Deglaciation in the Greater Caucasus
The glaciers of the Greater Caucasus are a vital economic and water resource for the indigenous populations. These glaciers are currently in decline but it is still difficult to quantify the impact of human activities on this trend.
One of the major problems with this quantification is that we know little about the effects of natural forcing on glacier evolution.
The main objective of this project is to focus on one of the major environmental components of this region: the glaciers.
The specific aim of this project is to document the evolution of glaciers in the Greater Caucasus over at least the last 21,000 years and to analyse the effects of natural forcing on their evolution.
This project is based on different methods (glacial geomorphology, palaeoclimatic reconstructions from proxy data and glacier modelling) which justify the proposed consortium.
To achieve these objectives, our project is organised into different tasks.
. Quantifying the current evolution of glacier mass balance using remote sensing and a statistical approach that takes into account temporal and spatial components.
. We will then document the evolution of the glaciers for at least 21,000 years by dating glacier features by cosmogenic dating (10Be).
. We will then reconstruct the high altitude climatic conditions from a multi-proxy analysis and glaciological modelling.
. An analysis of natural forcings will then be carried out by testing the role of insolation, volcanic activity, solar and ocean currents on the evolution of the Greater Caucasus glaciers. The GCM numerical simulations already available (PMIP3) will be used to understand the effects of the respective influence of these forcings on the Caucasian climate (mainly precipitation temperature) over time.
2020-2024: IRP CNRS Deglaciation in the Greater Caucasus
CEREGE lead :
To document the evolution of glaciers over the last 21,000 years in the Greater Caucasus and identify the main forcings
Foreign collaborators: Georgia and Russia