Lithostratigraphy and Optically Stimulated Luminescence age determinations of pre-Late Weichselian deposits in the Suupohja area, western Finland

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Abstract

The lithostratigraphy of pre-Late Weichselian sediments and OSL-dating results from four localities in the Suupohja area of western Finland, adjacent to the centre of the former Scandinavian glaciations, are presented. The studied sections expose glacifluvial, quiet-water, littoral and aeolian deposits overlain by Middle and/or Late Weichselian tills. Litho- and biostratigraphical results together with seven OSL age determinations on buried glacifluvial sediment at Rävåsen (94±15 ka) and on till-covered littoral and aeolian sediments at Risåsen, Rävåsen, Jätinmäki and Kiviharju (79±10 to 54±8 ka), accompanied by previous datings and interpretations, suggest that the glacifluvial sediments at Risåsen were deposited at the end of the Saalian Stage (MIS 6) and those at Risåsen were deposited possibly in the Early Weichselian Substage (MIS 5d?). Palaeosol horizons and ice-wedge casts together with the dated littoral and aeolian sediments between the Harrinkangas Formation (Saalian) and the overlying till(s) indicate that western Finland was ice-free during most of the Weichselian time. Littoral deposits, dated to the Middle Weichselian (MIS 4–3), occur at altitudes of 50–90 m a.s.l., which indicates significant glacio-isostatic depression. The depression resulted from expansion of the ice sheet in the west of Finland at that time.

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