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Keywords:

  • dating;
  • cosmogenic;
  • Heinrich;
  • deglaciation;
  • Cairngorms

Abstract

Cosmogenic nuclide analysis, using 10Be, has been used to date a Lateglacial stillstand in the Eastern Highlands of Scotland at 16.6–13.6 kyr BP. The dates constrain the extent of the local Cairngorm Ice Cap and the larger Scottish Ice Sheet at a particular stage during deglaciation. The geomorphological and sedimentological evidence suggests that the glacial stillstand persisted for around 1 kyr. Independent 14C dating from Loch Etteridge within Strathspey shows that deglaciation proceeded rapidly after ca. 15 kyr BP. Critically this study demonstrates that glaciers last occupied the valleys of the Cairngorms immediately prior to the Lateglacial Interstadial (Bølling/Alleröd), contrary to previous assumptions that the last large-scale glaciation of the massif took place in the Loch Lomond Stadial (Younger Dryas). This later event in the Cairngorms was therefore confined to the high corries. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.