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Analysis of the glacial geomorphological characteristics of the last glacial in the Tianger area, Tien Shan, and their paleoclimate implications

  • Zhenyu Nie (a1), Renyi Pan (a1), Chuanchuan Li (a1), Mei Zhang (a1) and Gengnian Liu (a1)...
Abstract

The Tianger area in the Tien Shan preserves many glacial landforms to which several methods of estimating ancient equilibrium-line altitudes (ELAs) can be applied. Thus it provides the opportunity to compare different methods and evaluate the correlation between the methods and their errors. This comparison provides guidance in the application of these methods in other mid-latitude alpine glaciated areas. In this paper we calculate characteristic ratios relating to the ELAs, including accumulation–area ratio (AAR), toe–headwall altitude ratio (THAR), terminus–summit altitude method (TSAM) and Höfer value, and their correlations with each other and the geomorphological characteristics. The AAR of a glacier is small when the slope of the bedrock beneath it is small and the area is large, and the AAR of a glacier with such characteristics is better correlated with its THAR, TSAM and Höfer value. Paleoclimate information derived from these characteristic ratios relating to ELAs is discussed. The glaciers and the glacial climate of the early and middle stage of the last glacial are more continental than those of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Compared with those of the LGM on the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau and surrounding mountains, the ELA characteristics of the early and middle stage of the last glacial in the Tianger area show more continental features.

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References
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Annals of Glaciology
  • ISSN: 0260-3055
  • EISSN: 1727-5644
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