Abstract

Independently derived glacial chronologies from eastern Baffin Island, Canadian Arctic, and from East Greenland show essentially similar glaciologic trends that are notably different from the response of the southern margins of the Laurentide and Fennoscandia Ice Sheets. The critical aspects of both chronologies and the related extent of the ice sheets are (1) an early and maximum glacial stade, during the early phase of the last glaciation, reaching its peak about 100,000 to 75,000 yr ago; (2) an interstadial about 70,000 B.P.; (3) an ice advance peaking about 45,000 yr ago; (4) an interval about 40,000 to 11,000 yr ago of restricted ice extent; and (5) a late glacial stadial between 11,000 and 8,000 B.P. This record shows basic agreement with a chronology of snow accumulation at the Camp Century ice core site based on a revised chronostratigraphic interpretation. Fluctuations in sea level between 120,000 and 70,000 B.P. may well be related to glacierization of high arctic land masses under conditions of heavy snowfall. The subsequent reduction of accumulation in these high arctic areas then leads to a reduction of ice volume with a dry, cold interstadial correlative in time with the “classical” Wisconsin ice advance along the southern margins. The late glacial advance of both eastern Baffin Island and East Greenland, which extended into Holocene time, represents a brief return to high accumulation rates as the global circulation changed from a glacial to an interglacial mode.

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