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Late Quaternary glaciation history of northernmost Greenland - Evidence of shelf-based ice
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2010 (English)In: Quaternary Science Reviews, ISSN 0277-3791, E-ISSN 1873-457X, Vol. 29, no 25-26, SI, 3399-3414 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We present the mapping of glacial landforms and sediments from northernmost Greenland bordering 100 km of the Arctic Ocean coast. One of the most important discoveries is that glacial landforms, sediments, including till fabric measurements, striae and stoss-lee boulders suggest eastward ice-flow along the coastal plain. Volcanic erratic boulders document ice-transport from 80 to 100 km west of the study area. We argue that these findings are best explained by local outlet glaciers from the Greenland Ice Sheet and local ice caps that merged to form a shelf-based ice in the Arctic Ocean and possibly confirming an extensive ice shelf in the Lincoln Sea between Greenland and Ellesmere Island. It is speculated that the shelf-based ice was largely affected by the presence of thick multiyear sea ice in the Arctic Ocean that prevented it from breaking up and forced the outlet glaciers to flow eastwards. During the initial retreat the coastal area was dammed by the shelf-based ice and kame and glaciolacustrine sediments were deposited up to 50 m above the marine limit before the final deglaciation and marine transgression. The timing of the shelf-based ice is constrained on land by dating glaciolacustrine sediments with OSL and marine molluscs with radiocarbon and by re-evaluating IRD events in cores from the Fram Strait. Results show that the shelf-based ice started to build-up as early as 30 cal ka BP and reached a maximum during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). The shelf-based ice began to retreat ca 16 ka to 10.3 cal ka BP before the final break-up, which took place ca 10.1 cal ka BP probably as a combined result of increased inflow of warm Atlantic water through the Fram Strait, a shallower halocline and higher summer temperatures, corresponding to orbital maximum solar insolation at this time. The existence of extensive shelf-based ice north of Greenland provides an important contribution to the understanding of the LGM glaciation history of the Arctic Ocean. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 29, no 25-26, SI, 3399-3414 p.
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Natural Sciences
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SWEDARCTIC 2006, LongTerm 2006; SWEDARCTIC 2007, LongTerm 2007
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URN: urn:nbn:se:polar:diva-3069DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2010.07.027OAI: oai:DiVA.org:polar-3069DiVA: diva2:1044953
Available from: 2016-11-07 Created: 2016-10-27 Last updated: 2016-11-07

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  • apa
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