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Topographic and microclimatic impacts on glaciation of the Denison Range, southwest Tasmania


Kiernan, K and McMinn, MS and Fink, D, Topographic and microclimatic impacts on glaciation of the Denison Range, southwest Tasmania, Quaternary Science Reviews, 97 pp. 136-147. ISSN 0277-3791 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 Crown Copyright

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2014.05.008


Morphostratigraphic relationships between landforms and sediments, comparative boulder weathering status, and paired 10Be and 26Al exposure ages indicate the occurrence of at least three separate glaciations that are interpreted as dating from MIS 2, 6 and possibly 8. The Rhona Glacier remained at or close to its greatest LGM extent until ~17.6 ka due to a very favourable micro-climate that resulted from local topography. That these factors were sufficient to over-power relatively subtle zonal temperature shifts that caused significant changes in more exposed Tasmanian glaciers implies a need for caution in correlating between glacier systems in markedly different topographic settings when environmental conditions are only marginally supportive of glaciation. No evidence was detected for any greater ice extent during MIS 3 or MIS 4 than during MIS 2, but much more extensive glaciations occurred during earlier glacial climatic cycles. Reduced local precipitation in parallel with increasing aridity of the Australian continent may account for the progressively diminishing maximum extent of glaciers during the latter part of the Pleistocene, and it would have emphasized the importance of local topography and microclimate for the glaciers of southwest Tasmania.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:glaciation, cirques, moraines, cosmogenic exposure dating, topographic influences, last glacial maximum
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Physical geography and environmental geoscience
Research Field:Quaternary environments
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences
UTAS Author:Kiernan, K (Dr Kevin Kiernan)
UTAS Author:McMinn, MS (Mr Matthew McMinn)
ID Code:93249
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Geography and Environmental Studies
Deposited On:2014-07-22
Last Modified:2015-04-23

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