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Glaciations of the West Coast Range, Tasmania

  • Eric A. Colhoun (a1)
Abstract

Geomorphic, stratigraphic, palynologic and 14C evidence indicates that the West Coast Range, Tasmania, was glaciated at least three times during the late Cenozoic. The last or Margaret Glaciation commenced after 30,000 yr B.P., culminated about 19,000 yr B.P., and ended by 10,000 yr B.P. During this period a small ice cap, ca. 250 m thick, and cirque and valley glaciers covered 108 km2. The glacial deposits show little chemical weathering or erosional dissection. The snow line ranged from 690 to 1000 m with an average of 830 m for the ice cap. Mean temperature was 6.5°C below the present temperature. During the preceding Henty Glaciation a 300- to 400-m-thick ice cap and outlet glaciers exceeded 1000 km2. The glacial deposits are beyond 14C assay. They are more weathered chemically and more dissected than Margaret age deposits, and the degree suggests a pre-last interglaciation age (> 130,000 yr B.P.). The snow line of the ice cap lay at 740 m, and annual temperature was reduced by 7°C. Ice of the earliest Linda Glaciation slightly exceeded that of the Henty Glaciation but had a similar distribution. The glacial deposits are intensely weathered, have reversed magnetization, and overlie a paleosol containing pollen of Tertiary type. An early Pleistocene or Tertiary age is indicated.

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Quaternary Research
  • ISSN: 0033-5894
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