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A new approach for reconstructing glacier variability based on lake sediments recording input from more than one glacier

  • Kristian Vasskog (a1) (a2), Øyvind Paasche (a3), Atle Nesje (a1) (a2), John F. Boyle (a4) and H.J.B. Birks (a2) (a5) (a6) (a7)...
Abstract

We explore the possibility of building a continuous glacier reconstruction by analyzing the integrated sedimentary response of a large (440 km2) glacierized catchment in western Norway, as recorded in the downstream lake Nerfloen (N61°56’, E6°52’). A multi-proxy numerical analysis demonstrates that it is possible to distinguish a glacier component in the ~ 8000-yr-long record, based on distinct changes in grain size, geochemistry, and magnetic composition. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) reveals a strong common signal in the 15 investigated sedimentary parameters, with the first principal component explaining 77% of the total variability. This signal is interpreted to reflect glacier activity in the upstream catchment, an interpretation that is independently tested through a mineral magnetic provenance analysis of catchment samples. Minimum glacier input is indicated between 6700–5700 cal yr BP, probably reflecting a situation when most glaciers in the catchment had melted away, whereas the highest glacier activity is observed around 600 and 200 cal yr BP. During the local Neoglacial interval (~ 4200 cal yr BP until present), five individual periods of significantly reduced glacier extent are identified at ~ 3400, 3000–2700, 2100–2000, 1700–1500, and ~ 900 cal yr BP.

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Corresponding author
*Corresponding author at: Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Allégaten 55, N-5007, Norway. Fax: + 47 55589416. E-mail address: kristian.vasskog@uni.no (K. Vasskog).
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