Ice stream retreat following the LGM and onset of the west Greenland current in Uummannaq Trough, west Greenland
The deglacial history and oceanography of Uummannaq Trough, central West Greenland continental shelf, was investigated using foraminiferal, sedimentological, and bathymetric records together with a radiocarbon chronology, providing a timeline for the retreat of glacial ice after the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). To map ice stream retreat, data were collected from cores from the outer (JR175-VC45 and JR175-VC43) and inner (JR175-VC42) Uummannaq Trough. A large ice stream, fed by confluent glaciers draining the interior of the Greenland Ice Sheet, extended across the outer shelf during the LGM and was in retreat by 15.0 cal kyr BP. Foraminiferal data indicate that the ‘warm’ West Greenland Current (WGC) was established prior to 14.0 cal kyr BP, which is the hitherto earliest record of Atlantic Water found on the West Greenland shelf. For each of the cores, foraminifera indicate that ice sheet retreat was followed quickly by incursion of the WGC, suggesting that the warm water may have enhanced ice retreat. Prior to the Younger Dryas cold event, the radiocarbon chronology indicates that the ice sheet retreated to the mid-shelf, where it subsequently stabilised and formed a large grounding-zone wedge (GZW). After the Younger Dryas, around 11.5 cal kyr BP, the ice retreated rapidly from the GZW and into the fjords.
Authors: Sheldon, Christina, Jennings, Anne, Andrews, John T., Ó Cofaigh, Colm, Hogan, Kelly, Dowdeswell, Julian A., Seidenkrantz, Marit-Solveig