Ice caps existed throughout the Lateglacial Interstadial in northern Scotland

Bradwell, Tom; Fabel, D; Stoker, Martyn; Mathers, Hannah; McHargue, L; Howe, J. 2008 Ice caps existed throughout the Lateglacial Interstadial in northern Scotland. Journal of Quaternary Science, 23 (5). 401-407.

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We constrain, in detail, fluctuations of two former ice caps in NW Scotland with multibeam seabed surveys, geomorphological mapping and cosmogenic 10Be isotope analyses. We map a continuous sequence of 40 recessional moraines stretching from ~10 km offshore to the Wester Ross mountains. Surface-exposure ages from boulders on moraine ridges in Assynt and the Summer Isles region show that substantial, dynamic, ice caps existed in NW Scotland between 13–14 ka BP. We interpret this as strong evidence that large active glaciers probably survived throughout the Lateglacial Interstadial, and that during the Older Dryas period (c.14 ka BP) ice caps in NW Scotland were thicker and considerably more extensive than in the subsequent Younger Dryas Stadial. By inference, we suggest that Lateglacial ice-cap oscillations in Scotland reflect the complex interplay between changing temperature and precipitation regimes during this climatically unstable period (~15–11 ka BP).

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: BGS Programmes 2008 > Geology and Landscape Scotland
ISSN: 0267-8179
Additional Keywords: Ice caps, Scotland - north, Dryas, Moraines, Glaciology
NORA Subject Terms: Glaciology
Earth Sciences
Date made live: 18 Mar 2008 14:30 +0 (UTC)

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