Quaternary glacial history of the Central Karakoram Academic Article uri icon


  • The Quaternary glacial history of the world's highest mountains, the Central Karakoram, is examined for the first time using geomorphic mapping of landforms and sediments, and 10Be terrestrial cosmogenic nuclide surface exposure dating of boulders on the moraines and glacially eroded surfaces. Four glacial stages are defined: the Bunthang glacial stage (>0.7 Ma); the Skardu glacial stage (marine Oxygen Isotope Stage [MIS] 6 or older); the Mungo glacial stage (MIS 2); and the Askole glacial stage (Holocene). Glaciers advanced several times during each glacial stage. These advances are not well defined for the oldest glacial stages, but during the Mungo and Askole glacial stages glacial advances likely occurred at 16, 11-13, 5 and 0.8 ka. The extent of glaciation in this region became increasingly more restricted over time. In the Braldu and Shigar valleys, glaciers advanced >150 km during the Bunthang and Skardu glacial stages, while glaciers advanced >80 km beyond their present positions during the Mungo glacial stage. In contrast, glaciers advanced a few kilometers from present ice margins during the Askole glacial stage. Glacier in this region likely respond in a complex fashion to the same forcing that causes changes in Northern Hemisphere oceans and ice sheets, teleconnected via the mid-latitude westerlies, and also to changes in monsoonal intensity. 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

published proceedings

  • Quaternary Science Reviews

author list (cited authors)

  • Seong, Y. B., Owen, L. A., Bishop, M. P., Bush, A., Clendon, P., Copland, L., ... Shroder, J. F.

citation count

  • 115

complete list of authors

  • Seong, Yeong Bae||Owen, Lewis A||Bishop, Michael P||Bush, Andrew||Clendon, Penny||Copland, Luke||Finkel, Robert||Kamp, Ulrich||Shroder, John F

publication date

  • January 2007