Late Pleistocene snowline fluctuations at Nevado Coropuna (15°S), southern Peruvian Andes
Article first published online: 9 FEB 2011
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Journal of Quaternary Science
Volume 26, Issue 3, pages 305–317, March 2011
How to Cite
Bromley, G. R.M., Hall, B. L., Rademaker, K. M., Todd, C. E. and Racovteanu, A. E. (2011), Late Pleistocene snowline fluctuations at Nevado Coropuna (15°S), southern Peruvian Andes. J. Quaternary Sci., 26: 305–317. doi: 10.1002/jqs.1455
- Issue published online: 13 APR 2011
- Article first published online: 9 FEB 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 27 SEP 2010
- Manuscript Revised: 7 SEP 2010
- Manuscript Received: 12 MAY 2010
- last glacial maximum
Deposits preserved on peaks in the southern Peruvian Andes are evidence for past glacial fluctuations and, therefore, serve as a record of both the timing and magnitude of past climate change. Moraines corresponding to the last major expansion of ice on Nevado Coropuna date to 20-25 ka, during the last glacial maximum. We reconstructed the snowline at Coropuna for this period using a combined geomorphic-numeric approach to provide a first-order estimate of the magnitude of late-Pleistocene climate change. Our reconstructions show that snowline was approximately 550-770 m lower during the last glacial maximum than during the late Holocene maximum, which ended in the 19th century, and ∼750 m lower than today. While these values are similar to data from nearby Nevado Solimana, reconstructions from the neighbouring peak of Nevado Firura reveal a smaller snowline depression, suggesting the glacial response to climate forcing in the tropics is strongly influenced by non-climatic factors. These data constitute some of the first directly dated palaeo-snowline data from the arid tropics and suggest that the magnitude of the last glaciation in at least parts of the tropical Andes was similar to late-Pleistocene events at higher latitudes. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.