Late Weichselian glacial history and postglacial emergence of Phippsoya, Sjuoyane, northern Svalbard: A comparison of modelled and empirical estimates of a glacial-rebound hinge line

Steven L. Forman*, Ólafur Ingólfsson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Field research on Phippsoya, the largest island in the Sjuoyane archipelago, defines the course and timing of postglacial emergence, documents past-glacier movements, and reinterprets deglacial sedimentary sequences. Previously described tills were not identified in sections exposed along the northeast shore of Phippsoya, but instead sublittoral sediments with rock-fall concentrations derived from the adjacent slope. A glacio-isostatically higher sea level >40 ka deposited sublittoral sediment and is possibly correlative to a deglacial event in oxygen isotope stage 4 or 5 identified at other sites on Svalbard. The postglacial marine limit is 22 ± 1 m aht and occurs as an escarpment or washing limit into a stony drift. This drift contains granite and quartzite erratics from Nordaustlandet that indicate coverage by a northward flowing ice sheet during the Late Weichselian. Datable material on the raised-beach sequence was rare and a 14C age of c. 9.2 ka on an articulated Balanus balanus from 10 m aht provides a minimum constraining age on the marine limit. A mild transgression occurred by 6.2 ka, with sea level falling close to present levels by c. 5.0 ka. The zone of zero emergence (hinge line) lies 10 to 20 km north of Sjuoyane and is approximately coincident with the last glacial maximum limit on the continental shelf. There is an approximately 75 to 100 km offset between observed and modelled zone of zero emergence, indicating a need to refine earth rheology-based ice-sheet models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-25
Number of pages10
JournalBoreas
Volume29
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2000

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