Holocene optimum events inferred from subglacial sediments at Tschierva Glacier, Eastern Swiss Alps

Jörin, U.E.; Nicolussi, K.; Fischer, A.; Stocker, T.F.; Schlüchter, C. (2008). Holocene optimum events inferred from subglacial sediments at Tschierva Glacier, Eastern Swiss Alps. Quaternary science reviews, 27(3-4), pp. 337-350. Oxford: Elsevier 10.1016/j.quascirev.2007.10.016

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This study investigates the subglacial sedimentary archive at Tschierva Glacier, Eastern Swiss Alps. Subfossil wood remains found at the retreating glacier tongue indicate that their emergence results from recent transport from an upvalley basin. A confluence-basin-like structure was found to exist by georadar measurements underneath the present glacier. In combination with high resolution age determinations based on dendrochronology and radiocarbon dating it is implied that a retreated Tschierva Glacier allowed vegetation growth and sediment accumulation in that basin. Three periods of glacier recession were detected, which occurred around 9200 cal yr BP, from 7450 to 6650 cal yr BP and from 6200 to 5650 cal yr BP. These periods are called Holocene optimum events (HOE). Accordingly, an equilibrium line rise >220 m compared to the reference period from 1960 to 1985 was inferred from digital elevation models of former glacier extents. Since glacier mass balance depends on summer (June–July–August) temperature and precipitation, an equilibrium line altitude (ELA) rise of 220 m implies a summer temperature increase of about 1.8 °C assuming unchanged precipitation during the dated HOE. Alternative calculations point to probable temperature increase in a broad interval between +1.0 °C taking into account a precipitation change of −250 mm/a to +2.5 °C with +250 mm/a precipitation change, supporting earlier paleotemperature estimates. It is proposed that higher mean summer insolation caused a stronger seasonality during the mid-Holocene as compared to late Holocene conditions.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Climate and Environmental Physics
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences

UniBE Contributor:

Stocker, Thomas and Schlüchter, Christian

Subjects:

500 Science > 530 Physics

ISSN:

0277-3791

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:20

Last Modified:

20 Sep 2021 12:11

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.quascirev.2007.10.016

Web of Science ID:

000255534600011

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.36214

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/36214 (FactScience: 203759)

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