The reconstruction and climatic implication of an independent palaeo ice cap within the Andean rain shadow east of the former Patagonian ice sheet, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina

Ingo W. Wolff*, Neil F. Glasser, Alun Hubbard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

This paper describes the reconstruction of the previously undocumented Meseta Cuadrada palaeo ice cap on south-west Meseta del Lago Buenos Aires, Santa Cruz Province, Patagonia. Based on theoretical surface profiles the reconstruction of the Meseta Cuadrada Palaeo Ice Cap indicates an ice mass covering at least 78 km(2) with a total ice volume around 9.2 km(3). The inferred equilibrium line altitude (ELA) of the palaeo ice cap (2031 m asl) represents a drop of 286 m compared to the ELA of the current Meseta Cuadrada glacier (similar to 2317 m asl). We explain this small change in ELA with reference to the flat hypsometry of the palaeo ice cap and an enhanced aridity to the west of the Patagonian Andes caused by the existence of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) Patagonian ice sheet. Calculated annual accumulation values of ca. 402 to 957 mm/a at the ELA of the Meseta Cuadrada palaeo ice cap derived by a degree day model (DDM) during the last local glacial maximum extent are low compared with estimations of the current accumulation at the ELA of the remaining glacierized area of around 3789 mm/a. This strongly supports the existence of increased aridity and seasonality east of the Patagonian Andes during the Last Glacial Maximum, provided both maximum extents were synchronous. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalGeomorphology
Volume185
Early online date29 Nov 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2013

Keywords

  • ELA-reconstruction
  • Glacier-reconstruction
  • GIS
  • Last Glacial Maximum
  • Meseta del Lago Buenos Aires
  • Patagonia
  • Accumulation-reconstruction
  • Remote sensing
  • Degree day modelling
  • LAST GLACIAL MAXIMUM
  • EQUILIBRIUM-LINE ALTITUDES
  • LAGO BUENOS-AIRES
  • DEGREE-DAY MODEL
  • COSMOGENIC NUCLIDE CHRONOLOGY
  • YOUNGER-DRYAS GLACIERS
  • SOUTHERN SOUTH-AMERICA
  • CHILEAN LAKE DISTRICT
  • LATE-PLEISTOCENE
  • CIRQUE GLACIERS

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