North American Ice Sheet build-up during the last glacial cycle, 115-21 kyr
2010 (English)In: Quaternary Science Reviews, ISSN 0277-3791, Vol. 29, no 17-18, 2036-2051 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The last glacial maximum (LGM) outline and subsequent retreat pattern (21e7 kyr) of North Americanice sheets are reasonably well established. However, the evolution of the ice sheets during their build-upphase towards the LGM between 115 and 21 kyr has remained elusive, making it difficult to verifynumerical ice sheet models for this important time interval. In this paper we outline the pre-LGM icesheet evolution of the Laurentide and Cordilleran ice sheets by using glacial geological and geomorphologicalrecords to make a first-order reconstruction of ice sheet extent and flow pattern. We mappedthe entire area covered by the Laurentide and Cordilleran ice sheets in Landsat MSS images andapproximately 40% of this area in higher resolution Landsat ETMþ images. Mapping in aerial photographsadded further detail primarily in Quebec-Labrador, the Cordilleran region, and on Baffin Island.Our analysis includes the recognition of approximately 500 relative-age relationships from crosscuttinglineations. Together with previously published striae and till fabric data, these are used as the basis forrelative-age assignments of regional flow patterns. For the reconstruction of the most probable ice sheetevolution sequence we employ a stepwise inversion scheme with a clearly defined strategy for delineatingcoherent landforms swarms (reflecting flow direction and configuration), and linking these topreviously published constraints on relative and absolute chronology. Our results reveal that icedispersalcentres in Keewatin and Quebec were dynamically independent for most of pre-LGM time andthat a massive Quebec dispersal centre, rivalling the LGM in extent, existed at times when the SW sectorof the ice sheet had not yet developed. The oldest flow system in eastern Quebec-Labrador (Atlanticswarm had an ice divide closer to the Labrador coast than later configurations). A northern Keewatin-Central Arctic Ice Sheet existed prior to the LGM, but is poorly chronologically constrained. There is alsoevidence for older and more easterly Cordilleran Ice Sheet divide locations than those that prevailedduring the Late Wisconsinan. In terms of ice sheet build-up dynamics, it appears that “residual” ice capsafter warming phases may have played an important role. In particular, the location and size of remnantice masses at the end of major interstadials, i.e. OIS 5c and 5a, must have been critical for subsequentbuild-up patterns, because such remnant “uplands” may have fostered much more rapid ice sheetgrowth than what would have occurred on a fully deglaciated terrain. The ice-sheet configuration duringstadials would also be governed largely by the additional topography that such “residual” ice constitutesbecause of inherent mass balance-topography feedbacks.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier , 2010. Vol. 29, no 17-18, 2036-2051 p.
Research subject Physical Geography
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-43370DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2010.04.021ISI: 000280974300008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-43370DiVA: diva2:356054