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Glacial landforms and their palaeoclimatical/chronological interpretation (co-organized)
Convener: Stefan Winkler  | Co-Conveners: Lasafam Iturrizaga , Jürgen Reitner 
 / Thu, 21 Apr, 10:30–12:00
 / Attendance Thu, 21 Apr, 17:30–19:00

Glaciers are important indicators of past and present climate changes, thus being vital tools for palaeoclimatical and/or chronological inference. Related 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 with new methods (e.g. terrestrial cosmogenic nuclide dating) successfully having been applied in many regions. Palaeoclimatological and glacier-chronological reconstructions based on this data have reached high standards, so did related modelling attempts. This improvement in dating techniques and palaeoclimatological interpretation has, however, not always been matched by corresponding attention to the processes behind the formation of the dated glacial landforms and the implications of these processes for the understanding of the past glacier behaviour. High standard laboratory-based dates and sophisticated models often contrast with simplistic inferences of the glacial-geomorphological and palaeoclimatical contexts of the landforms dated.

The proposed session addresses specifically the geomorphological uncertainties in the dating of glacial landforms and their subsequent use for glacier reconstruction and palaeoclimatological interpretation. 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 or studies of “normal” vs. debris-covered glaciers, surging, or calving glaciers to name just a few examples. Studies applying different dating techniques to glacial landforms are welcomed as well as different attempts to reconstruct or model past glaciers and the palaeoclimate on different time scales.