nerc.ac.uk

Late-Holocene and Younger Dryas glaciers in the northern Cairngorm Mountains, Scotland

Kirkbride, Martin; Everest, Jez; Benn, Doug; Gheorghiu, Delia; Dawson, Alastair. 2014 Late-Holocene and Younger Dryas glaciers in the northern Cairngorm Mountains, Scotland. The Holocene, 24 (2). 141-148. 10.1177/0959683613516171

Before downloading, please read NORA policies.
[img]
Preview
Text
141.full.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (3MB) | Preview

Abstract/Summary

We present 17 cosmogenic 10Be ages of glacial deposits in Coire an Lochain (Cairngorm Mountains), which demonstrate that glacial and nival deposits cover a longer timescale than previously recognised. Five ages provide the first evidence of a late-Holocene glacier in the British Isles. A previously unidentified moraine ridge was deposited after c. 2.8 kyr and defines a small slab-like glacier with an equilibrium line altitude (ELA) at c. 1047 m. The late-Holocene glacier was characterised by rapid firnification and a dominance of sliding, enabling the glacier to construct moraine ridges in a relatively short period. Isotopic inheritance means that the glacier may have existed as recently as the ‘Little Ice Age’ (LIA) of the 17th or 18th century ad, a view supported by glacier-climate modelling. Nine 10Be ages confirm a Younger Dryas Stadial (YDS) age for a cirque-floor boulder till, and date the glacier maximum to c. 12.3 kyr when the ELA was at c. 963 m altitude. Both glaciers existed because of enhanced accumulation from wind-blown snow, but the difference in ELA of only c. 84 m belies the YDS–LIA temperature difference of c. 7°C and emphasises the glacioclimatic contrast between the two periods. Three 10Be ages from till boulders originally deposited in the YDS yield ages <5.5 kyr and indicate snow-avalanche disturbance of older debris since the mid-Holocene, as climate deteriorated towards marginal glaciation.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1177/0959683613516171
ISSN: 0959-6836
Date made live: 13 Mar 2014 09:44 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/505865

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

Downloads for past 30 days

Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...