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Impact of the Last Glacial Cycle on Late-holocene Temperature and Energy Reconstructions from Terrestrial Borehole Temperatures in North America : Volume 10, Issue 3 (21/05/2014)

By Beltrami, H.

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Book Id: WPLBN0004006689
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 42
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Impact of the Last Glacial Cycle on Late-holocene Temperature and Energy Reconstructions from Terrestrial Borehole Temperatures in North America : Volume 10, Issue 3 (21/05/2014)  
Author: Beltrami, H.
Volume: Vol. 10, Issue 3
Language: English
Subject: Science, Climate, Past
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection (Contemporary), Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Matharoo, G. S., Rath, V., Tarasov, L., Beltrami, H., & Smerdon, J. E. (2014). Impact of the Last Glacial Cycle on Late-holocene Temperature and Energy Reconstructions from Terrestrial Borehole Temperatures in North America : Volume 10, Issue 3 (21/05/2014). Retrieved from

Description: Climate & Atmospheric Sciences Institute and Department of Earth Sciences, St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada. Reconstructions of past climatic changes from borehole temperature profiles are important independent estimates of temperature histories over the last millennium. There remain, however, multiple uncertainties in the interpretation of these data as climatic indicators and as estimates of the changes in heat content of the continental subsurface due to long-term climatic change. One of these uncertainties is associated with the often ignored impact of the last glacial cycle on the subsurface energy content, and on the estimate of the background quasi steady-state signal associated with the diffusion of accretionary energy from the Earth's interior. Here we provide the first estimate of the impact of the development of the Laurentide ice sheet on the estimates of energy and temperature reconstructions from measurements of terrestrial borehole temperatures in North America. We use basal temperature values from the data-calibrated Memorial University of Newfoundland Glacial Systems Model to quantify the extent of the perturbation to estimated steady-state temperature profiles and to derive spatial maps of the expected impacts on measured profiles over North America. Furthermore, we present quantitative estimates of the potential effects of temperature changes during the last glacial cycle on the borehole reconstructions over the last millennium for North America. The range of these possible impacts are estimated using synthetic basal temperatures for a period covering 120 ka to the present day that include the basal temperature history uncertainties from an ensemble of results from the calibrated numerical model. For all the locations, we find that within the depth ranges that are typical for available boreholes (≈600 m), the induced perturbations to the steady-state temperature profile are on the order of 10 mW m−2, decreasing with greater depths. Results indicate that site-specific heat content estimates over North America can differ by as much as 50%, if the energy contribution of the last glacial cycle in those areas of North America that experienced glaciation is not taken into account when estimating recent subsurface energy change from borehole temperature data.

Impact of the Last Glacial Cycle on Late-Holocene temperature and energy reconstructions from terrestrial borehole temperatures in North America

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