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Climate during the Last Glacial Maximum in the Northern Sawatch Range, Colorado, USA

1
Geology Discipline, University of Minnesota, Morris, MN 56267, USA
2
U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, CO 80225, USA
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Department of Physics and Astronomy, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
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Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
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Department of Geosciences, University of West Georgia, Carrollton, GA 30118, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Quaternary 2019, 2(4), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/quat2040036
Received: 6 September 2019 / Revised: 21 October 2019 / Accepted: 28 October 2019 / Published: 31 October 2019
Temperature-index modeling is used to determine the magnitude of temperature depression in the northern Sawatch Range required to maintain steady-state mass balances of six reconstructed glaciers at their extent during the local Last Glacial Maximum (LLGM), dated at ~21 ka. Assuming no significant differences in precipitation compared to modern values, mean annual temperatures in the region were on average 8.8 + 0.5/– 0.8 °C cooler than they are today. Allowing for modest (± 10 cm) increases or decreases in precipitation, required temperature depressions only differ by ±0.2 °C. Temperature depression in the northern Sawatch Range is consistent, although slightly greater, with those determined in other ranges in Colorado using similar approaches. The estimates presented here are, however, substantially less than those suggested by several downscaled simulations of global Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) climate, that might be due to the need for improved calibration of such downscalings, or the models from which they are derived. Our estimates of LGM temperature depression are considerably greater than that previously determined in the study area and those in two other ranges in Colorado derived using different methodologies, the latter being most likely responsible for the discrepancies. View Full-Text
Keywords: Last Glacial Maximum; paleoclimate; temperature-index model; Sawatch Range; Colorado Last Glacial Maximum; paleoclimate; temperature-index model; Sawatch Range; Colorado
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Brugger, K.A.; Ruleman, C.A.; Caffee, M.W.; Mason, C.C. Climate during the Last Glacial Maximum in the Northern Sawatch Range, Colorado, USA. Quaternary 2019, 2, 36.

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