Permafrost conditions in the Mediterranean region since the Last Glaciation

M. Oliva*, M. Žebre, M. Guglielmin, P. D. Hughes, A. Çiner, G. Vieira, X. Bodin, N. Andrés, R. R. Colucci, C. García-Hernández, C. Mora, J. Nofre, D. Palacios, A. Pérez-Alberti, A. Ribolini, J. Ruiz-Fernández, M. A. Sarıkaya, E. Serrano, P. Urdea, M. ValcárcelJ. C. Woodward, C. Yıldırım

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Özet

The relatively warm climate conditions prevailing today in the Mediterranean region limit cold geomorphological processes only to the highest mountain environments. However, climate variability during the Late Pleistocene and Holocene has led to significant spatio-temporal variations of the glacial and periglacial domain in these mountains, including permafrost conditions. Here, we examine the distribution and evolution of permafrost in the Mediterranean region considering five time periods: Last Glaciation, deglaciation, Holocene, Little Ice Age (LIA) and present-day. The distribution of inactive permafrost-derived features as well as sedimentary records indicates that the elevation limit of permafrost during the Last Glaciation was between 1000 m and even 2000 m lower than present. Permafrost was also widespread in non-glaciated slopes above the snowline forming rock glaciers and block streams, as well as meter-sized stone circles in relatively flat summit areas. As in most of the Northern Hemisphere, the onset of deglaciation in the Mediterranean region started around 19-20 ka. The ice-free terrain left by retreating glaciers was subject to paraglacial activity and intense periglacial processes under permafrost conditions. Many rock glaciers, protalus lobes and block streams formed in these recently deglaciated environments, though most of them became gradually inactive as temperatures kept rising, especially those at lower altitudes. Following the Younger Dryas glacial advance, the Early Holocene saw the last massive deglaciation in Mediterranean mountains accompanied by a progressive shift of permafrost conditions to higher elevations. It is unlikely that air temperatures recorded in Mediterranean mountains during the Holocene favoured the existence of widespread permafrost regimes, with the only exception of the highest massifs exceeding 2500-3000 m. LIA colder climate promoted a minor glacial advance and the spatial expansion of permafrost, with the development of new protalus lobes and rock glaciers in the highest massifs. Finally, post-LIA warming has led to glacial retreat/disappearance, enhanced paraglacial activity, shift of periglacial processes to higher elevations, degradation of alpine permafrost along with geoecological changes.

Orijinal dilİngilizce
Sayfa (başlangıç-bitiş)397-436
Sayfa sayısı40
DergiEarth-Science Reviews
Hacim185
DOI'lar
Yayın durumuYayınlandı - Eki 2018

Bibliyografik not

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier B.V.

Finansman

This research was supported by the project CTM2017-87976-P of the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness . Marc Oliva is supported by the Ramón y Cajal Program of the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness ( RYC-2015-17597 ) and the Research Group ANTALP (Antarctic, Arctic, Alpine Environments; 2017-SGR-1102 ) funded by the Government of Catalonia through the AGAUR agency. Attila Çiner and M. Akif Sarıkaya are grateful to TÜBİTAK (Project no: 101Y002 , 107Y069 , 110Y300 , 112Y139 , 114Y548T and 116Y155 ) for continuous support to the glacial/periglacial research in Turkey. The authors are grateful to Prof. Dr. Wilfried Haeberli for his valuable comments and suggestions that improved the manuscript. This research was supported by the project CTM2017-87976-P of the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness. Marc Oliva is supported by the Ramón y Cajal Program of the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (RYC-2015-17597) and the Research Group ANTALP (Antarctic, Arctic, Alpine Environments; 2017-SGR-1102) funded by the Government of Catalonia through the AGAUR agency. Attila Çiner and M. Akif Sarıkaya are grateful to TÜBİTAK (Project no: 101Y002, 107Y069, 110Y300, 112Y139, 114Y548T and 116Y155) for continuous support to the glacial/periglacial research in Turkey. The authors are grateful to Prof. Dr. Wilfried Haeberli for his valuable comments and suggestions that improved the manuscript.

FinansörlerFinansör numarası
Generalitat de Catalunya
Agència de Gestió d'Ajuts Universitaris i de Recerca
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
Ministerio de Economía y CompetitividadRYC-2015-17597, 2017-SGR-1102
Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad, Gobierno de EspañaCTM2017-87976-P

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