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Reflection of Scandinavian Ice Sheet Fluctuations in Norwegian Sea Sediments during the Past 150,000 Years

  • Karl-Heinz Baumann (a1) (a2), Klas S. Lackschewitz (a1), Jan Mangerud (a3), Robert F. Spielhagen (a1), Thomas C.W. Wolf-welling (a1), Rüdiger Henrich (a2) and Heidemarie Kassens (a1)...

The record of glacier fluctuations in western Scandinavia, as reconstructed from continental data, has been correlated with records of ice-rafted detritus (IRD) from well-dated sediment cores from the Norwegian Sea covering the past 150,000 yr B.P. The input of IRD into the ocean is used as a proxy for ice sheet advances onto the shelf and, thus, for the calibration of a glaciation curve. The marine results generally support land-based reconstructions of glacier fluctuations and improve the time-control on glacial advances. The Saalian ice sheet decayed very rapidly approximately 125,000 yr B.P. In the Early Weichselian, a minor but significant IRD maximum indicates the presence of icebergs in isotope substage 5b (especially between 95,000 and 83,000 yr B.P.). Reduced amounts of calcareous nannofossils indicate that surface waters were influenced by meltwater discharges during isotope substages 5d and 5b. An extensive build-up of inland ice began again during isotope stage 4, but maximum glaciation was reached only in early stage 3 (58,000-53,000 yr B.P.). Marine sediments have minimum carbonate content, indicating strong dilution by lithogenic ice-rafted material. Generally, the IRD accumulation rate was considerably higher in stages 4-2 than in stage 5. A marked peak in IRD accumulation rates from 47,000 to 43,000 yr B.P. correlates well with a second Middle Weichselian ice sheet advance dated by the Laschamp/Olby paleomagnetic event. Minimum ice extent during the Ålesund interstade (38,500-32,500 yr B.P.) and several glacial oscillations during the Late Weichselian are also seen in the IRD record. Of several late Weichselian glacial oscillations on the shelf, at least four correspond to the North Atlantic Heinrich events. Ice sheet behavior was either coupled or linked by external forcing during these events, whereas internal ice sheet mechanisms may account for the noncoherent fluctuations.

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