EGU2020-11290
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-11290
EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Estimating the style and duration of former glaciation in the mountains of Britain and Ireland

Iestyn Barr1, Jeremy Ely2, Matteo Spagnolo3, Ian Evans4, and Matt Tomkins5
Iestyn Barr et al.
  • 1Manchester Metropolitan University , UK (i.barr@mmu.ac.uk)
  • 2University of Sheffield, UK
  • 3University of Aberdeen, UK
  • 4Durham University, UK
  • 5University of Manchester, UK

With a view to better understanding landscape evolution, we model the style and duration of former mountain glaciation in Britain and Ireland during the Quaternary (i.e., the past 2.6 Ma). We use a simple mass balance model, driven by published temperature depression data from the Greenland Ice Core Project (for the past 120 ka), and from a benthic δ18O stack (for the Quaternary as a whole). Though there are limitations to this approach, results provide first-order estimates and indicate that during the Quaternary as a whole, the mountains of Britain and Ireland were glacier-free for 1.1 ± 0.5 Ma; occupied by small (cirque) glaciers for 0.3 ± 0.2 Ma; and occupied by large glaciers for 1.1 ± 0.4 Ma. During the most recent glacial cycle specifically (i.e., the last 120 ka), these areas were glacier-free for an average of 52.0 ± 21.2 ka; occupied by small (cirque) glaciers for 16.2 ± 9.9 ka; and occupied by large glaciers, including ice sheets, for 51.8 ± 18.6 ka. Here, we investigate some of the regional variability in these estimates, and consider implications for long-term landscape evolution.

How to cite: Barr, I., Ely, J., Spagnolo, M., Evans, I., and Tomkins, M.: Estimating the style and duration of former glaciation in the mountains of Britain and Ireland, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-11290, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-11290, 2020

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