Revisiting the andean tropical glacier behavior during the Antarctic cold reversal

V. Jomelli, L. Martin, P. H. Blard, V. Favier, M. Vuillé, J. L. Ceballos


The sensitivity of tropical glaciers to paleoclimatic conditions that prevailed during the Antarctic cold reversal (ACR, ca. 14.5-12.9 ka) has been the subject of a wide debate. In 2014 a paper suggested that tropical glaciers responded very sensitively to the changing climate during the ACR (Jomelli et al., 2014). In this study, we reexamine the conclusions from this study by recalculating previous chronologies based on 226 10Be and 14 3He ages respectively, and using the most up-to date production rates for these cosmogenic nuclides in the Tropical Andes. 53 moraines from 25 glaciers were selected from the previous analysis provided by Jomelli et al. (2014) located in Colombia, Peru and Bolivia. We then focused on two distinct calculations. First we considered the oldest moraine and its uncertainty for every glacier representing the preserved evidence of the maximum glacier extents during the last deglaciation period, and binned the results into 5 distinct periods encompassing the Antarctic cold reversal and Younger Dryas (YD) chronozones: pre-ACR, ACR, ACR-YD, YD and post-YD respectively. Results revealed a predominance of pre-ACR and ACR ages, accounting for 60% of the glaciers. Second we counted the number of moraines per glacier according to the different groups. 21 moraines (40%) of the selected glaciers belong to the pre-ACR-ACR chronozones while 3 moraines only (5%) were dated to the YD and YD-Holocene groups. The rest was assigned to the ACR-YD. These results suggest that moraine records are a very good proxy to document the ACR signal in the Tropical Andes.


Tropical glaciers; ACR; Younger Dryas; Cosmogenic nuclids

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