15 October 2012
Jeffrey S. Munroe | Thomas A. Crocker | Alena M. Giesche | Lukas E. Rahlson | Logan T. Duran | Matthew F. Bigl | Benjamin J.C. Laabs
Multi-proxy study of sediment cores retrieved from lakes below modern glaciers supports the first detailed Neoglacial chronology for Glacier National Park (GNP), Montana. Analysis focused on sedimentary properties sensitive to the extent and activity of upstream glacier ice, including: water, organic matter, carbonate, and biogenic silica content; bulk density; mass accumulation rate; phosphorus fractionation; magnetic susceptibility; L*a*b* color values; and grain size distribution. Results indicate that alpine glaciers in GNP advanced and retreated numerous times during the Holocene after the onset of Neoglaciation ca 6500 BP.
The two oldest phases of glacier expansion were synchronous with the well-documented Garibaldi (5600–6900 BP) and Tiedemann-Peyto (1900–3700 BP) phases in western Canada. Younger phases correspond with the First Millennium Advance in western Canada, as well as glacier with advances in the Sierra Nevada. The culminating Little Ice Age (LIA) advance was the most recent and extensive of a series of advance/retreat cycles over the past millennium. Retreat from the LIA maximum was the most dramatic episode of ice retreat in at least the last 1000 years.