Funding period: 2015-2020
PI Irene Schimmelpfennig (CEREGE)
Participants at CEREGE : Georges Aumaïtre, Edouard Bard, Lucilla Benedetti, Régis Braucher, Didier Bourlès, Magali Ermini, Yoann Fagault, Vincent Godard, Valéry Guillou, Karim Keddadouche, Laëtitia Léanni, Marie Protin, Thibaut Tuna
Collaborators : Vincent Jomelli (Laboratoire de Géographie Physique, Meudon), Joerg Schaefer (Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, USA), Melaine Le Roy (EDYTEM, Chambéry), Philip Deline (EDYTEM, Chambéry), Christian Schlüchter (University of Bern)
Summary: Among the most worrisome evidence of the current climate change is the rapid retreat of glaciers, a resource for water and contributor to sea level rise. The goal of this project is to provide data on paleo-glacier dynamics and thus to offer a basis to refine glacier models, which aim at predicting future ice retreat. To this end, we develop the new cosmogenic dating tool “in situ 14C” in France, because it allows us to reconstruct the glacier response to warm periods during the Holocene (past ~12 kyr), which represent a similar analogue to future climate-glacier scenarios. The approach is based on the nuclide pair in situ 14C/10Be used to exposure-date recently deglaciated proglacial bedrock and providing information of how long it was ice-free during the Holocene. We apply this novel approach, combined with 10Be moraine dating, in the European Alps, where glaciers are currently rapidly receding, and produce precise glacier chronologies, allowing the evaluation of the ongoing glacier retreat.