Late Quaternary glacial and environmental history of Kongsøya, Svalbard

  • Ólafur Ingólfsson
  • Finnbogi Rögnvaldsson
  • Helene Bergsten
  • Lars Hedenäs
  • Geoffrey Lemdahl
  • Juan M. Lirio
  • Hans Petter Sejrup


On western Kongsøya, Svalbard, three coarsening-upwards sequences of marine to littoral sediments, separated by tills, are recognised in sections at ca 50-92 m above present sea level. These sequences show major glaciations in the northern Barents Sea, resulting in substantial glacioisostatic downpressing of Kongsøya. Till fabrics indicate ice movements controlled by the local topography, while glaciotectonic deformations suggest that ice moved from an ice divide northeast of Kongsøya. independent of the local topography. The stratigraphical evidences show two pre-Holocene ice-free periods, when the climate was similar to or slightly warmer than at present. The age of these periods is not clear. It is suggested that the elder ice free interval is older than isotope stage 5e. The younger ice free interval could be of Eemian or Early Weichselian age. The uppermost succession of sublittoral-littoral sediments is of early Holocene age. It relates to the high (?100 m) postglacial marine limit, dated to approximately 10,000 bp.


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How to Cite
Ingólfsson, Ólafur, Rögnvaldsson, F., Bergsten, H., Hedenäs, L., Lemdahl, G., Lirio, J. M., & Sejrup, H. P. (1995). Late Quaternary glacial and environmental history of Kongsøya, Svalbard. Polar Research, 14(2), 123-139.