US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Quaternary Science Reviews 24 (2005) 49–65


New cosmogenic surface-exposure ages of moraine-crest boulders from southwestern Colorado are compared with published surface-exposure ages of boulders from moraine complexes in north-central Colorado and in west-central (Fremont Lake basin) Wyoming. 10Be data sets from the three areas were scaled to a single 10Be production rate of 5.4 at/g/yr at sea level and high latitude (SLHL), which represents the average 10Be production rate for two high-altitude, mid-latitude sites in the western United States (US) and Austria. Multiple nuclide ages on single boulders indicate that this 10Be production rate yields ages comparable to those calculated with a commonly used 36Cl production scheme. The average age and age range of moraine-crest boulders on terminal moraines at the southwestern Colorado and Wyoming sites are similar, indicating a retreat from their positions ~16.8 36Cl ka (Cosmogenic ages in this paper are labeled 10Be or 36Cl ka or just ka when both 10Be or 36Cl ages are being discussed; radiocarbon ages are labeled 14C ka, calibrated radiocarbon are labeled cal ka, and calendar ages are labeled calendar ka. Errors (±1σ) associated with ages are shown in tables. Radiocarbon ages were calibrated using the data of Hughen et al. (Science 303 (2004) 202). This suggests a near-synchronous retreat of Pinedale glaciers across a 470-km latitudinal range in the Middle and Southern Rocky Mountains. Hypothetical corrections for snow shielding and rock-surface erosion shifts the time of retreat to between 17.2 and 17.5 10Be ka at Pinedale, Wyoming, and between 16.3 and 17.3 36Cl ka at Hogback Mountain, Colorado.