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Paleoclimatic interpretation of the early Late-glacial glacier in the Gschnitz valley, central Alps, Austria

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The former glacier at the type locality of the "Gschnitz Stadial" of the Alpine Late-glacial chronology is interpreted from a paleoglaciological and paleoclimatological point of view. The equilibrium-line altitude, ice flux through selected cross sections and mass-balance gradients are calculated from reconstructed glacier topography. They are used to determine total net ablation and accumulation and precipitation under the assumption of steady-state. The former temperature at the ELA and temperature change is estimated using various glacier–climate models. Precipitation was less than one-third of today's values, and summer temperature was roughly 10°C lower than today. The climate during the Gschnitz Stadial appears to have been cold and continental, and was more similar to full glacial conditions than to the Younger Dryas climate in the Alps. This is further evidence for an older age of the Gschnitz Stadial.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 1999

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  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

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