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Timing of Pleistocene glaciations in the High Atlas, Morocco: New 10Be and 36Cl exposure ages

Journal Article


Abstract


  • This paper presents data from 42 new samples yielding Late Pleistocene cosmogenic 10Be and 36Cl exposure ages of moraine boulders across a series of glaciated valleys in the Toubkal Massif (4167 m a.s.l.), High Atlas, Morocco. This represents the first comprehensive Pleistocene glacial chronology in North Africa and one of the largest datasets from the Mediterranean region. The timing of these glacier advances has major implications for understanding the influence of Atlantic depressions on moisture supply to North Africa and the Mediterranean basin during the Pleistocene. The oldest and lowest moraines which span elevations from ∼1900 to 2400 m a.s.l. indicate that the maximum glacier advance occurred from MIS 5 to 3 with a combined mean 10Be and 36Cl age of 50.2 ± 19.5 ka (1 SD; n = 12, 7 outliers). The next moraine units up-valley at higher elevations (∼2200–2600 m a.s.l.) yielded exposure ages close to the global Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) with a combined mean 10Be and 36Cl age of 22.0 ± 4.9 ka (1 SD; n = 9, 7 outliers). The youngest exposure ages are from moraines that were emplaced during the Younger Dryas with a combined mean 10Be and 36Cl age of 12.3 ± 0.9 ka (1 SD; n = 7, no outliers) and are found in cirques at the highest elevations ranging from ∼2900 to 3300 m a.s.l. From moraines predating the Younger Dryas, a large number of young outliers are spread evenly between 6 and 13 ka suggesting a continuing process of exhumation or repositioning of boulders during the early to mid-Holocene. This attests to active seismic processes and possibly intense erosion during this period.

UOW Authors


  •   Fink, David (external author)
  •   Fujioka, Toshi (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2018

Citation


  • Hughes, P. D., Fink, D., Rodés, Á., Fenton, C. R., & Fujioka, T. (2018). Timing of Pleistocene glaciations in the High Atlas, Morocco: New 10Be and 36Cl exposure ages. Quaternary Science Reviews, 180, 193-213. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2017.11.015

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85036470684

Start Page


  • 193

End Page


  • 213

Volume


  • 180

Abstract


  • This paper presents data from 42 new samples yielding Late Pleistocene cosmogenic 10Be and 36Cl exposure ages of moraine boulders across a series of glaciated valleys in the Toubkal Massif (4167 m a.s.l.), High Atlas, Morocco. This represents the first comprehensive Pleistocene glacial chronology in North Africa and one of the largest datasets from the Mediterranean region. The timing of these glacier advances has major implications for understanding the influence of Atlantic depressions on moisture supply to North Africa and the Mediterranean basin during the Pleistocene. The oldest and lowest moraines which span elevations from ∼1900 to 2400 m a.s.l. indicate that the maximum glacier advance occurred from MIS 5 to 3 with a combined mean 10Be and 36Cl age of 50.2 ± 19.5 ka (1 SD; n = 12, 7 outliers). The next moraine units up-valley at higher elevations (∼2200–2600 m a.s.l.) yielded exposure ages close to the global Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) with a combined mean 10Be and 36Cl age of 22.0 ± 4.9 ka (1 SD; n = 9, 7 outliers). The youngest exposure ages are from moraines that were emplaced during the Younger Dryas with a combined mean 10Be and 36Cl age of 12.3 ± 0.9 ka (1 SD; n = 7, no outliers) and are found in cirques at the highest elevations ranging from ∼2900 to 3300 m a.s.l. From moraines predating the Younger Dryas, a large number of young outliers are spread evenly between 6 and 13 ka suggesting a continuing process of exhumation or repositioning of boulders during the early to mid-Holocene. This attests to active seismic processes and possibly intense erosion during this period.

UOW Authors


  •   Fink, David (external author)
  •   Fujioka, Toshi (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2018

Citation


  • Hughes, P. D., Fink, D., Rodés, Á., Fenton, C. R., & Fujioka, T. (2018). Timing of Pleistocene glaciations in the High Atlas, Morocco: New 10Be and 36Cl exposure ages. Quaternary Science Reviews, 180, 193-213. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2017.11.015

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85036470684

Start Page


  • 193

End Page


  • 213

Volume


  • 180