Online ISSN : 1880-5973
Print ISSN : 0016-7002
ISSN-L : 0016-7002
Invited Review
Holocene glaciations of Hielo Patagónico (Patagonia Icefield), South America: A brief review
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2013 Volume 47 Issue 2 Pages 97-105


The Hielo Patagónico (Patagonia Icefield), South America, is the largest temperate ice body in the Southern Hemisphere with more than 70 major outlet glaciers and a total area of ca. 17,200 km2. For the Hielo Patagónico, two major schemes for the Holocene glaciations (Neoglaciations) have been proposed. Mercer first proposed three Neoglaciations, I at 4500-4000 years before the present (yr BP), II at 2700-2000 yr BP and III at the 17-19th centuries. Aniya later postulated a scheme of four Neoglaciations, I at ca. 3600 yr BP, II at 2400-2200 yr BP, III at 1600-900 yr BP, and IV at the 17-19th centuries, which is congruent with other regions of the Andes. The main differences are the age of Neoglaciation I and the existence of a Neoglaciation at 1600-900 yr BP. After examining the dates given by other studies, although scanty, I propose a new scheme of five Neoglaciations, I at 4500-4000 yr BP, II at 3600-3300 yr BP, III at 2700-2000 yr BP, IV at 1600-900 yr BP and V at 17-19th centuries, that is, the Little Ice Ace (LIA). In addition, there were two earlier Holocene glaciations, probably at 5700-5000 yr BP and 8100-6800 (or 7500) yr BP. Two older ages, 8800-8500 yr BP and 9700-9100 yr BP, are uncertain.

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© 2013 by The Geochemical Society of Japan
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