GM9 – Glacial and Periglacial Processes and Landforms
Mountain Glaciations and their diversity - Glacial landforms and their palaeoclimatic interpretation
Mountain glaciations provide an invaluable record for past and present climate change. They are vital for any palaeoclimatologic interpretation and many related research questions. The utilization of this potential is, however, not trivial because of the wide diversity of formerly and currently glaciated mountain ranges. Apart from their specific complex and interacting geomorphological process-systems different climatic and glaciological conditions cause any subsequent global or intra-hemispheric correlations to become incredible challenging. This problem is further enhanced by ongoing specialisation within the scientific community. Working groups primarily focusing on either individual aspects of related research or selected mountain regions often remain somewhat disconnected. As a consequence of the challenges imposed on mountain glaciations, they occasionally seem to become sidelined in the context of Quaternary environmental reconstructions in comparison with other formerly glaciated regions. This discrepancy constitutes an unfortunate and unsatisfactory consequence that should be conquered.
The primary 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.
During the past years, precursors of this session have steadily become more popular and attracted contributions from a wide range of research topics and study areas, both with a high diversity of methodological approaches. Their common target was to allow a better understanding of how glacial landforms should be interpreted in a (palaeo)climatic and/or chronological context. 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.
We are pleased that Benjamin Chandler has accepted our invitation and will present a solicited talk about "Mapping the legacy of mountain glaciations".
Please note that the session conveners organized a public splinter meeting on Tuesday (April 9th) between 12.45 and 13.45 in room 0.51 (SMP 6) to meet all colleagues involved with the new application for a COST Action “Legacy of Mountain Glaciations” and those interested in the topic, We will use the opportunity to make this initiative more public and to discuss possible future directions.
Present-day glacial and periglacial processes in cold regions, i.e. arctic and alpine environments, provide modern analogues to processes and climatic changes that took place during the Pleistocene, including gradual retreat or collapse of ice sheets and mountain glaciers, and melting and shrinking of low-land permafrost. Current changes in mid-latitude mountain ranges could also serve as a proxy for future changes in arctic regions within a context of climate change (e.g. speed-up of creeping permafrost features, relictification of rock glaciers).
We invite contributions that either:
1. investigate present-day glacial and/or periglacial landforms, sediments and processes to describe the current state, to reconstruct past environmental conditions and to predict future scenarios in cold regions; or
2. have a Quaternary focus and aim at enhancing our understanding of past glacial, periglacial and paraglacial processes, also through the application of dating techniques.
Case studies that use a multi-disciplinary approach (e.g. field, laboratory and modelling techniques) and/or that highlight the interaction between the glacial, periglacial and paraglacial cryospheric components in cold regions are particularly welcome.
Hanne Hvidtfeldt Christiansen (Svalbard): Permafrost thermal dynamics in periglacial landforms in Svalbard during the last decade
Martin Margold (Prague): The retreat chronology of the western Laurentide Ice Sheet
Reconstructing paleo ice dynamics: Comparing and combining field-based evidence and numerical modeling
Studies of ice extent, volume and dynamics during former glaciations are important for understanding past climates and evolution of the Earth’s surface, and also provide analogies for present-day ice sheets and their subglacial environments. This includes observations of glacial erosion, glacial transport and deposition of sediments, formation of fjords and their relation to ice streams, evidence for migration of ice divides, former locations of subglacial lakes, relations between high geothermal heat flow, basal ice melt and rapid ice flow, and other aspects of paleo glacier extent and behaviour. This session will bring together the interdisciplinary scientific community working on former ice covers from the perspectives of glacial geomorphology, quaternary geology, and numerical modeling. It will provide a forum in which field-based reconstructions and model-based simulations can be compared and contrasted. We particularly welcome contributions that shed light on ancient and more recent glaciations on Earth and their interaction with other components of the Earth System.
Glaciers and volcanoes interact in a number of ways, including instances where volcanic/geothermal activity alters glacier dynamics or mass balance, via subglacial eruptions or the deposition of supraglacial tephra. Glaciers can also impact volcanism, for example by directly influencing mechanisms of individual eruptions resulting in the construction of distinct edifices. Glaciers may also influence patterns of eruptive activity when mass balance changes adjust the load on volcanic systems. However, because of the remoteness of many glacio-volcanic environments, these interactions remain poorly understood.
In these complex settings, hazards associated with glacier-volcano interaction can vary from lava flows to volcanic ash, lahars, pyroclastic flows or glacial outburst floods. These can happen consecutively or simultaneously and affect not only the earth, but also glaciers, rivers and the atmosphere. As accumulating, melting, ripping or drifting glaciers generate signals as well as degassing, inflating/ deflating or erupting volcanoes, the challenge is to study, understand and ultimately discriminate these potentially coexisting signals. We wish to fully include geophysical observations of current and recent events with geological observations and interpretations of deposits of past events.
We invite contributions that deal with the mitigation of the hazards associated with ice-covered volcanoes, that improve the understanding of signals generated by ice-covered volcanoes, or studies focused on volcanic impacts on glaciers and vice versa. Research on recent activity is especially welcomed. This includes geological observations e.g. of deposits in the field or remote-sensing data, together with experimental and modelling approaches. We also invite contributions on past activity and glaciovolcanic deposits. We aim to bring together scientists from volcanology, glaciology, seismology, geodesy, hydrology, geomorphology and atmospheric science in order to enable a broad discussion and interaction.
The Permafrost Open Session is a platform for the presentation and discussion of current research focusing on (a) permafrost and associated natural systems; (b) the interaction of permafrost and climate; (c) the impact of permafrost changes on both, natural and human systems; and (d) the measurement, understanding, modeling, and parameterization of corresponding processes. Contributions are welcome on high-latitude, mountain, and planetary permafrost.
We look forward to a high-quality session with a high number of contributions that reflect diverse scientific fields, approaches, and geographic locations. We would like to especially encourage contributions that (a) present novel measurement and monitoring approaches; (b) present new strategies to improve process understanding; (c) come from or interface with differing fields of science or innovative technologies and methods; (d) investigate model validation, model uncertainty, or spatial and temporal scale/scalability; (e) couple models of diverse processes or scales.
The Permafrost Open Session complements several other sessions with more specific foci (such as natural hazards, geophysics, or geomorphology) and is intended to be the forum for research primarily focusing on permafrost phenomena.