Surface Exposure Dating of the Huancané III Moraines in Peru: A Record of Quelccaya Ice Cap's Maximum Extent during the Last Glacial Period
The climatic conditions that influenced the tropics during the height of the last glacial period are not well defined and controversial. There are disparities in estimates of temperature anomalies (e.g., MARGO, 2009; Rind and Peteet, 1985; CLIMAP, 1976), and critical terrestrial paleotemperature proxy records in tropical regions are poorly dated (e.g., Porter, 2001). Defining these conditions is important for understanding the mechanisms that cause major shifts in climate, as the tropics are a primary driver of atmospheric and oceanic circulation. This study aims to constrain the timing of maximum glacier extents in the Cordillera Oriental in southern Peru during the last glacial period by applying surface exposure (beryllium-10) dating to the Huancané III (Hu-III) moraines. The Hu-III moraines mark the maximum extent of Quelccaya Ice Cap (QIC) (13.93°S, 70.83°W), the largest tropical ice cap, during the last ice age. The eight beryllium-10 ages presented here yield 17,056 ± 520 yrs ago as a minimum age for the onset of recession from the ice cap advance marked by the Hu-III moraines. Comparing this age to other paleoclimate records indicates that the ice cap advance marked by the Hu-III moraines is more likely associated with a North Atlantic climate event known as Heinrich I (H1; 16,800 yrs ago, Bond et al., 1992, 1993) than with global cooling at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM; ~21,000 yrs ago, Denton and Hughes, 1981). This result suggests that climate processes in the North Atlantic region are linked to climatic conditions in the tropical Andes. A mesoscale climate model and an ice-flow model are currently being developed for QIC. The moraine data presented in this study will be used with these two models to test response of QIC to North Atlantic and global climate events.
AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- December 2012
- 1150 GEOCHRONOLOGY / Cosmogenic-nuclide exposure dating;
- 1621 GLOBAL CHANGE / Cryospheric change