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Morphological and sedimentary responses to ice mass interaction during the last deglaciation

By RC Chiverrell, MJ Burke and GSP Thomas


During decline of the last British–Irish Ice Sheet (BIIS) down‐wasting of ice meant that local sources played a larger role in regulating ice flow dynamics and driving the sediment and landform record. At the Last Glacial Maximum, glaciers in north‐western England interacted with an Irish Sea Ice Stream (ISIS) occupying the eastern Irish Sea basin (ISB) and advanced as a unified ice‐mass. During a retreat constrained to 21–17.3 ka, the sediment landform assemblages lain down reflect the progressive unzipping of the ice masses, oscillations of the ice margin during retreat, and then rapid wastage and disintegration. Evacuation of ice from the Ribble valley and Lancashire occurred first while the ISIS occupied the ISB to the west, creating ice‐dammed lakes. Deglaciation, complete after 18.6–17.3 ka, was rapid (50–25 m a−1), but slower than rates identified for the western ISIS (550–100 m a−1). The slower pace is interpreted as reflecting the lack of a calving margin and the decline of a terrestrial, grounded glacier. Ice marginal oscillations during retreat were probably forced by ice‐sheet dynamics rather than climatic variation. These data demonstrate that large grounded glaciers can display complex uncoupling and realignment during deglaciation, with asynchronous behaviour between adjacent ice lobes generating complex landform records

Publisher: 'Wiley'
Year: 2016
DOI identifier: 10.1002/jqs.2864
OAI identifier:

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