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Abstract

This study presents the first absoluteage constraints from a palaeo-ice-sheet margin in western Scotland. Cosmogenic 10Be from four Lewisian gneiss boulders on the Gairloch Moraine in NW Scotland have yielded reliable exposure ages. Three of these dates, taken from a single moraine ridge, cluster around c. 15.5–18 ka BP, with a weighted mean of 16.3 ± 1.6 ka BP. These findings indicate that the last British Ice Sheet had retreated to the present-day coastline in NW Scotland by this time. It is suggested that the Wester Ross Readvance represents an ice-sheet oscillation during, or in the immediate aftermath of, Heinrich Event 1 (c. 17–18 ka BP).