Climate and Groundwater Recharge During the Last Glaciation in an Ice-Covered Region

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Abstract

A multitracer study of a small aquifer in northern Switzerland indicates that the atmosphere in central Europe cooled by at least 5[degree sign]C during the last glacial period.The relation between oxygen isotope ratios ([small delta, Greek] (18) O) and recharge temperatures reconstructed for this period is similar to the present-day one if a shift in the [small delta, Greek]18 O value of the oceans during the ice age is taken into account. This similarity suggests that the present-day [small delta, Greek]18 O-temperature relation can be used to reconstruct paleoclimate conditions in northern-Switzerland. A gap in calculated groundwater age between about 17,000 and 25,000 years before the present indicates that during the last glacial maximum, local groundwater recharge was prevented by overlying glaciers.

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