Luminescence dating of pre-glacial sand in the Tuktoyaktuk Coastlands, Northwest Territories, discounts an Early Wisconsinan age for the last Laurentide glaciation to cross the Arctic Coastal Plain and supports a Late Wisconsinan age. Aeolian dune sand from the Kittigazuit Formation near Cliff Point, on the southern shore of Liverpool Bay, predates till deposited during the Toker Point Stade. Potassium-rich feldspar from three stratigraphic sections ∼35 km up-ice from the Toker Point glacial limit provides thermoluminescence age estimates that range from 18.7 ± 2.0 to 9.1 ± 1.0 ka and infrared stimulated luminescence age estimates of 23.8 ± 5.1 to 11.0 ± 2.1 ka. Quartz from four of the same samples provides optically stimulated luminescence age estimates of 16.5 ± 1.0 to 13.7 ± 0.9 ka. Collectively, these estimates reject the Early Wisconsinan age for the Toker Point Stade glaciation inferred hitherto from radiocarbon dating. A review of pre-glacial and post-glacial age estimates from the region indicates that during the Toker Point Stade ice advanced across the Tuktoyaktuk Coastlands no earlier than ∼30 ka, and probably not before ∼22 ka. Deglaciation had certainly commenced by 14.3 ka, and probably by ∼16 ka. The Toker Point glaciation, therefore, dates approximately to the last glacial maximum, reinforcing the interpretation of the late rebuild up of the Laurentide Ice Sheet that characterized many parts of its margin.

You do not currently have access to this article.