Holocene ice marginal fluctuations of the Qassimiut lobe in South Greenland

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Knowledge about the Holocene evolution of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) is important to put the recent observations of ice loss into a longer-term perspective. In this study, we use six new threshold lake records supplemented with two existing lake records to reconstruct the Holocene ice marginal fluctuations of the Qassimiut lobe (QL) - one of the most dynamic parts of the GrIS in South Greenland. Times when the ice margin was close to present extent are characterized by clastic input from the glacier meltwater, whereas periods when the ice margin was behind its present day extent comprise organic-rich sediments. We find that the overall pattern suggests that the central part of the ice lobe in low-lying areas experienced the most prolonged ice retreat from ~9-0.4 cal. ka BP, whereas the more distal parts of the ice lobe at higher elevation re-advanced and remained close to the present extent during the Neoglacial between ~4.4 and 1.8 cal. ka BP. These results demonstrate that the QL was primarily driven by Holocene climate changes, but also emphasises the role of local topography on the ice marginal fluctuations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number22362
JournalScientific Reports
Volume6
ISSN2045-2322
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2016

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