Disentangling source of moisture driving glacier dynamics and identification of 8.2 ka event: evidence from pore water isotopes, Western Himalaya
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionScientific Reports. 2020, 10, 15324 10.1038/s41598-020-71686-4
Two atmospheric circulation patterns, the Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM) and mid-latitude Westerlies control precipitation and thus glacier variability in the Himalaya. However, the role of the ISM and westerlies in controlling climate and thus past glacier variability in the Himalaya is poorly understood because of the paucity of the ice core records. In this article, we present a new Holocene paleorecord disentangling the presence of the ISM and mid-latitude westerlies and their effect on glacier fluctuations during the Holocene. Our new record is based on high-resolution multi-proxy analyses (δ18Oporewater, deuterium-excess, grain size analysis, permeability, and environmental magnetism) of lake sediments retrieved from Chandratal Lake, Western Himalaya. Our study provides new evidence that improves the current understanding of the forcing factor behind glacier advances and retreat in the Western Himalaya and identifies the 8.2 ka cold event using the aforementioned proxies. The results indicate that the ISM dominated precipitation ~ 21% of the time, whereas the mid-latitude westerlies dominated precipitation ~ 79% of the time during the last 11 ka cal BP. This is the first study that portrays the moisture sources by using the above proxies from the Himalayan region as an alternative of ice core records.