Mountain glaciations provide an invaluable record for past and present climate change, thus being vital for any palaeoclimatological interpretation and many related research questions. The utilization of this potential is, however, far from being trivial because of the wide diversity of formerly and currently glaciated mountain ranges. Alongside complex and interacting geomorphological process-systems such different climatic and glaciological conditions cause any subsequent global or intra-hemispheric correlations becoming quite challenging. This problem is further enhanced by ongoing specialisation within the scientific community leaving working groups primarily focusing on either individual aspects or selected regions often disconnected. An occasional sidelining of mountain glaciations in the context of Quaternary environmental reconstructions was the unfortunate consequence.
The overarching aim of this session is to evaluate the potential of mountain glaciations records and stimulate further research in this important field of research. Contributions on all relevant aspects of the topic are welcomed, for example: (a) glacial landforms and reconstruction of past glaciers, (b) dating techniques and geochronology compilations, (c) glacier dynamics and palaeoclimatic interpretations, or (d) impacts of ecosystems and human evolution/society. Submissions targeting these connections are specifically encouraged. While we encourage submitting abstracts from all abovementioned topics within the broad field of mountain glaciations, we would like to invite in particular those highlighting the specific conditions of mountain glaciations or addressing the relationship and connections between different of their aspects. To address the diversity of mountain glaciations, contributions from high-, middle-, and low-latitude mountain ranges as well as from continental to maritime regions are all welcomed. The time scale of the session will cover the whole time range from Early Pleistocene glaciations to the LGM and Holocene/modern glaciers.
The session ultimately aims to facilitate a closer connection between different topological, methodological, and regional working groups related to various aspects of mountain glaciations in space and time. It is further designed to give everyone interested in the emerging collaborative research network “The Legacy of Mountain Glaciations” an opportunity to meet and exchange ideas and expertise.
A solicited talk will be given by Susan Ivy-Ochs (ETH Zürich): How well do we really know the timing and extent of glaciers during the Last Glacial Maximum in the Alps?
There will be a splinter meeting (SMI 20) "The Legacy of Mountain Glaciations" connected to the session and scheduled for Wednesday (April 26th) in room 0.15 between 12.15 and 13.15. All colleagues interested are invited to join this meeting and discuss the future strategy for the planned research initiative.