EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Late glacial and Holocene glacier fluctuations at the Sub-Antarctic Island Kerguelen in the Southern Indian Ocean

Jostein Bakke1, Fabien Arnaud2, Philip Deline2, Charline Guiguet-Covex2, Henriette Linge1, Ludovic Ravanel2, Eivind Støren1, and Willem van der Bilt1
Jostein Bakke et al.
  • 1University of Bergen, Department of Earth science, Bergen, Norway (
  • 2CNRS, EDYTEM Pôle Montagne F-73376 Le Bourget du Lac

The Southern Hemisphere`s westerly winds play a critical role in regulating Earth`s climate by shielding Antarctica from low-latitude heat, driving global ocean circulation and regulate the uptake of CO2 in the Southern Ocean. Both strength and position of this globally significant atmospheric pattern are rapidly shifting in the face of ongoing global warming. A string of recent studies links these developments to dramatic coupled changes in temperature, precipitation, sea-ice coverage and glacier extent that unfold across the Southern Ocean region. Critically, a lack of baseline information restricts our ability to understand the causes and patterns of these shifts and represent them robustly in the future projections that underpin climate policies. To help do so, we utilize the sensitivity of glaciers to atmospheric climate change and the potential of glacier-fed lake sediments to record this signal through time. For this purpose, we integrate emerging sedimentological, geochemical and glacier modelling tools in a new method framework to reconstruct changes in glacier extent, temperature and precipitation on human-relevant timescales. To do so, we rely on a number of novel sedimentological and geochemical approaches. These include biomarker-based temperature reconstructions, exposure dating of moraines and the use emerging non-destructive scanning techniques (e.g. Computed Tomography – CT) to fingerprint depositional pathways. Our study area in this cross-disciplinary project is the poorly investigated sub-Antarctic Kerguelen Archipelago, well-situated in the core southern westerly wind belt. During an extensive 2019 field campaign, we collected 130 meters of sediment cores from six lakes, 110 rock samples for exposure dating and numerous catchment samples. 

How to cite: Bakke, J., Arnaud, F., Deline, P., Guiguet-Covex, C., Linge, H., Ravanel, L., Støren, E., and van der Bilt, W.: Late glacial and Holocene glacier fluctuations at the Sub-Antarctic Island Kerguelen in the Southern Indian Ocean , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-17953,, 2020


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