Quelccaya Ice Cap in the southeastern Peruvian Andes (~13-14° S latitude) is an icon for climate change. Its rapidly receding outlet, Qori Kalis Glacier, has been monitored since the 1970's. Cores from Quelccaya Ice Cap provide high-resolution information about temperature and precipitation during the past 1,500 years. We extend the understanding of past changes in Quelccaya Ice Cap based on mapping and dating of glacial moraines and associated deposits. Our results include fifty 10Be ages of moraines and bedrock as well as twenty-nine 14C ages of organic material associated with moraines. These results form the basis of a chronology of changes in Quelccaya Ice Cap from ~16,000 yr BP to late Holocene time. Results from 10Be and 14C dating indicate that Quelccaya Ice Cap experienced a significant advance at 12,700-11,400 yr BP. Subsequent to this advance, the ice margin deposited at least three recessional moraine sets. Quelccaya Ice Cap receded to near its present-day margin by ~10,000 yr BP. Neoglacial advances began by ~3,000 yr BP and culminated with a maximum advance during the Little Ice Age. This chronology fits well with prior work which indicates a restricted Quelccaya Ice Cap during middle Holocene time. Moreover, the overlap between moraine and ice core data for the last 1,500 years provides a unique opportunity to assess the influences of temperature and precipitation on past ice cap extents.
AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- December 2008
- 0720 Glaciers;
- 1105 Quaternary geochronology;
- 1150 Cosmogenic-nuclide exposure dating (4918);
- 4918 Cosmogenic isotopes (1150)