Last glacial ice-rafted debris off southwestern Europe: The role of the British-Irish Ice Sheet

Grant R. Bigg, Richard C. Levine, Chris D. Clark, Sarah L. Greenwood, Haflidi Haflidason, Anna L.C. Hughes, Atlé Nygård, Hans Petter Sejrup

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Ice-rafted debris (IRD) seeded into the ocean from Northern Hemisphere ice sheets is found in ocean cores along the southwestern European margin through the last glacial period. It is known that the origin of this IRD, especially off Iberia, can vary between North America and western Europe during short-lived episodes of greatly enhanced iceberg flux, known as Heinrich events, although in most Heinrich events the IRD has a North American source. During the longer times of much lower IRD fluxes between Heinrich events, use of an intermediate complexity climate model, coupled to an iceberg dynamic and thermodynamic model, shows that background levels of IRD most likely originate from western Europe, particularly the British-Irish Ice Sheet. Combining modelling with palaeoceanographic evidence supports reconstructions of a short-lived, but substantial, Celtic and Irish Sea Ice Stream around 23-ka.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)689-699
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Quaternary Science
Volume25
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2010

Keywords

  • British-Irish Ice Sheet
  • Climate model
  • Iberian margin
  • Ice-rafted debris
  • Iceberg model
  • Polar Front

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