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Deciphering the timing and dynamics of glacier advances in the Alps during the Last Glacial Maximum with cosmogenic nuclide dating: a north-south perspective

English title Deciphering the timing and dynamics of glacier advances in the Alps during the Last Glacial Maximum with cosmogenic nuclide dating: a north-south perspective
Applicant Ivy-Ochs Susan
Number 175794
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Labor für Ionenstrahlphysik ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Geology
Start/End 01.10.2017 - 30.09.2021
Approved amount 448'469.00
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All Disciplines (3)

Discipline
Geology
Geochronology
Other disciplines of Earth Sciences

Keywords (8)

cosmogenic nuclides; Lateglacial; glacier ice flow modeling; 10Be, in situ 14C, 36Cl; subglacial erosion; rockglacier; Alps; Last Glacial Maximum

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Wir verwenden detaillierten Geländekartierungen, Fernerkundungsanalysen und Oberflächendatierungen mithilfe von kosmogenen Nukliden um die grundlegenden Ursachen für die zeitlichen und räumlichen Muster von Piedmontgletschern der nördlichen und südlichen Alpenvorländer während des letzten glazialen Maximums zu verstehen.
Lay summary

PhD1: Als Fortführung des SNF-Projekts 156187, untersucht O. Kronig das Timing von Kaltzeiten während des Spätglazials (18.000 bis 12.000 Jahren vor heute) in den Alpen. Sie verwendet detaillierte Geländekartierungen sowie Expositionsdatierung mittels kosmogenem 10Be, um Klimasignale aus fossilen Blockgletschern zu extrahieren. Daneben ist die Quantifizierung subglazialer Erosionsraten des Trift- und Tsanfleurongletschers mit 10Be und 36Cl ein weiteres Ziel ihrer Arbeit. Im Fall des Triftgletschers wird sie unter Verwendung von in-situ 14C in Quarzen zusätzlich bestimmen, über welchen Zeitraum des Holozäns der Gletscher das anstehende Gestein (Gneiss) bedeckt und aktiv erodiert hat.

PhD2. Eine der grossen Unbekannten der heutigen Paläoklima-Forschung ist die Frage wie die räumlich-zeitlichen Muster des Gletscherwachstums in den Alpen während des letzten glazialen Maximums (LGM) (vor rund 24.000 Jahren) durch starke Veränderungen der atmosphärischen Zirkulation beeinflusst wurden: Wird die Ausdehnung von Gletschern massgeblich durch klimatische Faktoren oder durch Unterschiede in der Grösse und der Höhenverteilung eines Einzugsgebiets, der Länge der Fliesswege oder der Gletscherdynamik bestimmt? Die zweite Doktorandin wird die LGM-Eisränder des Rhein- und des Toce/Ticinogletschers durch detaillierte Feldarbeit und Analyse der Geländeformen mittels Fernerkundung rekonstruieren. Durch 10Be und 36Cl Datierung soll der Zeitpunkt des maximalen Gletscherausmasses, der Entstehung von Rückzugs- und Vorstoßmoränen und des endgültigen Gletscherrückzugs aus den Vorländern bestimmt werden. Die Ergebnisse von PhD2 werden als Anhaltspunkt für die Validierung von modellierten Eisausmassen dienen. Um die Ergebnisse der Paläoeisflussmodelle mit Geländebeobachtungen zu vergleichen und Implikationen für die im Modell verwendeten klimatischen Eingangsparameter zu diskutieren wird PhD2 mit Glaziologen des VAW/ETHZ (SNF Projekt 162444) zusammenarbeiten. Mit den Resultaten dieser Studie wird eine signifikante Verbesserung unseres Verständnisses gegenüber den während des LGM vorherrschenden Klimaeinflüssen sowie den darauffolgenden glazialdynamischen Reaktionen, welche zu den beobachteten Mustern von Zeitpunkt und Ausmass der maximalen Vergletscherung nördlich und südlich der Alpen geführt haben, einhergehen.  

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 31.01.2018

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Project partner

Publications

Publication
Tracking rockglacier evolution in the Eastern Alps from the Lateglacial to the early Holocene
Steinemann Olivia, Reitner Jürgen M., Ivy-Ochs Susan, Christl Marcus, Synal Hans-Arno (2020), Tracking rockglacier evolution in the Eastern Alps from the Lateglacial to the early Holocene, in Quaternary Science Reviews, 241, 106424-106424.
Quantifying glacial erosion on a limestone bed and the relevance for landscape development in the Alps
Steinemann Olivia, Ivy‐Ochs Susan, Grazioli Sandra, Luetscher Marc, Fischer Urs H., Vockenhuber Christof, Synal Hans‐Arno (2020), Quantifying glacial erosion on a limestone bed and the relevance for landscape development in the Alps, in Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 45(6), 1401-1417.
Timing and flow pattern of the Orta Glacier (European Alps) during the Last Glacial Maximum
Braakhekke Jochem, Ivy‐Ochs Susan, Monegato Giovanni, Gianotti Franco, Martin Silvana, Casale Stefano, Christl Marcus (2020), Timing and flow pattern of the Orta Glacier (European Alps) during the Last Glacial Maximum, in Boreas, 49(2), 315-332.
Modelling last glacial cycle ice dynamics in the Alps
Seguinot Julien, Ivy-Ochs Susan, Jouvet Guillaume, Huss Matthias, Funk Martin, Preusser Frank (2018), Modelling last glacial cycle ice dynamics in the Alps, in The Cryosphere, 12(10), 3265-3285.
New geomorphological and chronological constraints for glacial deposits in the Rivoli-Avigliana end-moraine system and the lower Susa Valley (Western Alps, NW Italy)NEW LGM GEOMORPHOLOGY AND CHRONOLOGY IN THE WESTERN ALPS
Ivy-Ochs Susan, Lucchesi Stefania, Baggio Paolo, Fioraso Gianfranco, Gianotti Franco, Monegato Giovanni, Graf Angela A., Akçar Naki, Christl Marcus, Carraro Francesco, Forno Maria Gabriella, Schlüchter Christian (2018), New geomorphological and chronological constraints for glacial deposits in the Rivoli-Avigliana end-moraine system and the lower Susa Valley (Western Alps, NW Italy)NEW LGM GEOMORPHOLOGY AND CHRONOLOGY IN THE WESTERN ALPS, in Journal of Quaternary Science, 33(5), 550-562.
Modelling the diversion of erratic boulders by the Valais Glacier during the last glacial maximum
JOUVET GUILLAUME, SEGUINOT JULIEN, IVY-OCHS SUSAN, FUNK MARTIN (2017), Modelling the diversion of erratic boulders by the Valais Glacier during the last glacial maximum, in Journal of Glaciology, 63(239), 487-498.
Subglacial abrasion rates at Goldbergkees, Hohe Tauern, Austria, determined from cosmogenic 10 Be and 36 Cl concentrations Subglacial abrasion rates at Goldbergkees, Hohe Tauern
Wirsig Christian, Ivy-Ochs Susan, Reitner Jürgen M., Christl Marcus, Vockenhuber Christof, Bichler Mathias, Reindl Martin (2017), Subglacial abrasion rates at Goldbergkees, Hohe Tauern, Austria, determined from cosmogenic 10 Be and 36 Cl concentrations Subglacial abrasion rates at Goldbergkees, Hohe Tauern, in Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 42(7), 1119-1131.

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Swiss Geoscience Meeting Poster Rock basins, riegels and gorges: deciphering glacial overdeepenings 23.11.2019 Fribourg, Switzerland Ivy-Ochs Susan; Steinemann Olivia;
Swiss Geoscience Meeting Poster The connection between low rates of glacial erosion on limestone bedrock and relief development in the Alps 23.11.2019 Fribourg, Switzerland Ivy-Ochs Susan; Steinemann Olivia;
Swiss Geoscience Meeting Poster First Beryllium-10 exposure ages from the LGM Ticino-Toce glacier 23.11.2019 Fribourg, Switzerland Christl Marcus; Kamleitner Sarah; Monegato Giovanni; Ivy-Ochs Susan;
DEUQUA Central European Conference on Geomorphology and Quaternary Sciences Poster Timing and extent of LGM glaciers North and South of the Alps 23.09.2019 Giessen, Germany Christl Marcus; Steinemann Olivia; Ivy-Ochs Susan;
INQUA Poster Glacial erosion on limestone and relief development in the Alps 27.07.2019 Dublin, Ireland Ivy-Ochs Susan; Steinemann Olivia;
INQUA Poster The ability of glaciers to erode limestone beds 27.07.2019 Dublin, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Ivy-Ochs Susan; Steinemann Olivia;
INQUA Poster First steps towards a glacier chronology of the Verbano lobe, Italian Alps 27.07.2019 Dublin, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Christl Marcus; Monegato Giovanni; Ivy-Ochs Susan; Kamleitner Sarah;
EGU Poster The Last Glacial Maximum in the central southern Alps – first results from the Toce/Ticino glacier system 07.04.2019 Vienna, Austria Ivy-Ochs Susan; Kamleitner Sarah; Christl Marcus; Monegato Giovanni;
The Last Glacial Maximum in Europe State of knowledge in Geosciences and Archaeology Individual talk Timing and extent of glaciers during the LGM in the Alps 21.03.2019 Erlangen, Germany Ivy-Ochs Susan;
Swiss Geoscience Meeting Poster Tackling North-South differences of the Last Glacial Maximum in the Alps 01.12.2018 Bern, Switzerland Monegato Giovanni; Kamleitner Sarah; Ivy-Ochs Susan; Christl Marcus;
Swiss Geoscience Meeting Talk given at a conference Quantifying subglacial erosion beneath the Tsanfleuron glacier, Switzerland 01.12.2018 Bern, Switzerland Ivy-Ochs Susan; Steinemann Olivia;
4th Nordic Workshop on Cosmogenic Nuclides Poster Subglacial erosion in a limestone bed at Tsanfleuron glacier, Switzerland 04.06.2018 Geiranger, Norway Ivy-Ochs Susan; Steinemann Olivia;
EGU Poster A database of Last Glacial Maximum transfluences and crosswise divides based on sub-kilometer Alpine ice flow modelling 13.04.2018 Vienna, Austria Ivy-Ochs Susan;
Quaternary Research association annual discussion meeting Individual talk Modelling last glacial cycle ice dynamics in the Alps 03.01.2018 Plymouth, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Ivy-Ochs Susan; Jouvet Guillaume;
Quaternary Research association annual discussion meeting Individual talk Juxtaposing field evidence, isotopic dating results and ice-sheet models for the Last Glacial Maximum in the Alps 03.01.2018 Plymouth, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Ivy-Ochs Susan;
ERDW Departments Colloqium Individual talk Into and out of the LGM in the Alps 05.12.2017 Zurich, Switzerland Ivy-Ochs Susan;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Gletscherarchäologen unter Zeitdruck: Hochalpiner Steinzeitfund wird am Oberalpstock geborgen Luzerner Zeitung German-speaking Switzerland 2020
Print (books, brochures, leaflets) The glacial landscape at Wangen an der Aare International 2020
Media relations: print media, online media Was sind Findlinge? Gletscher "vergleichbar mit einem Förderband" Liechtensteiner Volksblatt German-speaking Switzerland International 2020
Media relations: print media, online media Zwei Liechtensteiner Findlinge im Rampenlicht der Wissenschaft Liechtensteiner Volksblatt International German-speaking Switzerland 2020

Awards

Title Year
Best Poster Prize, Nordic Workshop of Cosmogenic Nuclides, Geiranger Norway 2018

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
162444 Modelling the ice flow in the western Alps during the last glacial cycle 01.09.2016 Project funding (Div. I-III)
156187 Reconstructing patterns of bedrock glacial erosion and Lateglacial glacier extents in the Alps with field mapping and cosmogenic 10Be, 14C, and 36Cl analyses 01.10.2014 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

This proposal is made up of two parts: (1) PhD1, the final two years of PhD student Olivia Kronig in the continuation of SNF project 156187, and (2) PhD2 a new project for four years. PhD1. In the first two years of her project (SNF 156187), Olivia Kronig is using detailed mapping and cosmogenic 10Be exposure dating of fossil rockglaciers (in Austria) to extract the climate signal and generate fundamental information on the timing of cold events during the Lateglacial (18,000 to 12,000 years ago) in the Alps. The second goal of her project is to use cosmogenic 10Be and 36Cl to quantify subglacial erosion rates at the Trift and Tsanfleuron glaciers in the Swiss Alps. At Trift (gneiss bedrock), she will in addition use in situ 14C in quartz to determine the length of time that the glacier covered and actively eroded the bedrock. ETH is one few institutions worldwide where the latter methodology is possible. PhD2. One of the great unknowns in paleoclimate research today is to decipher how massive changes in atmospheric circulation affected the spatial and temporal patterns of glacier growth in the Alps during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Is climate the main driving force or do differences in glacier catchment hypsometry and flow path length outweigh precipitation changes in controlling glacier extent? To address this question, PhD2 will study two LGM glacier systems, the Rhine and the Toce/Ticino glaciers. The two glaciers lie directly N-S of each other with linkage in the accumulation areas in the Lukmanier Pass region. Both glacier systems lack detailed chronological information. PhD2 will reconstruct LGM ice margins through detailed fieldwork, landform analysis based on remote imagery (with high-resolution digital elevation models) and cosmogenic nuclide exposure dating. He/she will constrain the timing of the reaching of the maximum extent, the timing of recessional (re-advance) stadial moraines, and the moment of final cataclysmic withdrawal of glaciers from the forelands with cosmogenic 10Be and 36Cl boulder and depth-profile dating. The latter (36Cl) is in the developmental stage and models for depth-age calculation will be developed based on existing models. PhD2 will use the unique tool, in situ 14C in quartz, to exclude boulders from LGM ice-margin reconstructions that were actually deposited during pre-LGM glaciations but were buried or reworked. The output of PhD2, the precisely dated LGM ice margins from the two glacier systems, will serve as point of comparison for validation of ice lobe extents based on glacier modeling. PhD2 will work together with glaciologists of the VAW/ETHZ to compare paleo ice flow model results with field evidence, as well as to discuss implications for climate input parameters. The geologist-glacier modeler combination is a uniquely synergistic approach to understanding past glacier extents: i) dating and mapping provide crucial data for adjusting ice flow models and ii) modeling is the most physically realistic way (with respect to glacier behavior) to extrapolate from maxima to continuous timespans (i.e. filling the huge gaps in the geological record). This project offers a broad-based, integrated approach combining: (1) basic geological techniques (field mapping, sedimentology, petrography), (2) GIS methodologies to augment field interpretations, (3) landform dating with accelerator mass spectrometry-measured cosmogenic nuclides and (4) state-of-the-art glacier modeling through collaboration with glaciologists. The outcome of this study will yield a significant improvement in our understanding of the input climate forcings and the glacier dynamical response that leads to the pattern of glacier timing and extent N and S of the Alps during the LGM.
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