Extent of the last ice sheet in northern Scotland tested with cosmogenic 10Be exposure ages

Phillips, W.M., Hall, A.M., Ballantyne, C.K., Binnie, S., Kubik, P.K. and Freeman, S.P.H.T. (2008) Extent of the last ice sheet in northern Scotland tested with cosmogenic 10Be exposure ages. Journal of Quaternary Science, 23(2), pp. 101-107. (doi:10.1002/jqs.1161)

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Abstract

The extent of the last British–Irish Ice Sheet (BIIS) in northern Scotland is disputed. A restricted ice sheet model holds that at the global Last Glacial Maximum (LGM; ca. 23–19 ka) the BIIS terminated on land in northern Scotland, leaving Buchan, Caithness and the Orkney Islands ice-free. An alternative model implies that these three areas were ice-covered at the LGM, with the BIIS extending offshore onto the adjacent shelves. We test the two models using cosmogenic 10Be surface exposure dating of erratic boulders and glacially eroded bedrock from the three areas. Our results indicate that the last BIIS covered all of northern Scotland during the LGM, but that widespread deglaciation of Caithness and Orkney occurred prior to rapid warming at ca. 14.5 ka.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Freeman, Professor Stewart
Authors: Phillips, W.M., Hall, A.M., Ballantyne, C.K., Binnie, S., Kubik, P.K., and Freeman, S.P.H.T.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Journal of Quaternary Science
ISSN:0267-8179
Published Online:25 January 2008

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