Non-linear response of glacier melting to Holocene warming in Svalbard recorded by sedimentary iron (oxyhydr)oxides - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Earth and Planetary Science Letters Year : 2023

Non-linear response of glacier melting to Holocene warming in Svalbard recorded by sedimentary iron (oxyhydr)oxides

Kwangchul Jang
  • Function : Author
Germain Bayon
  • Function : Author
Christoph Vogt
  • Function : Author
Matthias Forwick
  • Function : Author
Youngkyu Ahn
Jung-Hyun Kim
  • Function : Author
Seung-Il Nam
  • Function : Author

Abstract

The recent acceleration of ice-sheet loss with its direct impact on sea-level rise and coastal ecosystems is of major environmental and societal concern. However, the effect of atmospheric temperature increases on long-term glacier retreat remains poorly defined due to limited historical observations and uncertainties in numerical ice-sheet models, which challenges climate change adaptation planning. Here, we present a novel approach for investigating the time-transgressive response of Arctic glaciers since the last deglaciation, using glacially-derived Fe-(oxyhydr)oxide layers preserved in glacimarine sediments from a large fjord system in Svalbard. Glacial weathering releases large amounts of Fe, resulting in the deposition of Fe-(oxyhydr)oxide particulates in nearby marine sediments, which can serve as fossil indicators of past glacial melting events. Our results indicate that Svalbard glaciers retreated at a rate of 18 to 41 m/yr between 16.3 and 10.8 kyr BP, synchronously with the progressive rise in atmospheric and oceanic temperatures. From 10.8 kyr BP, glacier retreat markedly accelerated (up to ∼116 m/yr) when regional atmospheric temperatures exceeded modern values. Coupled with field observations, this finding directly supports a non-linear response of glacial melting to summer air temperature increases. In addition to suggesting that ice-sheet loss and sea-level rise may further accelerate in the near future, this study paves the way for the use of sedimentary Fe-(oxyhydr)oxide layers in subarctic environments for reconstructing past glacial dynamics.
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Dates and versions

hal-04204001 , version 1 (12-02-2024)

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Kwangchul Jang, Germain Bayon, Christoph Vogt, Matthias Forwick, Youngkyu Ahn, et al.. Non-linear response of glacier melting to Holocene warming in Svalbard recorded by sedimentary iron (oxyhydr)oxides. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 2023, 607, 118054 (12p.). ⟨10.1016/j.epsl.2023.118054⟩. ⟨hal-04204001⟩
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