Growth and retreat of the last British–Irish Ice Sheet, 31 000 to 15 000 years agoThe BRITICE-CHRONO reconstruction

Authors Organisations
  • Chris D. Clark(Author)
    Department of Geography University of Sheffield Winter St. Sheffield S10 2TN UK
  • Jeremy C. Ely(Author)
    Department of Geography University of Sheffield Winter St. Sheffield S10 2TN UK
  • Richard C. A. Hindmarsh(Author)
    British Antarctic Survey Madingley Road Cambridge CB3 0ET Cambridgeshire UK
  • Sarah Bradley(Author)
    Department of Geography University of Sheffield Winter St. Sheffield S10 2TN UK
  • Adam Ignéczi(Author)
    Department of Geography University of Sheffield Winter St. Sheffield S10 2TN UK
  • Derek Fabel(Author)
    Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre (SUERC), University of Glasgow Rankine Avenue Glasgow G75 0QF UK
  • Colm Ó Cofaigh(Author)
    Department of Geography University of Durham South Road Durham Durham DH1 3LE UK
  • Richard C. Chiverrell(Author)
    Department of Geography and Planning University of Liverpool Roxby Building University of Liverpool Liverpool Merseyside L69 7ZT UK
  • James Scourse(Author)
    University of Exeter, College of Life and Environmental Sciences Penryn Campus, Penryn Cornwall TR10 9EZ UK
  • Sara Benetti(Author)
    School of Geography and Environmental Sciences Ulster University Cromore Road Coleraine Londonderry BT52 1SA UK
  • Tom Bradwell(Author)
    Biological and Environmental Sciences University of Stirling Stirling FK9 4LA UK
  • David J. A. Evans(Author)
    Department of Geography University of Durham South Road Durham Durham DH1 3LE UK
  • David H. Roberts(Author)
    Department of Geography University of Durham South Road Durham Durham DH1 3LE UK
  • Matt Burke(Author)
    Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Inverdee House Baxter Street Aberdeen AB11 9QA UK
  • S. Louise Callard(Author)
    Department of Geography Newcastle University upon Tyne Newcastle NE1 7RU UK
  • Alicia Medialdea(Author)
    CENIEH (Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana) P. Sierra de Atapuerca 3 09002 Burgos Spain
  • Margot Saher(Author)
    School of Ocean Sciences Bangor University Askew St Menai Bridge LL59 5AB UK
  • David Small(Author)
    Department of Geography University of Durham South Road Durham Durham DH1 3LE UK
  • Rachel K. Smedley(Author)
    Department of Geography and Planning University of Liverpool Roxby Building University of Liverpool Liverpool Merseyside L69 7ZT UK
  • Edward Gasson(Author)
    University of Exeter, College of Life and Environmental Sciences Penryn Campus, Penryn Cornwall TR10 9EZ UK
  • Lauren Gregoire(Author)
    School of Earth and Environment University of Leeds Woodhouse Leeds LS2 9JT UK
  • Niall Gandy(Author)
    School of Earth and Environment University of Leeds Woodhouse Leeds LS2 9JT UK
  • Anna L. C. Hughes(Author)
    Department of Geography Manchester University Oxford Road Manchester M13 9PL UK
  • Colin Ballantyne(Author)
    School of Geography & Sustainable Development University of St. Andrews North Street Fife KY15 5UF UK
  • Mark D. Bateman(Author)
    Department of Geography University of Sheffield Winter St. Sheffield S10 2TN UK
  • Grant R. Bigg(Author)
    Department of Geography University of Sheffield Winter St. Sheffield S10 2TN UK
  • Jenny Doole(Author)
    Department of Geography University of Sheffield Winter St. Sheffield S10 2TN UK
  • Dayton Dove(Author)
    British Geological Survey, Edinburgh Office Lyell Centre Research Avenue South Edinburgh EH1 441P UK
  • Geoff Duller(Author)
  • Geraint T. H. Jenkins(Author)
  • Stephen L. Livingstone(Author)
    Department of Geography University of Sheffield Winter St. Sheffield S10 2TN UK
  • Stephen McCarron(Author)
    Department of Geography Maynooth University Rhetoric House, South Campus Maynooth Maynooth Ireland
  • Steve Moreton(Author)
    Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre (SUERC), University of Glasgow Rankine Avenue Glasgow G75 0QF UK
  • David Pollard(Author)
    College of Earth and Mineral Sciences Penn State University University Park PA 16802 USA
  • Daniel Praeg(Author)
    Géoazur, UMR7329 CNRS Valbonne France
  • Hans Petter Sejrup(Author)
    Department of Earth Science University of Bergen P.O. Box 7803 Bergen N‐5020 Norway
  • Katrien J. J. Van Landeghem(Author)
    School of Ocean Sciences Bangor University Askew St Menai Bridge LL59 5AB UK
  • Peter Wilson(Author)
    School of Geography and Environmental Sciences Ulster University Cromore Road Coleraine Londonderry BT52 1SA UK
Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages60
JournalBoreas
Early online date07 Sep 2022
DOI
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 07 Sep 2022
Links
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Abstract

The BRITICE-CHRONO consortium of researchers undertook a dating programme to constrain the timing of advance, maximum extent and retreat of the British–Irish Ice Sheet between 31 000 and 15 000 years before present. The dating campaign across Ireland and Britain and their continental shelves, and across the North Sea included 1500 days of field investigation yielding 18 000 km of marine geophysical data, 377 cores of sea floor sediments, and geomorphological and stratigraphical information at 121 sites on land; generating 690 new geochronometric ages. These findings are reported in 28 publications including synthesis into eight transect reconstructions. Here we build ice sheet-wide reconstructions consistent with these findings and using retreat patterns and dates for the inter-transect areas. Two reconstructions are presented, a wholly empirical version and a version that combines modelling with the new empirical evidence. Palaeoglaciological maps of ice extent, thickness, velocity, and flow geometry at thousand-year timesteps are presented. The maximum ice volume of 1.8 m sea level equivalent occurred at 23 ka. A larger extent than previously defined is found and widespread advance of ice to the continental shelf break is confirmed during the last glacial. Asynchrony occurred in the timing of maximum extent and onset of retreat, ranging from 30 to 22 ka. The tipping point of deglaciation at 22 ka was triggered by ice stream retreat and saddle collapses. Analysis of retreat rates leads us to accept our hypothesis that the marine-influenced sectors collapsed rapidly. First order controls on ice-sheet demise were glacio-isostatic loading triggering retreat of marine sectors, aided by glaciological instabilities and then climate warming finished off the smaller, terrestrial ice sheet. Overprinted on this signal were second order controls arising from variations in trough topographies and with sector-scale ice geometric readjustments arising from dispositions in the geography of the landscape. These second order controls produced a stepped deglaciation. The retreat of the British–Irish Ice Sheet is now the world’s most well-constrained and a valuable data-rich environment for improving ice-sheet modelling.

Keywords

  • Original Article, Original Articles

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