We present cosmogenic Be-10 and Ne-21 chronologies from 21 erratic boulders on three moraine sequences in Nyalam county, monsoonal Himalayas, southern margin of the Tibetan Plateau. The surface exposure ages provide evidence for at least two distinct glacial advances during the late stage of the last glacial cycle and for one or more significantly older glaciations. The distribution of cosmogenic ages from the three ridges of the old moraine sequence is inconsistent with their stratigraphic order. Because exposure periods of the erratics prior to deposition on the moraine surface is shown to be small, the chronology-stratigraphy mismatch suggests that the cosmogenic ages do not date moraine deposition but most likely significant moraine ridge denudation and related boulder exhumation after initial deposition of the moraines during the penultimate glacial cycle or earlier. The surface exposure ages based on various currently accepted production rate scaling protocols yield age differences of up to 35% reflecting the poor knowledge of terrestrial cosmogenic production rates at low latitude/high altitude sites. Even within this conservative uncertainty range, our results do not yield evidence for late Pleistocene glaciations in monsoonal Tibet to be asynchronous to those in mid-latitudes on both hemispheres. There is an urgent need to improve the knowledge of terrestrial cosmogenic nuclide production rates and their scaling to low latitude regions to fully exploit the climate information archived in tropical moraine sequences. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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