Fluctuations of the Svalbard-Barents sea ice sheet during the last 150000 years

Jan Mangerud*, Trond Dokken, Dierk Hebbeln, Beathe Heggen, Ólafur Ingólfsson, Jon Y. Landvik, Vagn Mejdahl, John Inge Svendsen, Tore O. Vorren

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

190 Citations (Scopus)


On Spitsbergen, western Svalbard, three major glacial advances have been identified during the Weichselian. All three reached the continental shelf west of the Svalbard archipelago. Radiocarbon, luminescence and amino acid dating of interbedded interstadial and interglacial sediments indicate that these glacial advances have Early (Isotope Stage 5d), Middle (Stage 4), and Late Weichselian ages (Stage 2). An additional, more local, advance has been dated to Isotope Stage 5b. The Late Weichselian ice sheet expanded across the entire Barents Sea. However, in the south-western Barents Sea, the Late Weichselian till is the only till above Eemian sediments, indicating that the Early- and Middle Weichselian ice advances were restricted to the Svalbard archipelago and the northern Barents Sea. A major problem with the onshore sites is the dating of events beyond the range of the radiocarbon method. To overcome this, the onshore record has been correlated with marine cores from the continental slope and the deep-sea west of Svalbard, where a chronology has been established by oxygen isotope stratigraphy. Ice rafted detritus (IRD) was used as the main monitor of glaciation. The IRD record closely mirrors the glaciation history as interpreted from the onshore sections. During the Late Weichselian, the largest IRD peak occurred during deglaciation, a pattern also postulated for the earlier events. Given this, the results from the marine cores indicate that the ages for the first glacial advances during the Weichselian were a few thousand years older than interpreted from the onshore stratigraphy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-42
Number of pages32
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1998


Dive into the research topics of 'Fluctuations of the Svalbard-Barents sea ice sheet during the last 150000 years'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this