2022 CSDMS meeting-054

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Regional Erosion Rates Show Strong Climate-Driven Variability in the Arctic Since the LGM

Risa Madoff, (she/her/hers),University of North Dakota Grand Forks North Dakota, United States. risa.madoff@und.edu
Jaakko Putkonen, University of North Dakota Grand Forks North Dakota, United States. jaakko.putkonen@und.edu

The last 22 ka, since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), is known for significant millennial scale changes in global climate (Barker and Knorr, 2021). Sedimentary deposits in lacustrine and marine basins bear archives of corresponding changes in sediment accumulation. Yet given the scale that the global climate exerts on geomorphological processes on Earth’s surface, generalizations of the relationship between the climate and the erosion remain inconclusive. Whether the possible generalizations could even be applied to all regions has also remained unclear.

Erosion rates are a first-order response to climate of a region. The variability of erosion rates through time are needed for dating of buried surfaces, quantifying soil carbon budgets, and assessing landscape stability. Until now, a truly global analysis of comparing interregional erosion rates has not been available. Recent work in Madoff and Putkonen (2022) addresses this by generating global maps of regional erosion rates since the LGM. These results are supported by corresponding published sediment accumulation rates in sink areas corresponding to given watershed. Results show the spatial extent of higher erosion rates and larger ranges of variability through time in the Arctic and subarctic in contrast to the tropics and mid-latitudes. These results also indicate that the regional variability decreases the further from the past ice sheets a given location is. Finally, a clear take home message from these results is that the regional erosion rates vary both through time and space for the past 22 ka.

  • Barker, S., Knorr, G., 2021. Millennial scale feedbacks determine the shape and rapidity of glacial termination. Nature Communications. 12.
  • Madoff, R.D., Putkonen, J., 2022. Global variations in regional degradation rates since the Last Glacial Maximum mapped through time and space. Quaternary Research. 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1017/qua.2022.4
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