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Influence of regional factors on the surface mass balance of the large Eurasian ice sheet during the peak Saalian (140 kyrs BP)
Joseph Fourier University, France.
Joseph Fourier University, France.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geology and Geochemistry.
Joseph Fourier University, France.
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2009 (English)In: Global and Planetary Change, ISSN 0921-8181, Vol. 68, no 1-2, 132-148 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Recent geologically-based reconstructions of the Eurasian ice sheet show that during the peak Saalian (≈ 140 kya) the ice sheet was larger over Eurasia than during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) at ≈ 21 kya. To address this problem we use the LMDZ4 atmospheric general circulation model to evaluate the impact on the Saalian ice sheet's surface mass balance (SMB) from proglacial lakes, dust deposition on snow, vegetation and sea surface temperatures (SST) since geological records suggest that these environmental parameters were different during the two glacial periods. Seven model simulations have been carried out. Dust deposition decreases the mean SMB by intensifying surface melt during summer while proglacial lakes cool the summer climate and reduce surface melt on the ice sheet. A simulation including both proglacial lakes and dust shows that the presence of the former parameter reduces the impact of the latter, in particular, during summer. A switch from needle-leaf to tundra vegetation affects the regional climate but not enough to significantly influence the SMB of the nearby ice margin. However, a steady-state vegetation in equilibrium with the climate should be computed to improve the boundary conditions for further evaluations of the vegetation impact on the ice sheet's SMB. Finally, changes of the SST broadly affect the regional climate with significant consequences for the SMB.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 68, no 1-2, 132-148 p.
Keyword [en]
surface mass balance, Eurasian ice sheet, Saalian, proglacial lakes, dust, SST, vegetation
National Category
Climate Research
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-29298DOI: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2009.03.021ISI: 000269401100012OAI: diva2:232268
Available from: 2009-08-21 Created: 2009-08-20 Last updated: 2014-05-20Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. On the Late Saalian glaciation: A climate modeling study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>On the Late Saalian glaciation: A climate modeling study
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis focuses on the glaciation of the Late Saalian period (160 -140 ka) over Eurasia. The Quaternary Environment of the Eurasian North (QUEEN) project determined that during this period, the Eurasian ice sheet was substantially larger than during the entire Weichselian cycle and especially that of the Last Glacial Maximum (21 ka, LGM). The Late Saalian astronomical forcing was different than during the LGM while greenhouse gas concentrations were similar. To understand how this ice sheet could have grown so large over Eurasia during the Late Saalian, we use an Atmospherical General Circulation Model (AGCM) coupled to an oceanic mixed layer and a vegetation model to explore the influence of regional parameters, sea surface temperatures (SST) and orbital parameters on the surface mass balance (SMB) of the Late Saalian Eurasian ice sheet.

At140 ka, proglacial lakes, vegetation and simulated Late Saalian SST cool the Eurasian climate, which reduce the ablation along the southern ice sheet margins. Dust deposition on snow has the opposite effect. The presence of a Canada Basin ice-shelf during MIS6 in the Arctic Ocean, does not affect the mass balance of the ice sheet. According to geological evidence, the Late Saalian Eurasian ice sheet reached its maximum extent before 160 ka. Northern Hemisphere high latitude summer insolation shows a large insolation peak near 150 ka. The simulated climate prior to 140 ka is milder and ablation is larger along the southern margins of the Eurasian ice sheet although the mean annual SMB is positive. The Late Saalian Eurasian ice sheet may have been large enough to generate its own cooling, thus maintaining itself over Eurasia. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Geology and Geochemistry, Stockholm University, 2009. 53 p.
Meddelanden från Stockholms universitets institution för geologi och geokemi, ISSN 1101-1599 ; 335
Climate modeling, Eurasian ice sheet, Quaternary, Saalian, surface mass balance, SST
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Marine Geoscience
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-29284 (URN)978-91-7155-914-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-09-14, Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Géophysique de l'Environnement, Université Joseph Fourier, 54 rue Moliére, St-Martin d'Héres Cedex, France, 10:00 (English)
Joint PhD Degree between Stockholm University and Université Joseph Fourier At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Submitted. Paper 4: Submitted. Paper 5: Manuscript.Available from: 2009-08-30 Created: 2009-08-20 Last updated: 2009-08-21Bibliographically approved

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