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TitleLate Holocene glacier expansion in the Cariboo and northern Rocky Mountains, British Columbia, Canada
AuthorMaurer, M K; Menounos, B; Luckman, B H; Osborn, G; Clague, J J; Beedle, M J; Smith, R; Atkinson, N
SourceQuaternary Science Reviews vol. 51, 2012 p. 71-80, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2012.07.023
Year2012
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20120159
PublisherElsevier BV
Documentserial
Lang.English
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProvinceBritish Columbia
NTS93A/14; 93A/15; 93A/16; 93H/01; 93H/02; 93H/03
AreaCariboo Mountains; Rocky Mountains; On-off Lake
Lat/Long WENS-120.5833 -120.2500 53.2500 52.8333
Subjectssurficial geology/geomorphology; geochronology; glacial deposits; glaciers; glacier surveys; radiocarbon dates; radiocarbon dating; glacial history; icefields; lithostratigraphy; Castle Creek Glacier; Chiqui Glacier; Chap Glacier; Cenozoic; Quaternary
Illustrationslocation maps; ternary diagrams; diagrams; tables
ProgramPeople Support
AbstractCastle Creek Glacier in the Cariboo Mountains of British Columbia remained close to its Little Ice Age limit for most of the past 1500 years, without significant recession until the 20th century. This conclusion is based on radiocarbon-dated detrital and in-situ plant material overrun by the glacier, and the sedimentary record from informally named Oneoff Lake, which received clastic sediments only when Castle Creek Glacier crossed a hydrologic divide 330 m upvalley of the Little Ice Age limit. Plant macrofossils recovered from the transition between basal inorganic silt and overlying organic silty clay in a sediment core from the lake indicate that the glacier first retreated behind the divide ca. 10.92e9.70 ka. Ages of 8.97e8.61 and 5.58e5.53 ka on detrital wood from the glacier’s forefield may record earlier advances, but the first unequivocal evidence of glacier expansion is from an overridden stump with an age of 4.96 e4.45 ka. Continuous accumulation of gyttja within Oneoff Lake, however, indicates that Castle Creek Glacier did not cross the hydrologic divide at any time during the first half of the Holocene. Glacigenic sediments began to accumulate in the lake between 2.73 and 2.49 ka, indicating that Castle Creek Glacier expanded beyond the hydrologic divide at that time. A coincident advance is also recorded in the northern Rocky Mountains of British Columbia at Kwadacha Glacier, which overran a vegetated surface at 2.69e2.36 ka. Clastic sedimentation in Oneoff Lake ceased soon after the Bridge River volcanic eruption (2.70e2.35 ka), indicating that Castle Creek glacier retreat to a position upvalley of the divide at that time. Sedimentation resumed before 1.87e1.72 ka when the glacier advanced again past the hydrologic divide. Following a second retreat, Castle Creek Glacier advanced across the divide a final time at ca. 1.54 e1.42 ka. The snout of the glacier remained less than 330 m upvalley of the Little Ice Age moraine until the early twentieth century when annual moraines indicate rapid frontal recession to a position upvalley of the hydrologic divide. These data collectively indicate that glaciers in the Cariboo Mountains of British Columbia nearly achieved their all-time Holocene limits as early as 2.73e2.49 ka and climatic conditions in the early 20th century abruptly ended a 1500-year period favoring glacier expansion.
GEOSCAN ID291577