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  • 1.
    Blomdin, Robin
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology. Purdue University, USA.
    Heyman, Jakob
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Stroeven, Arjen P.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Hättestrand, Clas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Harbor, Jonathan M.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology. Purdue University, USA.
    Gribenski, Natacha
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Jansson, Krister N.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Petrakov, Dmitry A.
    Ivanov, Mikhail N.
    Alexander, Orkhonselenge
    Rudoy, Alexei N.
    Walther, Michael
    Glacial geomorphology of the Altai and Western Sayan Mountains, Central Asia2016In: Journal of Maps, ISSN 1744-5647, E-ISSN 1744-5647, Vol. 12, no 1, p. 123-136Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this article, we present a map of the glacial geomorphology of the Altai andWestern Sayan Mountains, covering an area of almost 600,000 km2. Although numerous studies provide evidence for restricted Pleistocene glaciations in this area, others have hypothesized the past existence of an extensive ice sheet. To provide a framework for accurate glacial reconstructions of the Altai and Western Sayan Mountains, we present a map at a scale of 1:1,000,000 based on a mapping from 30 m resolution ASTER DEM and 15 m/30 mresolution Landsat ETM+ satellite imagery. Four landform classes have been mapped: marginal moraines, glacial lineations, hummocky terrain, and glacial valleys. Our mapping reveals an abundance of glacial erosional and depositional landforms. The distribution of these glacial landforms indicates that the Altai and Western Sayan Mountains have experienced predominantly alpine-style glaciations, with some small ice caps centred on the higher mountain peaks. Large marginal moraine complexes mark glacial advances in intermontane basins. By tracing the outer limits of present-day glaciers, glacial valleys, and moraines, we estimate that the past glacier coverage have totalled to 65,000 km2 (10.9% of the mapped area), whereas present-day glacier coverage totals only 1300 km2 (0.2% of the mapped area). This demonstrates the usefulness of remote sensing techniques for mapping the glacial geomorphology in remote mountain areas and for quantifying the past glacier dimensions. The glacial geomorphological map presented here will be used for further detailed reconstructions of the paleoglaciology and paleoclimate of the region.

  • 2.
    Blomdin, Robin
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography. Purdue University, USA.
    Stroeven, Arjen P.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Harbor, Jon M.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography. Purdue University, USA.
    Lifton, N. A.
    Heyman, J.
    Gribenski, Natacha
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Petrakov, D. A.
    Caffee, M. W.
    Ivanov, M. N.
    Hättestrand, Clas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Rogozhina, I.
    Usubaliev, R.
    Evaluating the timing of former glacier expansions in the Tian Shan: A key step towards robust spatial correlations2016In: Quaternary Science Reviews, ISSN 0277-3791, E-ISSN 1873-457X, Vol. 153, p. 78-96Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The timing of past glaciation across the Tian Shan provides a proxy for past climate change in this critical area. Correlating glacial stages across the region is difficult but cosmogenic exposure ages have considerable potential. A drawback is the large observed scatter in Be-10 surface exposure data. To quantify the robustness of the dating, we compile, recalculate, and perform statistical analyses on sets of 10Be surface exposure ages from 25 moraines, consisting of 114 new and previously published ages. We assess boulder age scatter by dividing boulder groups into quality classes and rejecting boulder groups of poor quality. This allows us to distinguish and correlate robustly dated glacier limits, resulting in a more conservative chronology than advanced in previous publications. Our analysis shows that only one regional glacial stage can be reliably correlated across the Tian Shan, with glacier expansions occurring between 15 and 281 a during marine oxygen isotope stage (MIS) 2. However, there are examples of older more extensive indicators of glacial stages between MIS 3 and MIS 6. Paleoglacier extent during MIS 2 was mainly restricted to valley glaciation. Local deviations occur: in the central Kyrgyz Tian Shan paleoglaciers were more extensive and we propose that the topographic context explains this pattern. Correlation between glacial stages prior to late MIS 2 is less reliable, because of the low number of samples and/or the poor resolution of the dating. With the current resolution and spatial coverage of robustly-dated glacier limits we advise that paleoclimatic implications for the Tian Shan glacial chronology beyond MIS 2 are speculative and that continued work toward robust glacial chronologies is needed to resolve questions regarding drivers of past glaciation in the Tian Shan and Central Asia.

  • 3.
    Blomdin, Robin
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Stroeven, Arjen P.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Harbor, Jonathan M.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Gribenski, Natacha
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Caffee, Marc W.
    Heyman, Jakob
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Rogozhina, Irina
    Ivanov, Mikhail N.
    Petrakov, Dmitry A.
    Walther, Michael
    Rudoy, Alexei N.
    Zhang, Wei
    Orkhonselenge, Alexander
    Hättestrand, Clas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Lifton, Nathaniel A.
    Jansson, Krister N.
    Paleoglaciation on opposite flanks of the Ikh-Turgen Mountains, Central Asia: Importance of style of moraine deposition for 10-Be surface exposure datingManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The ages of marginal moraines that record extensive glacier expansions across the Altai Mountains of Central Asia are poorly documented. We present 18 10Be exposure ages from moraines in valleys on opposite flanks of the Ikh-Turgen Mountains. On the eastern side, exposure ages from a latero-frontal moraine indicate deglaciation during MIS 3 (45.3±2.7 ka) and MIS 2 (22.8±3.5 ka). Corresponding exposure ages, from the western side, indicate a more complex story with large scatter (~14-53 ka). Owing to their close proximity, the paleoglaciers should have responded similarly to climate forcing, yet they exhibited a distinctly different behavior. We propose that differences in glacier dynamics caused differences in ice-marginal depositional environments, explaining the scatter in exposure ages on the western side. This study shows the importance of style of deposition in chronological studies of glacial landforms and demonstrates that certain moraine types can be difficult to use as paleoclimate proxies.

  • 4.
    Blomdin, Robin
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Stroeven, Arjen P.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Harbor, Jonathan M.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Hättestrand, Clas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Heyman, Jakob
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Gribenski, Natacha
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Topographic and climatic controls on paleoglaciation patterns across the Tian Shan and Altai Mountains, Central AsiaManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Reconstructing spatial patterns of the extents and dynamics of paleoglaciers across Central Asia is key in understanding the mechanisms of global environmental change. The Tian Shan and Altai Mountains are located in the continental interior of Eurasia, at the confluence of several major climate systems. In order to test hypothesized patterns in paleoglacier extent, and to test the role of paleoclimate and mountain topography in modulating the evolution of these glacial systems, we perform a domain-wide terrain analysis. We first divide the Tian Shan and the Altai Mountains into six physiographic regions delineated by major drainage divides and outlining generalised climate zones. Thereafter we mine published datasets on the distribution of glaciers and glacial landforms, calculate their area-elevation distributions (hypsometry), and extract present-day regional equilibrium line altitudes (ELAs) and long-term average ELAs (paleo-ELAs). We show that the use of glacial landform hypsometry is an effective tool to quantify broad-scale paleoglaciation patterns and find that there is a regional variability in glacier extents across the Tian Shan and Altai Mountains. Reconstructed ELAs show pronounced spatial gradients; increasing ELAs from northern to southern Tian Shan, and increasing ELAs from the northern to both the southeastern and southwestern Altai Mountains. In contrast, maximum paleoglaciation patterns and paleo-ELAs were more uniform across the two mountain systems, with inter-regional topographic variability influencing moraine distributions and thus complicating regional paleo-ELA determinations. Because estimated paleo-ELAs were relatively uniform across the Tian Shan and Altai Mountains, the paleo-ELA lowering were most pronounced in the more continental southern and eastern regions. Our current data is insufficient to explain whether this observation is the result of a different regional paleoclimatic regime than today, or if paleoglaciers responded dynamically different to a paleoclimate forcing of the same magnitude. Our ELA reconstructions also lack temporal constraints, so we furthermore propose that future studies systematically compare hypsometry-derived ELA reconstructions with those stemming from surface energy mass balance models, other proxy records (i.e. lake- and ice core records), and from chronologically constrained ice-marginal moraines.  

  • 5. Greilich, S.
    et al.
    Gribenski, Natacha
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Mittelstrass, D.
    Dornich, K.
    Huot, S.
    Preusser, Frank
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Single-grain dose-distribution measurements by optically stimulated luminescence using an integrated EMCCD-based system2015In: Quaternary Geochronology, ISSN 1871-1014, E-ISSN 1878-0350, Vol. 29, p. 70-79Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We report on the feasibility of assessing single-grain dose-distributions by using an EMCCD-based imaging system with complementary analysis software. Automated image-processing was successfully applied to compensate sample motion and for grain identification. Following a dose recovery test, 74% of the grains were recognized successfully, and 44% exhibited a suitable OSL dose response behavior to interpolate an equivalent dose value, and a central dose recovery ratio of 1.038 was obtained.

  • 6.
    Gribenski, Natacha
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Comparison of dating methods for paleoglacial reconstruction in Central Asia2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Reconstruction of former Central Asian glaciers extents can provide valuable information about past atmospheric circulation variations. These extents, often marked by terminal moraines, need to be chronologically constrained. Cosmogenic nuclide exposure (CNE) dating is widely used to directly date moraines. In addition, there is increasing interest on using optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) techniques for dating glacial landforms. This thesis focuses on the methodological aspects of directly dating glacial landforms to perform paleoglacial reconstructions in Central Asia, with an emphasis on OSL dating.

    For OSL dating of sediments from glacial settings, it is important to measure the luminescence signal at the single grain scale, because the sediments are likely affected by partial bleaching due to short light exposure during glacial or glaciofluvial transport. The use of an Electron Multiplying Charges Coupled Device (EMCCD)-based imaging system for single grain OSL measurements would offer larger flexibility in light stimulation and sediment type, compared to the current Single Grain Risø reader. An automated image processing procedure has been developed to compensate for sample carrier displacement over repeated measurements and for attributing pixels to each grain for signal integration when using this imaging system. However, significant cross talk contamination, demonstrated by laboratory and simulation experiments, prohibits accurate single grain luminescence measurements. Preliminary experiments using a basic image processing algorithm show good potential for software correction solutions.

    Paleoglacial reconstructions conducted in the Altai Mountains, Central Asia, using both CNE and OSL dating demonstrate that luminescence measurements of glaciofluvial sediments performed at the multi-grain scale result in large age overestimates, and that single grain measurements allow for more accurate dating of glacial landforms. However, uncertainties remain that are related to the model used for extracting equivalent doses for well-bleached grains and to fading corrections when using feldspar minerals. The timing of glaciation can be inferred from scattered CNE moraine boulder ages if most of the ages are concentrated within a few thousand years, with only few ages clearly older or younger. Overall, combining CNE and OSL techniques for dating a glacial landform is a powerful approach for producing robust glacial chronologies, despite uncertainties inherent to each technique.

    Paleoglacial reconstructions from the Altai Mountains indicate Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 2 and MIS 4/late MIS 5 local Last Glacial Maximums. In Central Asia, in addition to a regional MIS 2 glaciation, previous studies indicate a period of major glacial advances during MIS 3 that is out of phase with global ice volume records. However, most MIS 3 glacial chronologies from Central Asia are based on too few or too heavily scattered CNE data sets, or on OSL or Electron Spin Resonance (ESR) ages for which partial bleaching has not been properly investigated. Hence, at this stage, chronological evidence is insufficient to demonstrate a regional MIS 3 glaciation in Central Asia.

    Surge-related glacial features identified in the Russian Altai also highlight the importance of conducting detailed geomorphology and sedimentology studies to understand former ice dynamics, which is essential for inferring appropriate paleoclimate information from paleoglacial reconstructions.

  • 7.
    Gribenski, Natacha
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Jansson, Krister N.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Lukas, Sven
    Stroeven, Arjen P.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Harbor, Jonathan M.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography. Purdue University, USA.
    Blomdin, Robin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Ivanov, Mikhail N.
    Heyman, Jakob
    Petrakov, Dmitry A.
    Rudoy, Alexei
    Clifton, Tom
    Lifton, Nathaniel A.
    Caffee, Marc W.
    Complex patterns of glacier advances during the late glacial in the Chagan Uzun Valley, Russian Altai2016In: Quaternary Science Reviews, ISSN 0277-3791, E-ISSN 1873-457X, Vol. 149, p. 288-305Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Southern part of the Russian Altai Mountains is recognized for its evidence for catastrophic glacial lake outbursts. However, little is known about the late Pleistocene paleoglacial history, despite the interest in such reconstructions for constraining paleoclimate. In this study, we present a detailed paleoglaciological reconstruction of the Chagan Uzun Valley, in the Russian Altai Mountains, combining for the first time detailed geomorphological mapping, sedimentological logging, and in situ cosmogenic 10Be and 26Al surface exposure dating of glacially-transported boulders. The Chagan Uzun Valley exhibits the most impressive glacial landforms of this sector of the Altai, with extensive lobate moraine belts deposited in the intramontane Chuja Basin, reflecting a series of pronounced former glacial advances. Observations of “hillside-scale” folding and extensive faulting of pre-existing soft sediments within the outer moraine belts, together with the geomorphology, strongly indicate that these moraine belts were formed during surge-like events. Identification of surge-related features is essential for paleoclimate inference because these features correspond to a glacier system that is not in equilibrium with the contemporary climate, but instead largely influenced by various internal and external factors. Therefore, no strict relationship can be established between climatic variables and the pronounced distal glacial extent observed in the Chagan Uzun Valley/Chuja basin. In contrast, the inner (up-valley) glacial landforms of the Chagan Uzun valley were likely deposited during retreat of temperate valley glaciers, close to equilibrium with climate, and so most probably triggered by a general warming. Cosmogenic ages associated with the outermost, innermost, and intermediate stages all indicate deposition times clustered around 19 ka. However, the actual deposition time of the outermost moraine may slightly predate the 10Be ages due to shielding caused by subsequent lake water coverage. This chronology indicates a Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 2 last maximum extent of the Chagan Uzun Glacier, and an onset of the deglaciation around 19 ka. This is consistent with other regional paleoclimate proxy records and with the Northern Hemisphere glaciation chronology. Finally, this study also highlights the highly dynamic environment in this area, with complex interactions between glacial events and the formation and drainage of lakes.

  • 8.
    Gribenski, Natacha
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography. Leibniz Institute for Applied Geophysics, Germany.
    Jansson, Krister N.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Preusser, Frank
    Harbor, Jonathan M.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography. Purdue University, USA.
    Stroeven, Arjen P.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Trauerstein, Mareike
    Blomdin, Robin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Heyman, Jakob
    Caffee, Marc W.
    Lifton, Nathaniel A.
    Zhang, Wei
    Re-evaluation of MIS 3 glaciation using cosmogenic radionuclide and single grain luminescence ages, Kanas Valley, Chinese Altai2018In: Journal of Quaternary Science, ISSN 0267-8179, E-ISSN 1099-1417, Vol. 33, no 1, p. 55-67Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Previous investigations observed a period of major glacial advances in Central Asia during marine oxygen isotope stage (MIS) 3 (57-29 ka), out of phase with global ice volume records. We have re-examined the Kanas moraine complex in the Altai Mountains of Central Asia, where an MIS 3 glaciation had been previously inferred. New and consistent cosmogenic exposure and single-grain luminescence ages indicate that the Kanas complex was formed during MIS 2 (29-12 ka), which brings its timing in line with the global ice volume record. We also identified a lateral moraine from a more extensive ice extent that dates to late MIS 5/MIS 4. To place our results in a wider contextual framework, we review the chronologies of another 26 proposed major MIS 3 glacial advances in Central Asia. For most of these sites, we find that the chronological data do not provide an unequivocal case for MIS 3 glaciation.

  • 9.
    Gribenski, Natacha
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Lukas, Sven
    Stroeven, Arjen P.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Jansson, Krister N.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Harbor, Jonathan M.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography. Purdue University, USA.
    Blomdin, Robin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Ivanov, Mikhail N.
    Heyman, Jakob
    Petrakov, Dmitry A.
    Rudoy, Alexei
    Clifton, Tom
    Lifton, Nathaniel A.
    Caffee, Marc W.
    Reply to comment received from J. Herget et al. regarding "Complex patterns of glacier advances during the late glacial in the Chagan Uzun Valley, Russian Altai" by Gribenski et al. (2016), Quaternary Science Reviews 149, 288-3052017In: Quaternary Science Reviews, ISSN 0277-3791, E-ISSN 1873-457X, Vol. 168, p. 219-221Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 10.
    Gribenski, Natacha
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Preusser, Frank
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Greilich, Steffen
    Huot, Sebastien
    Mittestrass, Dirk
    Investigation of cross talk in single grain luminescence measurements using an EMCCD camera2015In: Radiation Measurements, ISSN 1350-4487, E-ISSN 1879-0925, Vol. 81, p. 163-170Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Highly sensitive electron multiplying charges coupled devices (EMCCD) enable the spatial detection of luminescence emissions from samples and have a high potential in single grain luminescence dating. However, the main challenge of this approach is the potential effect of cross talk, i.e. the influence of signal emitted by neighbouring grains, which will bias the information recorded from individual grains. Here, we present the first investigations into this phenomenon when performing single grain luminescence measurements of quartz grains spread over the flat surface of a sample carrier. Dose recovery tests using mixed populations show an important effect of cross talk, even when some distance is kept between grains. This issue is further investigated by focusing just on two grains and complemented by simulated experiments. Creation of an additional rejection criteria based on the brightness properties of the grains is inefficient in selecting grains unaffected by their surroundings. Therefore, the use of physical approaches or image processing algorithms to directly counteract cross talk is essential to allow routine single grain luminescence dating using EMCCD cameras.

  • 11. Heyman, Jakob
    et al.
    Applegate, Patrick J.
    Blomdin, Robin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Gribenski, Natacha
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Harbor, Jonathan M.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography. Purdue University, USA.
    Stroeven, Arjen P.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Boulder height - exposure age relationships from a global glacial Be-10 compilation2016In: Quaternary Geochronology, ISSN 1871-1014, E-ISSN 1878-0350, Vol. 34, p. 1-11Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Cosmogenic exposure dating of glacial boulders is commonly used to estimate the timing of past glaciations because the method enables direct dating of the duration a boulder has been exposed to cosmic rays. For successful dating, the boulders must have been fully shielded from cosmic rays prior to deposition and continuously exposed to cosmic rays ever since. A common assumption is that boulder height (the distance between the top of the boulder and the surrounding surface) is important, and that tall boulders are more likely to have been continuously exposed to cosmic rays than short boulders and therefore yield more accurate exposure ages. Here we test this assumption 'based on exposure age clustering for groups of glacial boulders (and single cobbles) Be-10 exposure ages that have recorded boulder heights (3741 boulders; 579 boulder groups with >= 3 boulders). Of the full set of boulder groups with >= 3 boulders, 21% fulfill a reduced chi square criterion (chi(2)(R) < 2) for well-clustered exposure ages. For boulder groups containing only tall boulders, the fraction of well-clustered exposure age groups is consistently larger. Moreover, this fraction of well-clustered exposure age groups increases with the minimum boulder height in each group. This result confirms the common assumption that tall boulders are generally better targets for cosmogenic exposure dating compared to short boulders. Whereas the tall boulder groups have a significantly larger fraction of well-clustered exposure age groups, there is nonetheless a dominant fraction (>50%) of the boulder groups with scattered exposure ages, highlighting the problem with prior and incomplete exposure for cosmogenic dating of glacial boulders.

  • 12. Lifton, Nathaniel
    et al.
    Beel, Casey
    Hättestrand, Clas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Kassab, Christine
    Rogozhina, Irina
    Heermance, Richard
    Oskin, Michael
    Burbank, Douglas
    Blomdin, Robin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology. Purdue University, USA.
    Gribenski, Natacha
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Caffee, Marc
    Goehring, Brent M.
    Heyman, Jakob
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Ivanov, Mikhail
    Li, Yanan
    Li, Yingkui
    Petrakov, Dmitry
    Usubaliev, Ryskul
    Codilean, Alexandru T.
    Chen, Yixin
    Harbor, Jon
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology. Purdue University, USA.
    Stroeven, Arjen P.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Constraints on the late Quaternary glacial history of the Inylchek and Sary-Dzaz valleys from in situ cosmogenic Be-10 and Al-26, eastern Kyrgyz Tian Shan2014In: Quaternary Science Reviews, ISSN 0277-3791, E-ISSN 1873-457X, Vol. 101, p. 77-90Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Paleoclimatic constraints from regions at the confluence of major climate systems are particularly important in understanding past climate change. Using geomorphic mapping based on remote sensing and field investigations, combined with in situ cosmogenic Be-10 and Al-26 dating of boulders associated with glacial landforms, we investigate the chronology of past glaciation in the Inylchek and Sary-Dzaz valleys in the eastern Kyrgyz Tian Shan, a tectonically active area with some of the highest peaks in the world outside of the Himalayas. Cosmogenic Be-10 and (26) Al exposure ages of boulders on moraines record up to five glacial advances including: Lateglacial age lateral moraine remnants and meltwater channels in the upper Inylchek Valley; Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage [MIS] 2) moraines in the Sary-Dzaz Valley and in a terminal moraine complex at the west end of the Inylchek Valley, overriding older moraines; an MIS 4 or 5 moraine remnant above the Inylchek terminal moraine complex; and an older high moraine remnant down-valley from the confluence of the Inylchek and Sary-Dzaz valleys. The evidence for glacial extent in this study is consistent with a limited ice expansion hypothesis for Tian Shan glaciation. Published results from the western and central Kyrgyz Tian Shan do not show evidence for significant LGM glacier expansion, which in combination with the results presented here, indicate a spatial variation in glacier records along the Tian Shan. This may reflect either paleoclimatic gradients or the impact of local physiographic conditions on responses to regional climate change, or both.

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