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Applications of cosmogenic nuclides to Laurentide Ice Sheet history and dynamics

By
Jason P. Briner
Jason P. Briner
Department of Geology, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York 14260, USA
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John C. Gosse
John C. Gosse
Department of Earth Sciences, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H-4R2, Canada
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Paul R. Bierman
Paul R. Bierman
Geology Department and School Natural Resources, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont 05405, USA
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Published:
January 01, 2006

Ice sheets play a fundamental role within Earth's climate system and in shaping landscapes. Despite extensive research, the maximum extent and basal dynamics of the Laurentide Ice Sheet (LIS) during the last glacial cycle remain elusive and debated in many areas. Recently, cosmogenic nuclides (e.g., 36Cl, 26Al, 10Be) have played an important role in improving our understanding of LIS extent and behavior. Applications of cosmogenic nuclides to LIS research include surface exposure dating of glacial features, constraining magnitudes of glacial erosion, addressing long-term subaerial exposure and ice sheet burial histories, and burial dating of glacial sediments. These techniques have contributed to the depiction of a more extensive LIS than previously reconstructed for the Last Glacial Maximum. In addition, cosmogenic nuclide research has definitively shown that the LIS covered intensely weathered terrain along its deeply dissected eastern margin, where there were steep gradients in the effectiveness of basal erosion related to basal thermal regime. Cosmogenic nuclide applications, those already employed as well as those yet to be discovered, will undoubtedly continue to contribute to our ever-improving understanding of ice sheet history and dynamics.

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Contents

GSA Special Papers

In Situ-Produced Cosmogenic Nuclides and Quantification of Geological Processes

Ana María Alonso-Zarza
Ana María Alonso-Zarza
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Lawrence H. Tanner
Lawrence H. Tanner
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Geological Society of America
Volume
415
ISBN print:
9780813724157
Publication date:
January 01, 2006

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