Glacial chronology and palaeoclimate in the Bystra catchment, Western Tatra Mountains (Poland) during the Late Pleistocene

Michał Makos*, Vincent Rinterknecht, Régis Braucher, Michał Zarnowski, Aster Team

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Deglaciation chronology of the Bystra catchment (Western Tatra Mountains) has been reconstructed based on 10Be exposure age dating. Fourteen rock samples were collected from boulders located on three moraines that limit the horizontal extent of the LGM maximum advance and the Lateglacial recessional stage. The oldest preserved, maximum moraine was dated at 15.5 ± 0.8 ka, an age that could be explained more likely by post-depositional erosion of the moraine. Such scenario is supported by geomorphologic and palaeoclimatological evidence. The younger cold stage is represented by well-preserved termino-lateral moraine systems in the Kondratowa and Sucha Kasprowa valleys. The distribution of the moraine ridges in both valleys suggest a complex history of deglaciation of the area. The first Late-glacial re-advance (LG1) was followed by a cold oscillation (LG2), that occurred at around 14.0 ± 0.7-13.7 ± 1.2 ka. Glaciers during both stages had nearly the same horizontal extent, however, their thickness and geometry changed significantly, mainly due to local climatic conditions triggered by topography, controlling the exposition to solar radiation. The LG1 stage occurred probably during the pre-Bølling cold stage (Greenland Stadial 2.1a), however, the LG2 stage can be correlated with the cooling at around 14 ka during the Greenland Interstadial 1 (GI-1d - Older Dryas). This is the first chronological evidence of the Older Dryas in the Tatra Mountains. The ELA of the maximum Bystra glacier was located at 1480 m a.s.l. in accordance with the ELA in the High Tatra Mountains during the LGM. During the LG1 and LG2 stages, the ELA in the catchment rose up to 1520-1530 m a.s.l. and was located approximately 100-150 m lower than in the eastern part of the massif. Climate modelling results show that the Bystra glacier (maximum advance) could have advanced in the catchment when mean annual temperature was lower than today by 11-12 °C and precipitation was reduced by 40-60%. This is in accordance with LGM conditions previously reported for the High Tatras. During the LG1 and LG2 stages the temperature decrease in the study area reached 10 °C and precipitation was lower by ~30% compare to modern conditions. This resulted in slightly higher accumulation (20-30%) in the Western Tatra Mountains compare to the High Tatra Mountains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-91
Number of pages18
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Volume134
Early online date21 Jan 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2016

Keywords

  • 10-Be chronology
  • Deglaciation
  • Late Pleistocene
  • Palaeoclimate
  • Tatra Mountains

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