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Importance of sampling across an assemblage of glacial landforms for interpreting cosmogenic ages of deglaciation

  • Arjen P. Stroeven (a1), Derek Fabel (a2), Jonathan M. Harbor (a3), David Fink (a4), Marc W. Caffee (a3) (a5) and Torbjørn Dahlgren (a6)...
Abstract
Abstract

Deglaciation chronologies for some sectors of former ice sheets are relatively poorly constrained because of the paucity of features or materials traditionally used to constrain the timing of deglaciation. In areas without good deglaciation varve chronologies and/or without widespread occurrence of material that indicates the start of earliest organic radiocarbon accumulations suitable for radiocarbon dating, typically only general patterns and chronologies of deglaciation have been deduced. However, mid-latitude ice sheets that had warm-based conditions close to their margins often produced distinctive deglaciation landform assemblages, including eskers, deltas, meltwater channels and aligned lineation systems. Because these features were formed or significantly altered during the last glaciation, boulder or bedrock samples from them have the potential to yield reliable deglaciation ages using terrestrial cosmogenic nuclides (TCN) for exposure age dating. Here we present the results of a methodological study designed to examine the consistency of TCN-based deglaciation ages from a range of deglaciation landforms at a site in northern Norway. The strong coherence between exposure ages across several landforms indicates great potential for using TCN techniques on features such as eskers, deltas and meltwater channels to enhance the temporal resolution of ice-sheet deglaciation chronologies over a range of spatial scales.

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Corresponding author
Corresponding author. Fax: + 46 8 164818. E-mail address: arjen.stroeven@natgeo.su.se (A.P. Stroeven).
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