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Surface-exposure ages of Front Range moraines that may have formed during the Younger Dryas, 8.2 cal ka, and Little Ice Age events

Quaternary Science Reviews

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, , , and
DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2007.02.015

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Abstract

Surface-exposure (10Be) ages have been obtained on boulders from three post-Pinedale end-moraine complexes in the Front Range, Colorado. Boulder rounding appears related to the cirque-to-moraine transport distance at each site with subrounded boulders being typical of the 2-km-long Chicago Lakes Glacier, subangular boulders being typical of the 1-km-long Butler Gulch Glacier, and angular boulders being typical of the few-hundred-m-long Isabelle Glacier. Surface-exposure ages of angular boulders from the Isabelle Glacier moraine, which formed during the Little Ice Age (LIA) according to previous lichenometric dating, indicate cosmogenic inheritance values ranging from 0 to ???3.0 10Be ka.11Surface-exposure ages in this paper are labeled 10Be; radiocarbon ages are labeled 14C ka, calendar and calibrated radiocarbon ages are labeled cal ka, and layer-based ice-core ages are labeled ka. 14C ages, calibrated 14C ages, and ice core ages are given relative to AD 1950, whereas 10Be ages are given relative to the sampling date. Radiocarbon ages were calibrated using CALIB 5.01 and the INTCAL04 data base Stuiver et al. (2005). Ages estimated using CALIB 5.01 are shown in terms of their 1-sigma range. Subangular boulders from the Butler Gulch end moraine yielded surface-exposure ages ranging from 5 to 10.2 10Be ka. We suggest that this moraine was deposited during the 8.2 cal ka event, which has been associated with outburst floods from Lake Agassiz and Lake Ojibway, and that the large age range associated with the Butler Gulch end moraine is caused by cosmogenic shielding of and(or) spalling from boulders that have ages in the younger part of the range and by cosmogenic inheritance in boulders that have ages in the older part of the range. The surface-exposure ages of eight of nine subrounded boulders from the Chicago Lakes area fall within the 13.0-11.7 10Be ka age range, and appear to have been deposited during the Younger Dryas interval. The general lack of inheritance in the eight samples probably stems from the fact that only a few thousand years intervened between the retreat of the Pinedale glacier and the advance of the Chicago Lakes glacier; in addition, bedrock in the Chicago Lakes cirque area may have remained covered with snow and ice during that interval, thus partially shielding the bedrock from cosmogenic radiation.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Surface-exposure ages of Front Range moraines that may have formed during the Younger Dryas, 8.2 cal ka, and Little Ice Age events
Series title:
Quaternary Science Reviews
DOI:
10.1016/j.quascirev.2007.02.015
Volume
26
Issue:
11-12
Year Published:
2007
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Quaternary Science Reviews
First page:
1638
Last page:
1649
Number of Pages:
12