Late Pleistocene snowline fluctuations at Nevado Coropuna (15 degrees S), southern Peruvian Andes
Bromley, Gordon R. M.
Hall, Brenda L.
Rademaker, Kurt M.
Todd, Claire E.
Racovteanu, Adina E.
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Bromley, Gordon R.M., Hall, Brenda L., Rademaker, Kurt M., Todd, Claire E., & Racovteanu, Adina E. (2011). Late Pleistocene snowline fluctuations at Nevado Coropuna (15°S), southern Peruvian Andes. Journal of Quaternary Science, 26(3), 305-317. doi: 10.1002/jqs.1455
Deposits preserved on peaks in the southern Peruvian Andes are evidence for past glacial fluctuations and, therefore, serve as a record of both the timing and magnitude of past climate change. Moraines corresponding to the last major expansion of ice on Nevado Coropuna date to 20-25 ka, during the last glacial maximum. We reconstructed the snowline at Coropuna for this period using a combined geomorphic-numeric approach to provide a first-order estimate of the magnitude of late-Pleistocene climate change. Our reconstructions show that snowline was approximately 550-770 m lower during the last glacial maximum than during the late Holocene maximum, which ended in the 19(th) century, and similar to 750 m lower than today. While these values are similar to data from nearby Nevado Solimana, reconstructions from the neighbouring peak of Nevado Firura reveal a smaller snowline depression, suggesting the glacial response to climate forcing in the tropics is strongly influenced by non-climatic factors. These data constitute some of the first directly dated palaeo-snowline data from the arid tropics and suggest that the magnitude of the last glaciation in at least parts of the tropical Andes was similar to late-Pleistocene events at higher latitudes. Copyright (c) 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.