, Volume 42, Issue 2-3, pp 87-257

New Findings concerning the Ice Age (Last Glacial Maximum) Glacier Cover of the East-Pamir, of the Nanga Parbat up to the Central Himalaya and of Tibet, as well as the Age of the Tibetan Inland Ice

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Abstract

The results presented on the glacio-geomorphological reconstruction of a maximum Ice Age (LGM = Last Glacial Maximum) glaciation in High-Asia concern five test-areas in and around Tibet (Figure 1, Nos. 14, 6, 17, 2, 9, 18, 16). For the E-Pamir plateau and its mountains a covering ice cap is proved; a snow-line (ELA)-depression of 820–1250 m in relation to the present relief has been calculated. The Ice Age snow-line ran at 3750–3950 m asl. In the Nanga Parbat-massif a glacial (LGM) ice-stream network with a snow-line altitude (ELA) at c. 3400– 3600 m has been reconstructed. This corresponds to an ELA-depression of at least 1200 m. The lowest ice margin site of the connected 1800–1900 m-thick Indus glacier flowed down to c. 800 m asl. From N-Tibet the author introduces further observations of ground moraines and erratics from a high plateau area he had already investigated in 1981. They provide evidence of a complete inland ice sheet in Tibet. From the S edge of Tibet six large outlet glacier systems i.e. lowest High Glacial ice margin sites of the Himalaya ice-stream network are reconstructed. This is a continuation of the investigations in 1977, 1978, 1982, 1984, 1988 and 1989 between Kangchendzönga in the E and Nanda Devi in the W. In this place probably the lowest glacial glacier end of the Himalaya-S-slope was found at c. 460 m asl at the Dumre settlement, S of the Manaslu. C14-datings from the Tsangpo valley on the S edge of Central Tibet classify the reconstructed Tibetan ice as being from the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) between older than 48580 ± 4660–2930 and 9820 ± 350 YBP. From this empirical findings and inductive results on the Ice Age Tibetan glaciation are derived deductive conclusions on the interaction of the relief and the snow-line altitude with concern to the ice cover. Modelling by means of those snow-line depressions and estimations of the precipitation provide ideas about surface heights, ice thicknesses and flow behaviour of the ice sheet. The hypothesis of a global triggering of the ice age by the uplift of the subtropical Tibet up to above the snow-line motivates the investigations presented here.