Alpine lacustrine varved record reveals summer temperature as main control of glacier fluctuations over the past 2250 years

Glur, L.; Stalder, N. F.; Wirth, S. B.; Gilli, A.; Anselmetti, Flavio (2015). Alpine lacustrine varved record reveals summer temperature as main control of glacier fluctuations over the past 2250 years. Holocene, 25(2), pp. 280-287. Sage 10.1177/0959683614557572

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Glacier fluctuations are a key indicator of changing climate. Their reconstruction beyond historical times unravels glacier variability and its forcing factors on long time scales, which can considerably improve our understanding of the climate–glacier relationship. Here, we present a 2250-year-long reconstruction of particle-mass accumulation rates recorded in the lacustrine sediments of Lake Trüebsee (Central Swiss Alps) that are directly related to glacier extent, thus reflecting a continuous record of fluctuations of the upstream-located Titlis Glacier. Mass accumulation rate values show strong centennial to multi-centennial fluctuations and reveal 12 well-pronounced periods of enhanced values corresponding to times of maximum extent of the neighboring Lower Grindelwald Glacier. This result supports previous studies of proglacial lake sediments that documented high mass accumulation rate values during glacier advances. The strong variability in the Lake Trüebsee mass accumulation rate record thus represents a highly sensitive paleoclimatic archive, which mirrors rapid and pronounced feedbacks of Titlis Glacier to climatic changes over the past 2250years. The comparison of our data with independent paleo-temperature reconstructions from tree rings suggests that variations in mean summer temperature were the primary driving factor of fluctuations of Titlis Glacier. Also, advances of Titlis Glacier occurred during the grand solar minima (Dalton, Maunder, Spörer, Wolf) of the last millennium. This relation of glacier extent with summer temperature reveals strong evidence that the mass balance of this Alpine glacier is primarily controlled by the intensity of glacier melting during summer.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences > Quaternary Geology

UniBE Contributor:

Anselmetti, Flavio

Subjects:

500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology

ISSN:

0959-6836

Publisher:

Sage

Language:

English

Submitter:

Flavio Anselmetti

Date Deposited:

30 Dec 2014 15:12

Last Modified:

10 Sep 2015 09:01

Publisher DOI:

10.1177/0959683614557572

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.61371

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/61371

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