Late Pleistocene ELA trend in the Eastern Carpathians

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Reconstruction of the former equilibrium line altitude (ELA) of mountain glaciers is useful paleoclimate tool. The spatial distribution of ELA provides information concerning the summer temperature and annual precipitation and could be used to infer the pattern of moisture advection and orographically induced precipitation in the past (Allen et al., 2008; Cuffey and Paterson, 2010; Rea et al., 2020). In the Eastern Carpathians of Ukraine and Romania the legacy of Late Pleistocene glaciation is preserved in several isolated mountain massifs standing above 1600-1800 m (Fig. 1). This area acts as a regional orographic barrier for North Atlantic Westerlies that travel preferentially from the northwest and continental pressure system from the east (Micu et al., 2015). Therefore, this region may document the magnitude and extent of the zonal atmospheric circulation across the interior of the continent during glacial maxima as the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Despite a long glacial research history dating back to late 19th century (Paul and Tietze, 1876), this region represents one of the least explored areas in terms of glacial geomorphology in Europe mostly due to a lack of comprehensive mapping of ice-marginal landforms in a poorly accessible and densely forested area.

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