität Bern, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland
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Published:
January 01, 2006

Exposure dating of boulder and bedrock surfaces with 10Be, 21Ne, 26Al, and 36Cl allows us to constrain periods of glacier expansion in the European Alps. The age of 155 ka from a boulder of Alpine lithology located in the Jura Mountains (Switzerland) provides a minimum age for pre-LGM (Last Glacial Maximum), more extensive Alpine glaciations. During the LGM, glaciers expanded onto the foreland after 30 ka. By 21.1 ± 0.9 ka deglaciation had begun, and the Rhône Glacier abandoned the outer moraines. The age of 15.4 ± 1.4 ka provides a minimum age for formation of Gschnitz stadial moraines (Austria). They mark the first clear post-LGM readvance of mountain glaciers, when glacier termini were already situated well inside the mountains. Glacier advance at the onset of the Younger Dryas led to formation of Egesen I moraines, dated to 12.2 ± 1.0 ka at the Schönferwall site (Austria) and to 12.3 ± 1.5 ka at the outer moraine at Julier Pass (Switzerland). The age of 11.3 ± 0.9 ka for the inner moraine / rock glacier complex at Julier Pass corroborates the field evidence, which points to a marked increase in rock glacier activity and delayed moraine stabilization during the late Younger Dryas. An early Preboreal glacier advance, larger than the Little Ice Age advance(s) at 10.8 ± 1.0 ka, was recorded at Kartell cirque (Austria). A moraine doublet located a few hundred meters outside the A.D. 1850 moraines in Kromer Valley (Austria) was dated at 8.4 ± 0.7 ka. At least during termination 1, glacier volumes in the Alps varied in tune with climate oscillations, Heinrich event 1, the Younger Dryas cold phase, the Preboreal oscillation, and the 8.2 ka event.

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Contents

GSA Special Papers

In Situ-Produced Cosmogenic Nuclides and Quantification of Geological Processes

Ana María Alonso-Zarza
Ana María Alonso-Zarza
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Lawrence H. Tanner
Lawrence H. Tanner
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Geological Society of America
Volume
415
ISBN print:
9780813724157
Publication date:
January 01, 2006

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