A stratigraphic framework for abrupt climatic changes during the Last Glacial period based on three synchronized Greenland ice-core records: refining and extending the INTIMATE event stratigraphy

Authors Organisations
  • Sune O. Rasmussen(Author)
    University of Copenhagen
  • Matthias Bigler(Author)
    University of Bern
  • Simon P. Blockley(Author)
    University of London
  • Thomas Blunier(Author)
    University of Copenhagen
  • Susanne L. Buchardt(Author)
    University of Copenhagen
  • Henrik B. Clausen(Author)
    University of Copenhagen
  • Ivana Cvijanovic(Author)
    University of Copenhagen
    Carnegie Institution for Science
  • Dorthe Dahl-Jensen(Author)
    University of Copenhagen
  • Sigfus J. Johnsen(Author)
    University of Copenhagen
  • Hubertus Fischer(Author)
    University of Bern
  • Vasileios Gkinis(Author)
    University of Copenhagen
  • Myriam Guillevic(Author)
    University of Copenhagen
    Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement
  • Wim Z. Hoek(Author)
    Utrecht University
  • J. John Lowe(Author)
    University of London
  • Joel B. Pedro(Author)
    University of Copenhagen
  • Trevor Popp(Author)
    University of Copenhagen
  • Inger K. Seierstad(Author)
    University of Copenhagen
  • Jørgen Peder Steffensen(Author)
    University of Copenhagen
  • Anders M. Svensson(Author)
    University of Copenhagen
  • Paul Vallelonga(Author)
    University of Copenhagen
  • Bo M. Vinther(Author)
    University of Copenhagen
  • Mike Walker(Author)
    Prifysgol Cymru Y Drindod Dewi Sant | University of Wales Trinity Saint David
  • Joe J. Wheatley(Author)
    University of Sheffield
  • Mai Winstrup(Author)
    University of Copenhagen
    University of Washington
Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-28
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Early online date05 Oct 2014
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2014
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Due to their outstanding resolution and well-constrained chronologies, Greenland ice-core records provide a master record of past climatic changes throughout the Last Interglacial–Glacial cycle in the North Atlantic region. As part of the INTIMATE (INTegration of Ice-core, MArine and TErrestrial records) project, protocols have been proposed to ensure consistent and robust correlation between different records of past climate. A key element of these protocols has been the formal definition and ordinal numbering of the sequence of Greenland Stadials (GS) and Greenland Interstadials (GI) within the most recent glacial period. The GS and GI periods are the Greenland expressions of the characteristic Dansgaard–Oeschger events that represent cold and warm phases of the North Atlantic region, respectively. We present here a more detailed and extended GS/GI template for the whole of the Last Glacial period. It is based on a synchronization of the NGRIP, GRIP, and GISP2 ice-core records that allows the parallel analysis of all three records on a common time scale. The boundaries of the GS and GI periods are defined based on a combination of stable-oxygen isotope ratios of the ice (δ18O, reflecting mainly local temperature) and calcium ion concentrations (reflecting mainly atmospheric dust loading) measured in the ice. The data not only resolve the well-known sequence of Dansgaard–Oeschger events that were first defined and numbered in the ice-core records more than two decades ago, but also better resolve a number of short-lived climatic oscillations, some defined here for the first time. Using this revised scheme, we propose a consistent approach for discriminating and naming all the significant abrupt climatic events of the Last Glacial period that are represented in the Greenland ice records. The final product constitutes an extended and better resolved Greenland stratotype sequence, against which other proxy records can be compared and correlated. It also provides a more secure basis for investigating the dynamics and fundamental causes of these climatic perturbations


  • sequence of glacial climate events, INTIMATE event stratigraphy, synchronized ice core records, definition of interstadials, definition of stadials