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Last Glacial Maximum equilibrium-line altitudes and paleoclimate, northern Uinta Mountains, Utah, U.S.A.

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Abstract:

Nineteen former valley glaciers were reconstructed for their Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) extents in the northern Uinta Mountains, Utah, U.S.A. Mean equilibrium-line altitudes (ELAs) calculated by four methods (accumulation-area ratio, toe-headwall altitude ratio, lateral moraines and cirque floors) range from 3050 to 3300 m a.s.l. Modern mean summer temperatures (Ts) at the ELAs range from 8.7° to 11.2°C, while modern winter precipitation (P) ranges from 354 to 590 mm snow water equivalent (SWE). Based on the difference in elevation of mean ELAs across the range, LGM P values must have ranged from 940 to 3040 mm SWE, assuming the modern summer lapse rate was the same during the LGM. A Ts depression of 5.5°C is required for these precipitation values to plot in the range of modern ELA values. The reconstructed increase in P at the western end of the range is 10 times the modern increase, reflecting the influence of pluvial Lake Bonneville. Assuming ELA depression (ΔELA) resulted from this P increase and a uniform 5.5°C Ts decrease, the regional LGM ΔELA was approximately 900 m.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3189/172756502781831331

Publication date: March 1, 2002

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  • The Journal of Glaciology is published six times per year. It accepts submissions from any discipline related to the study of snow and ice. All articles are peer reviewed. The Journal is included in the ISI Science Citation Index.
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