Glacier regimes, periglacial landforms, and holocene climate change in the Kigluaik Mountains, Seward Peninsula, Alaska, U.S.A.

Parker E. Calkin, Darrell S Kaufman, Bruce J. Przybyl, W. Brett Whitford, Brian J. Peck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Three glaciers of the Kigluaik Mountains are very small and the only ones on the Seward Peninsula and surrounding west-central Alaska, but they are important climatically. They display the typical recession in response to recent warming, as well as moraine evidence of Little Ice Age worldwide cooling peaks of the 17th and 19th centuries. The terminal moraine of Grand Union glacier, dated lichenometrically at about A.D. 1645, indicates that equilibrium line altitudes fell about 170 m from present levels at this time, or one half the amount estimated locally for late Wisconsin glaciation. Periglacial landforms throughout the Kigluaik Mountains display ample evidence of the earlier Neoglacial cooling of the Holocene. Minimum (lichenometric) ages from active tongue-shaped rock glaciers and protalus ramparts, as well as maximum 14C ages for pingo development are compatible with a wide range of published proxy climate data indicative of middle to late Holocene cooling, particularly from about 4000 to 3000 yr ago. Increasing warmth of the late 20th century is showing its direct effects on Grand Union glacier, the only active glacier remaining in this transitional maritime-continental climatic regime of western Alaska. With an estimated net mass balance of -0.8 m water equivalent, it is, along with the other two stagnant glaciers of the Seward Peninsula, projected to disappear by about A.D. 2035.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-165
Number of pages12
JournalArctic and Alpine Research
Volume30
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1998
Externally publishedYes

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periglacial landform
Landforms
Glaciers
landforms
glaciers
Climate change
glacier
mountains
Holocene
climate change
mountain
moraine
cooling
Cooling
pingo
Neoglacial
rock glacier
equilibrium line
Little Ice Age
Ice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

Cite this

Glacier regimes, periglacial landforms, and holocene climate change in the Kigluaik Mountains, Seward Peninsula, Alaska, U.S.A. / Calkin, Parker E.; Kaufman, Darrell S; Przybyl, Bruce J.; Whitford, W. Brett; Peck, Brian J.

In: Arctic and Alpine Research, Vol. 30, No. 2, 05.1998, p. 154-165.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Calkin, Parker E. ; Kaufman, Darrell S ; Przybyl, Bruce J. ; Whitford, W. Brett ; Peck, Brian J. / Glacier regimes, periglacial landforms, and holocene climate change in the Kigluaik Mountains, Seward Peninsula, Alaska, U.S.A. In: Arctic and Alpine Research. 1998 ; Vol. 30, No. 2. pp. 154-165.
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