Glacial and palaeoenvironmental history of the Cape Chelyuskin area, Arctic Russia
AbstractQuaternary glacial stratigraphy and relative sea-level changes reveal at least two glacial expansions over the Chelyuskin Peninsula, bordering the Kara Sea at about 77°N in the Russian Arctic, as indicated from tills interbedded with marine sediments, exposed in stratigraphic superposition, and from raisedbeach sequences mapped to altitudes of at least up to ca. 80 m a.s.l. Chronological control is provided by accelerator mass spectrometry 14C dating, electron-spin resonance and optically stimulated luminescence geochronology. Major glaciations, followed by deglaciation and marine inundation, occurred during marine oxygen isotope stages 6–5e (MIS 6–5e) and stages MIS 5d–5c. These glacial sediments overlie marine sediments of Pliocene age, which are draped by fluvial sediment of a pre-Saalian age, thereby forming palaeovalley/ basin fills in the post-Cretaceous topography. Till fabrics and glacial tectonics record expansions of local ice caps exclusively, suggesting wet-based ice cap advance, followed by cold-based regional ice-sheet expansion. Local ice caps over highland sites along the perimeter of the shallow Kara Sea, including the Byrranga Mountains and the Severnaya Zemlya archipelago, appear to have repeatedly fostered initiation of a large Kara Sea ice sheet, with the exception of the Last Glacial Maximum (MIS 2), when Kara Sea ice neither impacted the Chelyuskin Peninsula nor Severnaya Zemlya, and barely touched the northern coastal areas of the Taymyr Peninsula.
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