Articles | Volume 9, issue 4
Research article
03 Aug 2021
Research article |  | 03 Aug 2021

Last-glacial-cycle glacier erosion potential in the Alps

Julien Seguinot and Ian Delaney

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Cited articles

Albrecht, T., Winkelmann, R., and Levermann, A.: Glacial-cycle simulations of the Antarctic Ice Sheet with the Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM) – Part 1: Boundary conditions and climatic forcing, The Cryosphere, 14, 599–632,, 2020a. a
Albrecht, T., Winkelmann, R., and Levermann, A.: Glacial-cycle simulations of the Antarctic Ice Sheet with the Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM) – Part 2: Parameter ensemble analysis, The Cryosphere, 14, 633–656,, 2020b. a
Alley, R. B., Cuffey, K. M., Evenson, E. B., Strasser, J. C., Lawson, D. E., and Larson, G. J.: How glaciers entrain and transport basal sediment: physical constraints, Quaternary Sci. Rev., 16, 1017–1038,, 1997. a
Alley, R. B., Cuffey, K. M., and Zoet, L. K.: Glacial erosion: status and outlook, Ann. Glaciol., 60, 1–13,, 2019. a
Anderson, L. S. and Anderson, R. S.: Modeling debris-covered glaciers: response to steady debris deposition, The Cryosphere, 10, 1105–1124,, 2016. a
Short summary
Ancient Alpine glaciers have carved a fascinating landscape of piedmont lakes, glacial valleys, and mountain cirques. Using a previous supercomputer simulation of glacier flow, we show that glacier erosion has constantly evolved and moved to different parts of the Alps. Interestingly, larger glaciers do not always cause more rapid erosion. Instead, glacier erosion is modelled to slow down during glacier advance and peak during phases of retreat, such as the one the Earth is currently undergoing.