Glacier shrinkage and modeled uplift of the Alps
Article first published online: 25 JUL 2006
Copyright 2006 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 33, Issue 14, July 2006
How to Cite
2006), Glacier shrinkage and modeled uplift of the Alps, Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L14307, doi:10.1029/2006GL026490., , , , , and (
- Issue published online: 25 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 25 JUL 2006
- Manuscript Accepted: 13 JUN 2006
- Manuscript Revised: 8 JUN 2006
- Manuscript Received: 3 APR 2006
 Present day glacier reduction in the Alps, estimated from glacier inventories and induced viscoelastic response of a stratified Earth's model, is responsible for sizable uplift rates. Patches of 0.4–0.5 mm/yr, due to ice mass loss of largest ice complexes, overprint a characteristic area of slower uplift of 0.1–0.2 mm/yr, signature of the phenomenon in the whole Alpine chain. Viscous stress relaxation in the lower crust, due to glacier mass loss after the end of the Little Ice Age, is expected to produce uplift rates of 0.32 mm/yr, leading to a total viscoelastic response up to 0.8 mm/yr. Our predictions in the western Alps show that viscoelastic response to present day glacier shrinkage forms a substantial fraction (half) of the observed uplift data. Attempts to constrain the contributions arising from active Alpine tectonics and drainage must account for this uplift signal.