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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

M. A. Kelly & T. V. Lowell, Quart. Sci. Rev., Fluctuations of local glaciers in Greenland during latest Pleistocene and Holocene time

Quarternary Science Reviews, 2008, doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2008.12.008
Elsevier Science Publishers

Fluctuations of local glaciers in Greenland during latest Pleistocene and Holocene time

Meredith A. Kelly (Geochemistry Division, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Palisades, NY 10964, U.S.A.)*, E-mail The Corresponding Author and Thomas V. Lowell (Department of Geology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221, U.S.A.)

Received 22 May 2008, revised 4 December 2008,
accepted 4 December 2008.
Available online 29 January 2009.


This paper is the first to summarize research on fluctuations of local glaciers in Greenland (e.g. ice caps and mountain glaciers independent of the Greenland Ice Sheet) during latest Pleistocene and Holocene time. In contrast to the extensive data available for fluctuations of the Greenland Ice Sheet, surprisingly little data exist to constrain local glacier extents. Much of the available research was conducted prior to wide-spread use of AMS radiocarbon dating and the advent of surface-exposure and luminescence dating. Although there is a paucity of data, generally similar patterns of local glacier fluctuations are observed in all regions of Greenland and likely reflect changes in paleoclimate, which must have influenced at least the margins of the Inland Ice. Absolute-age data for late-glacial and early Holocene advances of local glaciers are reported from only two locations: Disko (island) and the Scoresby Sund region. Subsequent to late-glacial or early Holocene time, most local glaciers were smaller than at present or may have disappeared completely during the Holocene Thermal Maximum. In general, local glacier advances that occurred during Historical time (1200–1940 AD) are the most extensive since late-glacial or early Holocene time. Historical documents and more recent aerial photographs provide useful information about local glacier fluctuations during the last not, vert, similar100 yrs. In all but one area (North Greenland), local glaciers are currently receding from Historical extents.

*Corresponding author. Present address: Department of Earth Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH,03755, U.S.A Tel.: +1 (603) 646-9647; fax: +1 (603) 646-3922.

Article Outline

1. Introduction
2. Western Greenland
2.1. Overview
2.2. South and South-West Greenland
2.3. Southern West Greenland
2.4. Central West Greenland
2.4.1. Disko (island)
2.4.2. Nûgssuaq (peninsula)
2.4.3. Svartenhuk Halvø (peninsula)
2.5. North-West Greenland
2.5.1. Upernavik to Melville Bugt
2.5.2. Thule area to Inglefield Land
3. Southeastern Greenland
3.1. Overview
3.2. Tasiilaq region
3.3. Kangerlussuaq region
4. Northeastern Greenland
4.1. Overview
4.2. Scoresby Sund region (not, vert, similar70–72°N)
4.3. Mesters Vig region (not, vert, similar72–74°N)
4.4. Hochstetter Foreland to Germania Land (not, vert, similar74–78°N)
4.5. Jøkelbugten to Ingolf Fjord
5. North Greenland
5.1. Overview
5.2. Eastern North Greenland
5.3. Central North Greenland
5.4. Western North Greenland
6. Discussion
6.1. Existence of local glaciers during the LGM
6.2. Existence of local glaciers during late-glacial to early Holocene time
6.3. Existence of local glaciers during the Holocene ‘thermal maximum’
6.4. Existence of local glaciers during Neoglacial time, prior to Historical time
6.5. Existence of local glaciers during Historical time
6.6. Summary
7. Conclusions and recommendations for future work

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