Moraine Hunting

With Dan Morgan on Vilcaya

We had a very productive research expedition in the high peaks above the Colca Valley, investigating evidence for glacial advance during the Little Ice Age.  Dan Morgan (VU Earth and Environmental Studies) led the search for Little Ice Age moraines, which will be dated through a combination of cosmogenic isotope analysis and lichenometry.

Our camp was at 4725 m, and we reached a high point of 4917 m while reconnoitering for the moraines.  All around us were huge moraines from the last glacial maximum (20-30k bpa). This was a pilot study that produced good preliminary data for further research in the seasons to come.

It was a pleasure to learn so much about glaciology and geomorphology from Dan.  VU undergraduate Rebecca McCracken assisted ably throughout, and is one tough cookie.  It is not easy camping above the elevation of the highest peaks of the continental U.S.!

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