Final deglaciation of the Scandinavian Ice Sheet and implications for the Holocene global sea-level budget

Joshua K. Cuzzone, Peter U. Clark, Anders E. Carlson, David J. Ullman, Vincent R. Rinterknecht, Glenn A. Milne, Juha-Pekka Lunkka, Barbara Wohlfarth, Shaun A. Marcott, Marc Caffee

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69 Citations (Scopus)


The last deglaciation of the Scandinavian Ice Sheet (SIS) from ∼ 21 , 000 to 13,000 yr ago is well-constrained by several hundred 10Be and 14C ages. The subsequent retreat history, however, is established primarily from minimum-limiting 14C ages and incomplete Baltic-Sea varve records, leaving a substantial fraction of final SIS retreat history poorly constrained. Here we develop a high-resolution chronology for the final deglaciation of the SIS based on 79 10Be cosmogenic exposure dates sampled along three transects spanning southern to northern Sweden and Finland. Combining this new chronology with existing 10Be ages on deglaciation since the Last Glacial Maximum shows that rates of SIS margin retreat were strongly influenced by deglacial millennial-scale climate variability and its effect on surface mass balance, with regional modulation of retreat associated with dynamical controls. Ice-volume estimates constrained by our new chronology suggest that the SIS contributed ∼ 8 m sea-level equivalent to global sea-level rise between ∼14.5 ka and 10 ka. Final deglaciation was largely complete by ∼10.5 ka, with highest rates of sea-level rise occurring during the Bølling–Allerød, a 50% decrease during the Younger Dryas, and a rapid increase during the early Holocene. Combining our SIS volume estimates with estimated contributions from other remaining Northern Hemisphere ice sheets suggests that the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) contributed 14.4 ± 5.9 m to global sea-level rise since ∼13 ka. This new constraint supports those studies that indicate that an ice volume of 15 m or more of equivalent sea-level rise was lost from the AIS during the last deglaciation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-41
Number of pages8
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Early online date24 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2016


  • Sea level
  • Ice sheets
  • Holocene


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