GM9.2Glacial landforms and palaeoclimatic interpretation
|Convener: S. Winkler | Co-Conveners: M. Kirkbride , L. Iturrizaga|
Glaciers are important indicators of present and past climate changes, thus being vital tools for palaeoclimatic inference. Glacially-generated landforms (e.g. moraines) are frequently dated to reconstruct glacier chronologies and, thus, the past climate history.
Dating techniques applied to glacial landforms have improved substantially during the past few decades and promising new methods (e.g. terrestrial cosmogenic nuclide dating) have recently been successfully used. However, this improvement in dating techniques has not been matched by corresponding attention to the processes causing the formation of the dated features and the implications of these processes for past glacier behaviour. High standard laboratory- and field-based dates often contrast with simplistic inferences of the glacial-geomorphological and palaeoclimatic contexts of the landforms dated.
This session addresses the geomorphological uncertainties in glacier reconstruction and thus palaeoclimatic interpretation of glacial landform ages. Contributions from all related fields are welcome, including studies on how non-climatic events (e.g. large mass movements deposited on glacier surfaces) influence both glacier behaviour and moraine formation. Studies of “normal” glaciers vs. debris-covered, surging, or calving glaciers should lead to a better understanding of how glacial landforms should be interpreted in a climatological context. Also, studies applying different dating techniques to glacial landforms are welcomed in order to bring together scientists using different approaches.