The deglaciation of Clyde Inlet, northeastern Baffin Island, Arctic Canada


  • Briner, J. P., Overeem, I., Miller, G., and Finkel, R. 2006. The deglaciation of Clyde Inlet, northeastern Baffin Island, Arctic Canada. J. Quaternary Sci., Vol. 22 pp. 223–232. ISSN 0267–8179.


The behaviour of ice sheets as they retreated from their Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) positions provides insights into Lateglacial and early Holocene ice-sheet dynamics and climate change. The pattern of deglaciation of the Laurentide Ice Sheet (LIS) in arctic fiord landscapes can now be well dated using cosmogenic exposure dating. We use cosmogenic exposure and radiocarbon ages to constrain the deglaciation history of Clyde Inlet, a 120 km long fiord on northeastern Baffin Island. The LIS reached the continental shelf during the LGM, retreated from the coastal lowlands by 12.5 ± 0.7 ka (n = 3), and from the fiord mouth by 11.7 ± 2.2 ka (n = 4). Rapid retreat from the outer fiord occurred 10.3 ± 1.3 ka (n = 6), with the terminus reaching the inner fiord shortly after 9.4 ka (n = 2), where several moraine systems were deposited between ca. 9.4 and ca. 8.4 ka. These moraines represent fluctuations of the LIS during the warmest summers since the last interglaciation, and this suggests that the ice sheet was responding to increased snowfall. Before retreating from the head of Clyde Inlet, the LIS margin fluctuated at least twice between ca. 7.9 and ca. 8.5 ka, possibly in response to the 8.2 ka cold event. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.