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The First Dating of Cave Ice from the Tatra Mountains, Poland and its Implication to Palaeoclimate Reconstructions

Helena Hercman
  • Institute of Geological Sciences, Polish Academy of Sciences, Research Centre in Warsaw, Twarda 51/55, 00-818 Warszawa, Poland
/ Michał Gąsiorowski
  • Institute of Geological Sciences, Polish Academy of Sciences, Research Centre in Warsaw, Twarda 51/55, 00-818 Warszawa, Poland
/ Michał Gradziński
  • Institute of Geological Sciences, Jagiellonian University, Oleandry 2a, 30-063 Kraków, Poland
/ Ditta Kicińska
  • Institute of Geology, Adam Mickiewicz University, Maków Polnych 16, 61-606 Poznań, Poland
Published Online: 2010-11-25 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10003-010-0016-2

The First Dating of Cave Ice from the Tatra Mountains, Poland and its Implication to Palaeoclimate Reconstructions

Lodowa Cave in Ciemniak, which belongs to the dynamic ice cave type, contains the biggest perennial block of cave-ice in the Tatra Mountains. The ice represents congelation type, since it originates from freezing of water which infiltrates the cave. Two generations of ice have been recognized in this cave. They are divided by the distinct unconformity. The ice building both generations is layered. Two moths which were found in the younger generations were sampled and dated by 14C method yielding 195 ± 30 and 125 ± 30 years. Bearing in mind the position in the section and the fact that the cave ice has waned since the 20s of the last century, the age is 1720-1820 AD and 1660-1790 AD respectively. It proves that the ice was formed during the Little Ice Age. Hence, the erosion boundary which underlies this generation records the degradation of ice before the Little Ice Age most probably during the Medieval Warm Period. The ice volume in the cave was substantially smaller before the Little Ice Age than it is today, despite the clear tendency to melting, which has been recognized since 20s of the last century. The older generation of ice is supposed to have its origins in a cold stage between the Atlantic period and the Medieval Warm Period.

Keywords: Little Ice Age; 14C dating; cave moths; Western Carpathians

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About the article


Published Online: 2010-11-25

Published in Print: 2010-01-01


Citation Information: Geochronometria, ISSN (Online) 1897-1695, ISSN (Print) 1733-8387, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10003-010-0016-2. Export Citation

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