Loch Lomond Stadial glaciers in North Harris, Outer Hebrides, North-West Scotland: glacier reconstruction and palaeoclimatic implications

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    48 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Geomorphological mapping of North Harris provides evidence for the former existence of 10 glaciers with a total area of ca 3 5 km(2) A Loch Lomond (Younger Dryas) Stadial age (ca 12.9-11.5 kyr BP) for this glacial episode is inferred from glacier configuration, landsystems dominated by hummocky recessional moraines, and relationships with Lateglacial periglacial phenomena. Equilibrium line altitudes (ELAs) of 150-289 m were calculated for individual glaciers. ELA variability mainly reflects differences in snow-contributing area. The area-weighted mean ELA (204m) is consistent with a northwards decline in ELAs along the western seaboard of the British Isles of 69.5m (100km)(-1), equivalent to a northwards ablation-season temperature decrease of 0.42 degrees C (100km)(-1). This latitudinal temperature gradient implies a mean July sea-level temperature of ca 7.2 degrees C for the coldest part of the stade, roughly 6 degrees C lower than at present. Sea-level precipitation at the time of the LLS glacial maximum is inferred to have been between ca 1970 +/- 200 and 2350 +/- 200 mm yr(-1), implying that LLS precipitation was up to 25% greater than now. Patterns of recessional moraines indicate that the glaciers remained close to climatic equilibrium as they retreated to their sources, though moraine belts implying near-stationary or readvancing ice margins on flat valley floors are separated by moraine-free zones indicating uninterrupted retreat. Calculation of ELAs for 'residual' glaciers in former source areas suggests that summer warming of <= 1.0 degrees C would have resulted in shrinkage of the glaciers to their sources. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3134-3149
    Number of pages16
    JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
    Volume26
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007

    Keywords

    • EQUILIBRIUM-LINE ALTITUDES
    • YOUNGER DRYAS
    • HUMMOCKY MORAINE
    • VALLEY GLACIERS
    • LAKE DISTRICT
    • ICE
    • READVANCE
    • ADVANCE
    • DEGLACIATION
    • DIMENSIONS

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'Loch Lomond Stadial glaciers in North Harris, Outer Hebrides, North-West Scotland: glacier reconstruction and palaeoclimatic implications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this