Publication details

PERICLIMv1.0: a model deriving palaeo-air temperatures from thaw depth in past permafrost regions



Year of publication 2021
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Geoscientific Model Development
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords air temperature; climate modeling; midlatitude environment; paleoenvironment; paleotemperature; periglacial environment; permafrost; Quaternary; reconstruction
Description Periglacial features, such as various kinds of patterned ground, cryoturbations, frost wedges, solifluction structures, and blockfields, are among the most common relics of cold climate periods, which repetitively occurred throughout the Quaternary. As such, they are widespread archives of past environmental conditions. Climate controls on the development of most periglacial features, however, remain poorly known, and thus empirical palaeo-climate reconstructions based on them have limited validity. This study presents and evaluates a simple new inverse modelling scheme called PERICLIMv1.0 (PERIglacial CLIMate) that derives palaeo-air temperature characteristics related to the palaeo-active-layer thickness, which can be recognized using many relict periglacial features found in past permafrost regions. The evaluation against modern temperature records showed that the model reproduces air temperature characteristics with average errors ?1.3?°C. The past mean annual air temperature modelled experimentally for two sites in the Czech Republic hosting relict cryoturbation structures was between -7.0±1.9 and -3.2±1.5?°C, which is well in line with earlier reconstructions utilizing various palaeo-archives. These initial results are promising and suggest that the model could become a useful tool for reconstructing Quaternary palaeo-environments across vast areas of mid-latitudes and low latitudes where relict periglacial assemblages frequently occur, but their full potential remains to be exploited.
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