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Catastrophic drainage from the northwestern outlet of glacial Lake Agassiz during the Younger Dryas

Catastrophic drainage from the northwestern outlet of glacial Lake Agassiz during the Younger Dryas
Catastrophic drainage from the northwestern outlet of glacial Lake Agassiz during the Younger Dryas
Catastrophic meltwater drainage from glacial Lake Agassiz has been hypothesised as a trigger for large-scale ocean circulation change initiating the Younger Dryas cold reversal. Here we quantify the flood discharge that formed the northwestern outlet of Lake Agassiz using a one dimensional step-backwater model and a zero-dimension gradual-incision model. Applying these two independent models, we estimate a peak discharge range of 1.8-2.5 × 106 m3 s-1 and a flood volume of ~21,000 km3. Such a discharge can only be derived from Lake Agassiz rather than one of the two smaller regional glacial lakes: Churchill or Meadow. When coupled with existing ice margin chronologies, these results demonstrate that the northwestern outlet of Lake Agassiz provides a viable link for catastrophic meltwater to drain to the Arctic Ocean over a 5-10 month period during the Younger Dryas, though it is unclear whether this was near its beginning.
Northwest outlet, catastrophic flood, lake Agassiz, younger Dryas
0094-8276
Norris, Sophie
8afbb044-df01-4980-8498-2ad44e5956f6
Garcia-Castellanos, Daniel
6d507ea8-b3d7-4b9e-aa70-5cf06acb8bcc
Jansen, John
542e8b25-8fca-431e-aafa-ccbfa1625c5b
Carling, Paul
8d252dd9-3c88-4803-81cc-c2ec4c6fa687
Margold, Martin
4b9a59fe-b2c9-4573-994e-ff3bd583c899
Woywitka, RJ
effb01f4-9455-4091-a0cd-ade964b934ae
Froese, Duane
50469fa3-5e2a-4106-b88e-c7703442a305
Norris, Sophie
8afbb044-df01-4980-8498-2ad44e5956f6
Garcia-Castellanos, Daniel
6d507ea8-b3d7-4b9e-aa70-5cf06acb8bcc
Jansen, John
542e8b25-8fca-431e-aafa-ccbfa1625c5b
Carling, Paul
8d252dd9-3c88-4803-81cc-c2ec4c6fa687
Margold, Martin
4b9a59fe-b2c9-4573-994e-ff3bd583c899
Woywitka, RJ
effb01f4-9455-4091-a0cd-ade964b934ae
Froese, Duane
50469fa3-5e2a-4106-b88e-c7703442a305

Norris, Sophie, Garcia-Castellanos, Daniel, Jansen, John, Carling, Paul, Margold, Martin, Woywitka, RJ and Froese, Duane (2021) Catastrophic drainage from the northwestern outlet of glacial Lake Agassiz during the Younger Dryas. Geophysical Research Letters, 48 (15), [e2021GL093919]. (doi:10.1029/2021GL093919).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Catastrophic meltwater drainage from glacial Lake Agassiz has been hypothesised as a trigger for large-scale ocean circulation change initiating the Younger Dryas cold reversal. Here we quantify the flood discharge that formed the northwestern outlet of Lake Agassiz using a one dimensional step-backwater model and a zero-dimension gradual-incision model. Applying these two independent models, we estimate a peak discharge range of 1.8-2.5 × 106 m3 s-1 and a flood volume of ~21,000 km3. Such a discharge can only be derived from Lake Agassiz rather than one of the two smaller regional glacial lakes: Churchill or Meadow. When coupled with existing ice margin chronologies, these results demonstrate that the northwestern outlet of Lake Agassiz provides a viable link for catastrophic meltwater to drain to the Arctic Ocean over a 5-10 month period during the Younger Dryas, though it is unclear whether this was near its beginning.

Text
Norris et al. 2021-GRL-Catastrophic drainage from NW outlet of glacial Lake Agassiz - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 1 July 2021
e-pub ahead of print date: 16 July 2021
Keywords: Northwest outlet, catastrophic flood, lake Agassiz, younger Dryas

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 450252
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/450252
ISSN: 0094-8276
PURE UUID: 87b91170-61d8-4ed0-82aa-5c034e93dcb4

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Date deposited: 19 Jul 2021 16:37
Last modified: 25 Nov 2021 20:42

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Contributors

Author: Sophie Norris
Author: Daniel Garcia-Castellanos
Author: John Jansen
Author: Paul Carling
Author: Martin Margold
Author: RJ Woywitka
Author: Duane Froese

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