In situ cosmogenic exposure ages from the Isle of Skye, northwest Scotland: implications for the timing of deglaciation and readvance from 15 to 11 ka

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Abstract

We present 10 in situ cosmogenic exposure ages from two moraines on the Isle of Skye. The Strollamus medial moraine was deposited during deglaciation of the Devensian ice sheet and yields a mean exposure age from five samples of 14.3 ± 0.9 ka. The moraine age indicates that a significant ice mass existed on Skye at the time of a regional readvance recorded in Wester Ross, northwest Scotland. Taken at face value the ages suggest that deglaciation did not occur until well into Greenland Interstade 1. The Slapin moraine represents the local limit of the Loch Lomond Readvance (LLR) and yields a mean exposure age from five samples of 11.5 ± 0.7 ka, which is consistent with deposition relating to the LLR. These ages suggest that the maximum extent may have been reached late in the stadial and that some glaciers may have remained active until after the climatic amelioration that marks its end. This scenario is considered unlikely given the nature of the climate during this period, which leads us to call for a locally calibrated production rate. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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