Using detrital thermochronology on moraine deposits to infer glacial erosion patterns and rock thermal history : insights from the Arve and Maurienne valleys (Western European Alps) - INSU - Institut national des sciences de l'Univers Access content directly
Conference Poster Year : 2023

Using detrital thermochronology on moraine deposits to infer glacial erosion patterns and rock thermal history : insights from the Arve and Maurienne valleys (Western European Alps)

Benjamin Guillaume
Kerry Gallagher

Abstract

This study tests the application of combined detrital apatite fission track (AFT) and U-Pb dating to infer both glacial erosion spatial patterns and long-term rock cooling histories in Alpine mountainous settings. We have dated 716 detrital apatite grains from glacial sediments collected in the Maurienne and Arve valleys (Western European Alps, France) from moraine deposits corresponding to different stages of glacial retreat since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, ca. 24-21 ka). The Maurienne valley crosses the internal and external Alps, which exhibit contrasting in-situ AFT and U-Pb ages. Here, we present the measured distribution of both detrital AFT and U-Pb ages at 6 locations along the valley, with catchment elevations ranging from 390 to 1740 m. We show that during glacial retreat, erosion is mainly concentrated in the downstream part of the glacier, near the sampled moraine deposits. This inference suggests that during glacial retreat, glacial erosion is more effective below the ELA (Equilibrium Line Altitude) and specifically close to the glacier front, in areas where ice flow velocity is high and subglacial water is abundant, as predicted by ice-dynamics reconstructions in the European Alps over the last 20 ka. In the Arve valley, previous studies showed that in situ AFT ages are systematically younger than 7 Ma for the Mont-Blanc massif. We compare the thermal history obtained from these literature bedrock-derived data to that derived from the new detrital AFT data collected in the Little Ice Age (LIA) moraine, just at the front of the Bossons glacier (~1300 m elevation). We also compare our results with 5 other samples down the valley at catchment elevations between 460 and 1050 m to evaluate potential changes in the detrital AFT signal as well as the consistency in the retrieved long-term cooling history. Based on these first results, we plan to extend our study to other areas (e.g., Patagonia) to investigate both (1) spatial patterns of glacial erosion for older glacial periods (pre-LGM), and (2) long-term rock cooling histories from moraine deposits where modern bedrock is inaccessible (e.g. under modern glaciers or ice fields).
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insu-04079779 , version 1 (24-04-2023)

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Benjamin Guillaume, Nathan Cogné, Kerry Gallagher, Pierre Valla, Christian Crouzet. Using detrital thermochronology on moraine deposits to infer glacial erosion patterns and rock thermal history : insights from the Arve and Maurienne valleys (Western European Alps). EGU General Assembly 2023, Apr 2023, Vienna, Austria. pp.EGU23-11638, 2023, ⟨10.5194/egusphere-egu23-11638⟩. ⟨insu-04079779⟩
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