Response of a marine-terminating Greenland outlet glacier to abrupt cooling 8200 and 9300 years ago

Nicols E. Young*, Jason P. Briner, Yarrow Axford, Beata Csatho, Greg S. Babonis, Dylan H. Rood, Robert C. Finkel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Long-term records of Greenland outlet-glacier change extending beyond the satellite era can inform future predictions of Greenland Ice Sheet behavior. Of particular relevance is elucidating the Greenland Ice Sheet's response to decadal-and centennial-scale climate change. Here, we reconstruct the early Holocene history of Jakobshavn Isbr, Greenland's largest outlet glacier, using 10Be surface exposure ages and 14C-dated lake sediments. Our chronology of ice-margin change demonstrates that Jakobshavn Isbr advanced to deposit moraines in response to abrupt cooling recorded in central Greenland ice cores ca. 8,200 and 9,300 years ago. While the rapid, dynamically aided retreat of many Greenland outlet glaciers in response to warming is well documented, these results indicate that marine-terminating outlet glaciers are also able to respond quickly to cooling. We suggest that short lag times of high ice flux margins enable a greater magnitude response of marine-terminating outlets to abrupt climate change compared to their land-terminating counterparts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL24701
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 28 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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