Readvance Of The British Irish Icesheet

2835 words - 12 pages

Re-advance of the last British- Irish Ice Sheet during Greenland Interstade 1 (GI-1): the Wester Ross Re-advance, NW Scotland

The importance and nature of glacial records in terms of global climate and environmental situations has become apparent in recent years, and over a century’s worth of investigation has greatly aided the scientific community in their understanding, and thereafter in the reconstruction of paleoclimate, environmental influences and extent thereof (Broecker, 2002). Glacial records are commonly known as proxies: Proxy data is the indirect measure of past environmental and climatic conditions, usually gathered from natural recorders of climate variability (NGDC, ...view middle of the document...

The Ice- sheet which was formed joined with the Outer Hebrides to create a major ice stream which moved North-Westwards towards the Atlantic Shelf.

Evidence extracted from the Garilough moraine in the North West Scotland provides the starting point of a site which demonstrates the best representative assemblage of landforms, a feature formed by the Wester Ross readvance (WRR) of the Late Devensian ice sheet (Ballantyne (1993). According to Robinson and Ballantyne, (1979) it .provides us with important geomorphological evidence that demonstrates a readvance of the Late Devensian ice-sheet in north-west Scotland, the WRR. Robinson and Ballantyne, (1979) also identified an area to which extends from Applecross to the north of Loch Broom. And in reference to any other relationships between the Wester Ross Moraine and former ice limits elsewhere in the area are uncertain (Ballantyne et al., 1993) But has since been reviewed and major developments are seen in the following. Ballantyne (1993) concludes that the Garilough Moraine demonstrates an end moraine created by the Late Devensian ice-sheet, around 13,500–13,000 years ago and is important to reference locality for the geomorphological expression of the event.

According to Ballanytne et al (2009) the chain of moraine ridges which were sculpted by the LGM and previously identified by Robinson and Ballantyne (1979) see fig 1, marks the limit of an extensive Ice-Sheet re-advance. Everest et al (2006) data suggests that the WRR may have been the result of glacio-climatic changes associated with Heinrich Event 1 in the North Atlantic (c. 16.5–18 ka BP). However, we cannot preclude the possibility that the ice-sheet oscillation may have post-dated this event and relates to ice-sheet equilibration in response to rising sea levels or topographic pinning in the aftermath of H1(Everest et al 2006).

Ballantyne et al (2009) suggests that the chain of moraine ridges which were sculpted by the LGM marks the limit of an extensive Ice-Sheet re-advance. Torridon Sandstone boulders were dated from four moraines; to provide us with further evidence that marks the limit of the Wester Ross Re-advance. The Fourteen samples that were dated using a cosmogenic dating technique, yielded average ages between 13.5 ± 1.2ka and 14.0 ± 1.7ka. This supports the proposal that there was a substantial cover of glacial ice over the low ground of the North-West of Scotland. Furthermore evidence supports that the cover of glacial ice persisted during the early part of the late glacial Interstade, Greenland Interstade 1 (GI-1). Research also suggests additional evidence that the regional re-advance was stimulated by renewed cooling and/or increased snow fall at sometime between 13.5 ± 1.2ka to 14.0 ± 1.7ka. Ballantyne et al (2009) assume that the WRR probably occurred in response to rapid short-lived cooling during the Older Dryas climatic reversal (Greenland Interstade 1). Although Ballantyne et al (2009)...

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