A Paleoglaciation Level for North-Central Ellesmere Island, N.W.T., Canada
The present-day glaciation level and equilibrium-line altitude (ELA) for inner Greely Fiord, north-central Ellesmere Island, are ca. 900 m asl. During the last glaciation, the paleo-ELA was ≤400 m asl whereas the maximum paleoglaciation level was ca. 475 m asl. Although the glaciation level and ELA dropped by as much as 500 m during the last glaciation, the extent of ice was nonetheless very limited, generally within 5 to 40 km of present margins. Consequently, this area was characterized by severe continentality; i.e., greater summer cold and similar, if not greater, aridity. This greatly constrained glaciers, particularly those that entered the sea and calved. At Eureka, 170 km southwest of inner Greely Fiord, recent changes in the mean height of the July freezing level are strongly correlated with the ELA on the White Glacier, Axel Heiberg Island. There, the ELA has lowered from 900 to 400 m asl in some years. This recent lowering of the ELA to 400 m asl on the White Glacier is similar to the ELA reported for inner Greely Fiord during the last glaciation, yet both are still less severe than present conditions on northernmost Ellesmere Island where the ELA is ca. 200 m asl.
Citation Note: This article was published when our journal had an earlier shorter name: "Arctic and Alpine Research."