Alaska Science Center
Latest Pleistocene and Holocene glacial events in the Colonia valley, Northern Patagonia Icefield, southern Chile
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Full Publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jqs.2847
Product Type: Journal Article
Authors: Nimick, D. A., D. McGrath, S. A. Mahan, B. A. Friesen, and J. Leidich
The Northern Patagonia Icefield (NPI) is the primary glaciated terrain worldwide at its latitude (46.5–47.5°S), and constraining its glacial history provides unique information for reconstructing Southern Hemisphere paleoclimate. The Colonia Glacier is the largest outlet glacier draining the eastern NPI. Ages were determined using dendrochronology, lichenometry, radiocarbon, cosmogenic 10Be and optically stimulated luminescence. Dated moraines in the Colonia valley defined advances at 13.2 ± 0.95, 11.0 ± 0.47 and 4.96 ± 0.21 ka, with the last being the first constraint on the onset of Neoglaciation for the eastern NPI from a directly dated landform. Dating in the tributary Cachet valley, which contains an ice-dammed lake during periods of Colonia Glacier expansion, defined an advance at ca. 2.95 ± 0.21 ka, periods of advancement at 810 ± 49 cal a BP and 245 ± 13 cal a BP, and retreat during the intervening periods. Recent Colonia Glacier thinning, which began in the late 1800s, opened a lower-elevation outlet channel for Lago Cachet Dos in ca. 1960. Our data provide the most comprehensive set of Latest Pleistocene and Holocene ages for a single NPI outlet glacier and expand previously developed NPI glacial chronologies.