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Durham University

Department of Geography

Departmental Research Projects

Publication details

Roberts, D.H., Dackombe, R.V. & Thomas, G.S.P. Palaeo ice streaming in the central sector of the British-Irish Ice Sheet during the Last Glacial Maximum: evidence from the northern Irish Sea Basin. Boreas. 2007;36:115-129.

Author(s) from Durham


Late Devensian glacial sediments and landforms of the Isle of Man record the advance and deglacial signature of the central sector of the British-Irish Ice Sheet. Evidence from the area, gathered from striae, erratic trains and drift limits, show ice was routed over and around the island in two flow phases post-36 kyr BP. In the south of the island, streamlined depositional bedforms with low elongation ratios suggest low ice-flow velocities resulting from one or more of (i) the up-ice location of the island within a regional onset zone, (ii) flow retardation of ice interacting with the margins of the island and (iii) localized drainage of the deforming bed. The deglacial landform assemblage of lateral marginal sandurs and drainage diversions, coupled with a lack of dead-ice features, suggests ice did not downwaste in situ but retreated intact along the coastal margins as Manx Upland ice thinned. In the north of the island, however, the Bride Moraine complex indicates a change in deglacial ice-sheet dynamics, with temporary re-advance and marginal oscillation causing proglacial tectonism and thrusting of the glacial sediment pile, possibly during the Killard Point Stadial event (18.8-16.4 cal. kyr BP). From a basin-wide perspective, the Irish Sea Basin sector of the British-Irish Ice Sheet had many of the characteristics of an ice stream, such as a zone of flow convergence up-ice, a grounding line in the southern Celtic Sea and recessional limits characterized by proglacially tectonized and thrust dead-ice landscapes indicative of a rapidly oscillating ice margin.

Department of Geography