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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-334
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-334
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  20 Nov 2020

20 Nov 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

Significant mass loss in the accumulation area of the Adamello glacier indicated by the chronology of a 46 m ice core

Daniela Festi1,2, Margit Schwikowski3,4,5, Valter Maggi6,7, Klaus Oeggl2, and Theo Manuel Jenk3,4 Daniela Festi et al.
  • 1Faculty of Sciences, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, 37100 Bozen, Italy
  • 2Department of Botany, University of Innsbruck, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria
  • 3Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry, Paul Scherrer Institute, CH-5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland
  • 4Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland
  • 5Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Bern, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland
  • 6Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università Milano Bicocca, 20126 Milano, Italy
  • 7National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Milano-Bicocca section, 20126 Milano, Italy

Abstract. Dating glaciers is an arduous yet essential task in ice core studies, which becomes even more challenging when dating glaciers suffering from mass loss in the accumulation zone as result of climate warming. In this context, we dated a 46 m deep ice core from the Central Italian Alps retrieved in 2016 from the Adamello glacier in the locality Pian di Neve (3100 m a.s.l.). Here we present a timescale for the core obtained by integrating results from the analyses of the radionuclides 210Pb and 137Cs with annual layer counting derived from pollen and refractory black carbon concentrations. Our results clearly indicate that the surface of the glacier is older than the drilling date of 2016 by about 20 years and that the 46 m ice core reaches back to around 1944. Despite the severe mass loss affecting this glacier even in the accumulation zone, we show that it is possible to obtain a reliable timescale for such a temperate glacier. Our results are therefore very encouraging and open new perspectives on the potential of such glaciers as informative palaeoarchives.

Daniela Festi et al.

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Daniela Festi et al.

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