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Timing of the younger dryas glacial maximum in western Norway

Authors

  • Øystein S. Lohne,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Earth Science, University of Bergen, Allégaten 41, N-5007 Bergen, Norway
    • Department of Earth Science, University of Bergen, Allégaten 41, N-5007 Bergen, Norway.
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  • Jan Mangerud,

    1. Department of Earth Science, University of Bergen, Allégaten 41, N-5007 Bergen, Norway
    2. The Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Bergen, Norway
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  • John Inge Svendsen

    1. Department of Earth Science, University of Bergen, Allégaten 41, N-5007 Bergen, Norway
    2. The Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Bergen, Norway
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Abstract

This study precisely constrains the timing of the Younger Dryas (YD) glacial maximum in south-western Norway by utilizing sediment records from lake basins. Two of the basins, located on the distal side of the mapped Herdla–Halsnøy Moraine, received meltwater directly from the ice sheet only when the ice margin reached its maximum extent during the YD. In the cores, the ice maximum is represented by well-defined units with meltwater deposits, dominantly laminated silt. Plant macrofossils in the sediment sequences are common and we obtained 18 radiocarbon ages from one of the cores. By applying Bayesian age–depth modelling we obtained a precise date for this meltwater event and thereby also for the timing of the YD glacial maximum. We conclude that the ice-sheet advance culminated at the Halsnøy Moraine at 11 760 ± 120 cal a BP, and that the ice margin stayed in this position for 170 ± 120 years. The subsequent retreat started at 11 590 ± 100 cal a BP, i.e. close to the YD/Holocene boundary. Withdrawal was probably triggered by abrupt climatic warming at this time. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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