Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 1215–1230 | Cite as

Paleo-shoreline changes in moraine dammed lake Khagiin Khar, Khentey Mountains, Central Mongolia

  • Jeong-Sik Oh
  • Yeong Bae SeongEmail author
  • Seongchan Hong
  • Byung Yong Yu


The formation and evolution of glacier moraine-dammed lakes are closely related to past glacier expansion and retreat. Geomorphic markers such as lacustrine terraces and beach ridges observed in these lakes provide important evidence for regional paleoenvironment reconstruction. We document the magnitude of paleo-shoreline fluctuations and timings of highstands of lake water by using cosmogenic 10Be surface exposure dating and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating on samples collected from lacustrine sediment and bedrock strath in Lake Khagiin Khar. The lake was initially impounded by glacier moraine at the Global Last Glacial maximum (gLGM; 21–19 ka), and the lake reached its maximum paleo-shoreline level of 1840 m at sea level (a.s.l.). At that time, the stored lake water amount was up to seven times greater and the surface area was three times larger than the present values. The paleolake experienced higher shoreline levels at 1832, 1822, and 1817 m a.s.l. and reached the present lake level after 0.4 ka. We interpret that decrease in the paleolake level was caused by spillover. The increase in melt water after the gLGM and the Late Glacial exceeded the storage threshold of the lake, and the paleolake water overflowed across the lowest drainage divides. The lake spilled over across the lowest bedrock ridge at 15.9 ± 0.6 ka, and the outlet was incised since that time at a rate of 3.72 ± 0.15 mm/yr. The initial stream of the Khiidiin Pass River was disturbed by LGM moraine damming and was rerouted into the present course running through moraine after the spillover at 15.9 ± 0.6 ka.


Moraine-dammed lake Lake Khagiin Khar Shoreline Spillover 10Be exposure dating 


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This work was supported by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea (grant NRF-2018S1A5A2A01031348 awarded to Y.B. Seong). We express sincere thanks to two anonymous reviewers for their constructive and helpful comments.


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography EducationKorea UniversitySeoulKorea
  2. 2.AMS Laboratory, Advanced Analysis CenterKorea Institute of Science and TechnologySeoulKorea

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