Preliminary 10Be chronology for the last deglaciation of the western margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet

Vincent Rinterknecht, Y Gorokhovich, J Schaefer, M Caffee

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50 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The now acknowledged thinning of the Greenland Ice Sheet raises concerns about its potential contribution to future sea level rise. In order to appreciate the full extent of its contribution to sea level rise, reconstruction of the ice sheet's most recent last deglaciation could provide key information on the timing and the height of the ice sheet at a time of rapid climate readjustment. We measured 10Be concentrations in 12 samples collected along longitudinal and altitudinal transects from Sisimiut to within 10 km of the Isunguata Sermia Glacier ice margin on the western coast of Greenland. Along the longitudinal transect, we collected three perched boulders and two bedrocks. In addition, we sampled seven perched boulders along a vertical transect in a valley within 10 km of the Isunguata Sermia Glacier ice margin. Our pilot dataset constrains the height of the ice sheet during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) between 500 m and 840 m (including the 120 m relative sea level depression at the time of the LGM, 21 ka BP). From the transect we estimate the thinning of the ice sheet at the end of the deglaciation between 12.3 ± 1.5 10Be ka (n = 2) and 8.3 ± 1.2 10Be ka (n = 3) to be ∼6 cm a−1 over this time period. Direct dating of the retreat of the western margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet has the potential to better constrain the retreat rate of the ice margin, the thickness of the former ice sheet as well as its response to climate change. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons,
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-278
JournalJournal of Quaternary Science
Volume24
Issue number3
Early online date22 Oct 2008
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009

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