Holocene history of the Helheim Glacier, southeast Greenland

A. A. Bjørk*, N. K. Larsen, J. Olsen, A. E. Goldsack, K. K. Kjeldsen, M. Morlighem, C. S. Andresen, P. Rasmussen, G. Oxfeldt, K. H. Kjær

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Helheim Glacier ranks among the fastest flowing and most ice discharging outlets of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS). After undergoing rapid speed-up in the early 2000s, understanding its long-term mass balance and dynamic has become increasingly important. Here, we present the first record of direct Holocene ice-marginal changes of the Helheim Glacier following the initial deglaciation. By analysing cores from lakes adjacent to the present ice margin, we pinpoint periods of advance and retreat. We target threshold lakes, which receive glacial meltwater only when the margin is at an advanced position, similar to the present. We show that, during the period from 10.5 to 9.6 cal ka BP, the extent of Helheim Glacier was similar to that of todays, after which it remained retracted for most of the Holocene until a re-advance caused it to reach its present extent at c. 0.3 cal ka BP, during the Little Ice Age (LIA). Thus, Helheim Glacier's present extent is the largest since the last deglaciation, and its Holocene history shows that it is capable of recovering after several millennia of warming and retreat. Furthermore, the absence of advances beyond the present-day position during for example the 9.3 and 8.2 ka cold events as well as the early-Neoglacial suggest a substantial retreat during most of the Holocene.
Original languageEnglish
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Volume193
Pages (from-to)145-158
ISSN0277-3791
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Cite this

Bjørk, A. A., Larsen, N. K., Olsen, J., Goldsack, A. E., Kjeldsen, K. K., Morlighem, M., ... Kjær, K. H. (2018). Holocene history of the Helheim Glacier, southeast Greenland. Quaternary Science Reviews, 193, 145-158. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2018.06.018
Bjørk, A. A. ; Larsen, N. K. ; Olsen, J. ; Goldsack, A. E. ; Kjeldsen, K. K. ; Morlighem, M. ; Andresen, C. S. ; Rasmussen, P. ; Oxfeldt, G. ; Kjær, K. H. / Holocene history of the Helheim Glacier, southeast Greenland. In: Quaternary Science Reviews. 2018 ; Vol. 193. pp. 145-158.
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title = "Holocene history of the Helheim Glacier, southeast Greenland",
abstract = "Helheim Glacier ranks among the fastest flowing and most ice discharging outlets of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS). After undergoing rapid speed-up in the early 2000s, understanding its long-term mass balance and dynamic has become increasingly important. Here, we present the first record of direct Holocene ice-marginal changes of the Helheim Glacier following the initial deglaciation. By analysing cores from lakes adjacent to the present ice margin, we pinpoint periods of advance and retreat. We target threshold lakes, which receive glacial meltwater only when the margin is at an advanced position, similar to the present. We show that, during the period from 10.5 to 9.6 cal ka BP, the extent of Helheim Glacier was similar to that of todays, after which it remained retracted for most of the Holocene until a re-advance caused it to reach its present extent at c. 0.3 cal ka BP, during the Little Ice Age (LIA). Thus, Helheim Glacier's present extent is the largest since the last deglaciation, and its Holocene history shows that it is capable of recovering after several millennia of warming and retreat. Furthermore, the absence of advances beyond the present-day position during for example the 9.3 and 8.2 ka cold events as well as the early-Neoglacial suggest a substantial retreat during most of the Holocene.",
author = "Bj{\o}rk, {A. A.} and Larsen, {N. K.} and J. Olsen and Goldsack, {A. E.} and Kjeldsen, {K. K.} and M. Morlighem and Andresen, {C. S.} and P. Rasmussen and G. Oxfeldt and Kj{\ae}r, {K. H.}",
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Bjørk, AA, Larsen, NK, Olsen, J, Goldsack, AE, Kjeldsen, KK, Morlighem, M, Andresen, CS, Rasmussen, P, Oxfeldt, G & Kjær, KH 2018, 'Holocene history of the Helheim Glacier, southeast Greenland', Quaternary Science Reviews, vol. 193, pp. 145-158. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2018.06.018

Holocene history of the Helheim Glacier, southeast Greenland. / Bjørk, A. A.; Larsen, N. K.; Olsen, J.; Goldsack, A. E.; Kjeldsen, K. K.; Morlighem, M.; Andresen, C. S.; Rasmussen, P.; Oxfeldt, G.; Kjær, K. H.

In: Quaternary Science Reviews, Vol. 193, 2018, p. 145-158.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Holocene history of the Helheim Glacier, southeast Greenland

AU - Bjørk, A. A.

AU - Larsen, N. K.

AU - Olsen, J.

AU - Goldsack, A. E.

AU - Kjeldsen, K. K.

AU - Morlighem, M.

AU - Andresen, C. S.

AU - Rasmussen, P.

AU - Oxfeldt, G.

AU - Kjær, K. H.

PY - 2018

Y1 - 2018

N2 - Helheim Glacier ranks among the fastest flowing and most ice discharging outlets of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS). After undergoing rapid speed-up in the early 2000s, understanding its long-term mass balance and dynamic has become increasingly important. Here, we present the first record of direct Holocene ice-marginal changes of the Helheim Glacier following the initial deglaciation. By analysing cores from lakes adjacent to the present ice margin, we pinpoint periods of advance and retreat. We target threshold lakes, which receive glacial meltwater only when the margin is at an advanced position, similar to the present. We show that, during the period from 10.5 to 9.6 cal ka BP, the extent of Helheim Glacier was similar to that of todays, after which it remained retracted for most of the Holocene until a re-advance caused it to reach its present extent at c. 0.3 cal ka BP, during the Little Ice Age (LIA). Thus, Helheim Glacier's present extent is the largest since the last deglaciation, and its Holocene history shows that it is capable of recovering after several millennia of warming and retreat. Furthermore, the absence of advances beyond the present-day position during for example the 9.3 and 8.2 ka cold events as well as the early-Neoglacial suggest a substantial retreat during most of the Holocene.

AB - Helheim Glacier ranks among the fastest flowing and most ice discharging outlets of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS). After undergoing rapid speed-up in the early 2000s, understanding its long-term mass balance and dynamic has become increasingly important. Here, we present the first record of direct Holocene ice-marginal changes of the Helheim Glacier following the initial deglaciation. By analysing cores from lakes adjacent to the present ice margin, we pinpoint periods of advance and retreat. We target threshold lakes, which receive glacial meltwater only when the margin is at an advanced position, similar to the present. We show that, during the period from 10.5 to 9.6 cal ka BP, the extent of Helheim Glacier was similar to that of todays, after which it remained retracted for most of the Holocene until a re-advance caused it to reach its present extent at c. 0.3 cal ka BP, during the Little Ice Age (LIA). Thus, Helheim Glacier's present extent is the largest since the last deglaciation, and its Holocene history shows that it is capable of recovering after several millennia of warming and retreat. Furthermore, the absence of advances beyond the present-day position during for example the 9.3 and 8.2 ka cold events as well as the early-Neoglacial suggest a substantial retreat during most of the Holocene.

U2 - 10.1016/j.quascirev.2018.06.018

DO - 10.1016/j.quascirev.2018.06.018

M3 - Journal article

VL - 193

SP - 145

EP - 158

JO - Quaternary Science Reviews

JF - Quaternary Science Reviews

SN - 0277-3791

ER -

Bjørk AA, Larsen NK, Olsen J, Goldsack AE, Kjeldsen KK, Morlighem M et al. Holocene history of the Helheim Glacier, southeast Greenland. Quaternary Science Reviews. 2018;193:145-158. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2018.06.018