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Durham University

Department of Geography

Departmental Research Projects

Publication details

Søndergaard, A.S. Larsen, N.K. Olsen, J. Strunk, A. & Woodroffe, S.A. Glacial history of the Greenland Ice Sheet and a local ice cap in Qaanaaq, northwest Greenland. Journal of Quaternary Science. 2019;34:536-547.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

In this study, we present new information on the glacial history of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) and a local ice cap in Qaanaaq, northwest Greenland. We use geomorphological mapping, 10Be exposure dating of boulders, analysis of lake cores, and 14C dating of reworked marine molluscs and subfossil plants to constrain the glacial history. Our 14C ages of reworked marine molluscs reveal that the ice extent in the area was at or behind its present‐day position from 42.2 ± 0.4 to 30.6 ± 0.3k cal a BP after which the GrIS expanded to its maximum position during the Last Glacial Maximum. We find evidence of early ice retreat in the deep fjord (Inglefield Bredning) at 11.9 ± 0.6 ka whereas the Taserssuit Valley was deglaciated ~4 ka later at 7.8 ± 0.1k cal a BP. A proglacial lake record suggests that the local ice cap survived the Holocene Thermal Maximum but moss kill‐dates reveal that it was smaller than present for a period of time before 3.3 ± 0.1k until 0.9 ± 0.1k cal a BP, following which the ice in the area expanded towards its Little Ice Age extent.

Department of Geography