Exposure-age constraints on the extent, timing and rate of retreat of the last Irish Sea ice stream

Danny McCarroll, John O. Stone, Colin Kerr Ballantyne, James D. Scourse, L. Keith Fifield, David J. A. Evans, John F. Hiemstra

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    62 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    We report 23 cosmogenic isotope exposure ages (Be-10 and (CI)-C-36) relating to the maximum extent and deglaciation chronology of the Irish Sea Ice Stream (ISIS), which drained the SW sector of the last British Irish Ice Sheet. These show that the ISIS failed to reach the Preseli Hills of North Pembrokeshire yet extended southwards to impinge on northern Isles of Scilly (50 degrees N) during the last glacial maximum. Four samples from western Anglesey demonstrate deglaciation of the southern Irish Sea Basin by c. 20-18 ka, and two from the Llyn Peninsula in northwest Wales, if valid, suggest deglaciation by c. 23-22 ka followed by gradual oscillatory northwards retreat of the ice margin for over 3000 years. An alternative interpretation of our data suggests that ice reached Scilly as late as 22-21 ka then retreated 450 km northwards within the following three millennia, possibly in response to sea level rise and/or intrinsic reorganisation within the last British Irish Ice Sheet. Samples from upland source areas of the ISIS in NW England and SW Scotland produced exposure ages <= 14.3 ka, suggesting possible persistence of ice in such areas into the Lateglacial Interstade of 14.7-12.9 ka. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1844-1852
    Number of pages9
    JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
    Volume29
    Issue number15-16
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010

    Keywords

    • COSMOGENIC NUCLIDES
    • GLACIAL MAXIMUM
    • RADIOCARBON CONSTRAINTS
    • DEPOSITIONAL EVIDENCE
    • IRELAND
    • SHEET
    • DEGLACIATION
    • SCOTLAND
    • BASIN
    • EVENTS

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