Tree-Ring Dating of the Nineteenth-Century Advance of Brady Glacier and the Evolution of Two Ice-Marginal Lakes, Alaska

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We utilized dendrochronology and precise elevation-constrained mapping to date glacially overridden and drowned trees at the margin of Brady Glacier in southeast Alaska. This technique allowed determination of the timing of the former tidewater glacier's last advance and consequent formation and filling of two marginal lakes. The subfossil tree-ring chronology spans the interval from AD 1370 to 1861. Brady Glacier impounded Spur Lake to an elevation of 83 m a.s.l. around 1830 and 121 m a.s.l. around 1839. Soon after, Spur Lake reached 125 m a.s.l. and began to overflow a stable bedrock sill. The glacier continued to advance, thickening by at least 77 m between c. 1844 and 1859 at a site down-glacier of Spur Lake on the opposite glacier margin. Farther down-glacier, North Trick Lake began to form by 1861 and reached its highest elevation at approximately 130 m a.s.l. when Brady Glacier reached its maximum extent around 1880. Our findings add precision to the chronology of the last advance of Brady Glacier and provide insight into the evolution of glacier-dammed lakes and calving glaciers. © The Author(s) 2011.


Alaska, Brady Glacier, dendrochronology, glacier fluctuation, glacier-dammed lake, tidewater glacier

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