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First cosmogenic 10Be age constraint on the timing of Younger Dryas glaciation and ice cap thickness, western Scottish Highlands

By Nicholas Golledge, D. Fabel, Jeremy Everest, S. Freeman and S. Binnie


We use cosmogenic 10Be surface exposure age techniques at a locality close to Rannoch Moor, western Scottish Highlands, in order to establish the age and chronology of its most recent glaciation. Glacial erratics and an in situ bedrock quartz vein sampled from this site - the summit of Beinn Inverveigh - have yielded zero-erosion exposure ages of 12.9 ± 1.5 ka to 11.6 ± 1.0 ka, implying complete ice cover of the mountain during the Younger Dryas, or Loch Lomond Stadial. These results fit closely with published 14C dates that bracket the maximum (lateral) extent of ice cap outlet glaciers, and are the first internally consistent ages to specifically address this period of glaciation in Scotland. Furthermore, the dates imply that previous palaeoglaciological reconstructions for this area may have underestimated both the thickness of the former ice cap and, by implication, its volume. \u

Topics: Earth Sciences
Publisher: Wiley
Year: 2007
DOI identifier: 10.1002/jqs.1113
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