Palaeohydrology of Kangerlussuaq (Soendre Stroemfjord), West Greenland during the last similar to 8000 years

TitlePalaeohydrology of Kangerlussuaq (Soendre Stroemfjord), West Greenland during the last similar to 8000 years
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsAebly, FA, Fritz, SC

Major fluctuations of hydroclimate in West Greenland are recorded in palaeoshoreline terraces that encircle several lakes near Kangerlussuaq, Greenland (67 degree 01'N, 50 degree 40'W). Geomorphic and stratigraphic analyses were used to construct a lake-level curve for Hunde S0, a large closed-basin lake in this region. Changes in lake volume associated with lake-level fluctuations were calculated, and a water-balance model was used to determine the primary factors influencing lake volume and the changes in those factors necessary to affect reconstructed lake-level change. Sensitivity tests suggest that mean annual precipitation and the relative proportion of summer versus winter precipitation are the primary climate drivers of lake-level change. Temperature effects are less important unless coupled with changes in one of the other variables. Two pluvial periods occurred centred around 4600 and 2000 cal. yr BP, with mean annual precipitation estimated at 130 mm and 70 mm higher than modern, respectively. In contrast, a low-stand prior to 6070 cal. yr BP with water levels as much as 18 m below modern was a result of summer temperatures similar to 2-3 degree above modern, coupled with a 14 day increase in the length of the ice-off period and a reduction in mean annual precipitation of similar to 80 mm relative to modern.