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Geochronology Advances in geochronological science
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/gchron-2020-13
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gchron-2020-13
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 12 May 2020

Submitted as: research article | 12 May 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal GChron.

Delayed and rapid deglaciation of alpine valleys in the Sawatch Range, southern Rocky Mountains, USA

Joseph P. Tulenko1, William Caffee1, Avriel D. Schweinsberg1, Jason P. Briner1, and Eric M. Leonard2 Joseph P. Tulenko et al.
  • 1Department of Geology, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260, USA
  • 2Department of Geology, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO 80903, USA

Abstract. We quantify retreat rates for three alpine glaciers in the Sawatch Range of the southern Rocky Mountains following the Last Glacial Maximum using 10Be ages from ice-sculpted, valley-floor bedrock transects and statistical analysis via the BACON program in R. Glacier retreat in the Sawatch Range from at (100 %) or near (~ 83 %) Last Glacial Maximum extents initiated between 16.3 and 15.6 ka and was complete by 14.2–13.7 ka at rates ranging between 9.9 and 19.8 m a−1. Deglaciation in the Sawatch Range commenced ~ 2–3 kyr later than the onset of rising global CO2, but approximately in-step with rising temperatures observed in the North Atlantic region at the Heinrich Stadial 1/Bølling transition. Our results highlight a possible teleconnection between the North Atlantic sector and the southern Rocky Mountains. However, deglaciation in the Sawatch Range also approximately aligns with the timing of Great Basin pluvial lake lowering. Recent data-modeling comparison efforts highlight the influence of the large North American ice sheets on climate in the western United States, and we hypothesize that recession of the North American ice sheets may have influenced the timing and rate of deglaciation in the Sawatch Range. While we cannot definitively argue for exclusively North Atlantic forcing or North American ice sheet forcing, our data demonstrate the importance of regional forcing mechanisms on past climate records.

Joseph P. Tulenko et al.

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Joseph P. Tulenko et al.

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Latest update: 02 Jun 2020
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Short summary
We investigate the timing and rate of retreat for 3 alpine glaciers in the S. Rocky Mountains to test whether they followed the pattern of global climate change or were majorly influenced by regional forcing mechanisms. We find that the latter is most likely the case for these glaciers. Our conclusions are based on a new 10Be chronology of alpine glacier retreat. We quantify retreat rates for each valley using the BACON program in R, which may be of interest for the audience of Geochronology.
We investigate the timing and rate of retreat for 3 alpine glaciers in the S. Rocky Mountains to...
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