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Late Devensian deglaciation of the Tyne Gap Palaeo-Ice Stream, northern England

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Bethan DaviesORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.The deglacial history of the central sector of the last British-Irish Ice Sheet is poorly constrained, particularly along major ice-stream flow paths. The Tyne Gap Palaeo-Ice Stream (TGIS) was a major fast-flow conduit of the British-Irish Ice Sheet during the last glaciation. We reconstruct the pattern and constrain the timing of retreat of this ice stream using cosmogenic radionuclide (10Be) dating of exposed bedrock surfaces, radiocarbon dating of lake cores and geomorphological mapping of deglacial features. Four of the five 10Be samples produced minimum ages between 17.8 and 16.5 ka. These were supplemented by a basal radiocarbon date of 15.7±0.1 cal ka BP, in a core recovered from Talkin Tarn in the Brampton Kame Belt. Our new geochronology indicates progressive retreat of the TGIS from 18.7 to 17.1 ka, and becoming ice free before 16.4-15.7 ka. Initial retreat and decoupling of the TGIS from the North Sea Lobe is recorded by a prominent moraine 10-15km inland of the present-day coast. This constrains the damming of Glacial Lake Wear to a period before ~18.7-17.1 ka in the area deglaciated by the contraction of the TGIS. We suggest that retreat of the TGIS was part of a regional collapse of ice-dispersal centres between 18 and 16 ka.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Livingstone SJ, Roberts DH, Davies BJ, Evans DJA, O Cofaigh C, Gheorghiu DM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Quaternary Science

Year: 2015

Volume: 30

Issue: 8

Pages: 790-804

Print publication date: 01/11/2015

Online publication date: 13/11/2015

Acceptance date: 25/09/2015

Date deposited: 22/08/2022

ISSN (print): 0267-8179

ISSN (electronic): 1099-1417

Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Ltd


DOI: 10.1002/jqs.2813


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Funder referenceFunder name
NERC Cosmogenic Isotope Analysis Facility