The Loch Lomond Readvance on the Isle of Mull, Scotland: glacier reconstruction and palaeoclimatic implications.

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    Abstract

    Geomorphological mapping of Mull provides evidence for an icefield 143 km(2) in area flanked by six corrie glaciers with a total area of ca. 13 km(2). The absence of Lateglacial periglacial features, shorelines and pollen sites from the area occupied by this readvance, together with radiocarbon dating of shell fragments, confirm that it occurred during the Loch Lomond (Younger Dryas) Stade. The thickness of glacigenic deposits within the area of the readvance is attributed to reworking of paraglacial sediments. Up-valley continuity of recessional moraines indicates that the ice remained active and near to equilibrium during retreat, consistent with slow warming following the coldest part of the stade. Reconstructed equilibrium line altitudes (ELAs) imply vigorous snow-blowing by westerly winds, and are consistent with a general southwestwards decline in ELAs across the Scottish Highlands. An ELA of 250 m was calculated for the Mull Icefield using an ablation:accumulation balance ratio (ABR) approach. Palaeotemperature and palaeoprecipitation estimates were derived by calculating a theoretical regional ELA from meteorological data and assuming that the combination of temperature and precipitation implied by the theoretical ELA approximates conditions at 250 m on Mull during the Loch Lomond Stade. The result indicates a mean July sea-level temperature of 5.7 +/- 0.5 degreesC and a mean annual precipitation at 250 m of ca. 2700-3800 mm (best estimate 3200 mm), indicating higher precipitation totals than at present owing to more vigorous atmospheric circulation. Copyright (C) 2002 John Wiley Sons, Ltd.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)759-771
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Quaternary Science
    Volume17
    Issue number8
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2002

    Keywords

    • Loch Lomond Stade
    • equilibrium line altitudes
    • icefield
    • Scotland
    • palaeoclimate
    • EQUILIBRIUM-LINE ALTITUDES
    • YOUNGER DRYAS
    • OF-SKYE
    • HUMMOCKY MORAINE
    • VALLEY GLACIERS
    • WESTERN NORWAY
    • SOUTHERN ALPS
    • NEW-ZEALAND
    • ICE
    • AGE

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