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Hormes, Anne; Müller, Benjamin U; Schlüchter, Christian (2001): Carbon 14 age dating of wood samples from the Alps. PANGAEA,, Supplement to: Hormes, Anne; Müller, Benjamin U; Schluechter, Christian (2001): The Alps with little ice: evidence for eight Holocene phases of reduced glacier extent in the Central Swiss Alps. The Holocene, 11(3), 255-265,

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Glacially deformed pieces of wood, organic lake sediments and clasts of reworked peat have been collected in front of Alpine glaciers since AD 1990. The palaeoglaciological interpretation of these organic materials is related to earlier phases of glacier recession surpassing that of today's shrunken glaciers and to tree growth and peat accumulation in the valleys now occupied by the glaciers. Glacial transport of the material is indicated by wood anatomy, incorporated silt, sand and gravel particles, missing bark and deformed treerings. A total of 65 samples have been radiocarbon dated so far, and clusters of dates provide evidence of eight phases of glacier recession: 9910-9550, 9010-7980, 7250-6500, 6170-5950, 5290-3870, 3640-3360, 2740-2620 and 1530-1170 calibrated years BP. Allowing for the timelag between climatic fluctuations, glacier response and vegetation colonization, these recession phases may lag behind climatic changes by 100-200 years.
Related to:
Hormes, Anne (2001): The 14C perspective of glacier recessions in the Swiss Alps and New Zealand. PhD Thesis, University Bern. Der Andere Verlag, Osnabrück, 176 pp
Hormes, Anne; Schluechter, Christian; Stocker, Thomas F (1998): Minimal extension phases of Unteraarglacier (Swiss Alps) during the Holocene based on 14C analysis of wood. In: Mook, W G & van der Plicht, J (eds.), Radiocarbon, Proceedings of the 16th International 14C Conference, 809-817
Median Latitude: 46.426630 * Median Longitude: 8.132935 * South-bound Latitude: 46.010000 * West-bound Longitude: 7.030000 * North-bound Latitude: 46.570000 * East-bound Longitude: 9.920000
Minimum ELEVATION: 1800 m a.s.l. * Maximum ELEVATION: 2630 m a.s.l.
All conventional radiocarbon measurements reported here were carried out at the University of Bern, Laboratory of Climate and Environmental Physics, using low activity copper proportional counters filled with CH4 (Fairhall, 1961, doi:10.1063/1.1717353). Screening techniques and the method of proportional gas counting are described in previous work (Geyh and Schleicher, 1990; Loosli et al., 1980). Six samples (UZ and ETH) were measured at the ETH/PSI AMS facility in Zürich. Different chemical pretreatment methods have been applied to exclude possible contamination of cell composition during glacial transportation and storage. We compared sub-samples treated with standard chemical analysis (acid-alkali-acid) with extractions of lignin and a-cellulose. Chemical pretreatment protocols are given in (Hormes et al., 1998, hdl:10013/epic.22566).
Calibration: the radiocarbon ages are given in radiocarbon years before present, expressed as 'yr BP'. Calibrated years are given as 'cal yr BP' and were carried out with the OxCal v.3.8 software (Bronk Ramsey, 1995; Bronk Ramsey, 2000) based on the INTCAL calibration data set (Stuiver et al., 1998).
#NameShort NameUnitPrincipal InvestigatorMethod/DeviceComment
3ELEVATIONElevationm a.s.l.Geocode
4Sample code/labelSample labelHormes, Anneglacier name and sample no
5Sample, optional label/labor noLab noHormes, Anne
6Age, dated materialDated materialHormes, Anne
7Age, datedAge datedkaHormes, AnneAge, 14C conventional
8Age, dated standard deviationAge dated std dev±Hormes, Anne1 sigma
9Age, minimum/youngAge minkaHormes, Annegiven in cal kyr BP
10Age, maximum/oldAge maxkaHormes, Annegiven in cal kyr BP
644 data points

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