Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Early maximum extent of paleoglaciers from Mediterranean mountains during the last glaciation

Authors: 
Dominguez-Villar, D., Carrasco, R. M., Pedraza, J., Cheng, H., Edwards, R. L., Willenbring, J. K.
Year: 
2 013
Source: 
Scientific Reports
Abstract: 
Mountain glaciers respond directly to changes in precipitation and temperature, thus their margin extent is a high-sensitivity climate proxy. Here, we present a robust Be-10 chronology for the glacier maximum areal extent of central Spain paleoglaciers dated at 26.1 +/- 1.3 ka BP. These glaciers reached their maximum extent several thousand years earlier than those from central Europe due to the increased precipitation within a cold period between 25 to 29 ka BP, as confirmed by a local speleothem record. These paleoclimate conditions impacted the maximum extent of mountain glaciers along the western and central Mediterranean region. The cause and timing of the enhanced precipitation implies a southward shift of the North Atlantic Polar Front followed by storm tracks in response to changes in insolation via orbital parameters modulation. Thus, these mountain paleoglaciers from the Mediterranean region record an ocean-continent climate interaction triggered by external forcing.

Department of Earth and Environmental Science / University of Pennsylvania, 251 Hayden Hall, 240 South 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6316