EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

New ice margin chronology for the last deglaciation of the North American Ice Sheet Complex

Martin Margold1, April S. Dalton1, Jakob Heyman2, Helen E. Dulfer1, and Sophie L. Norris3
Martin Margold et al.
  • 1Charles University, Department of Physical Geography and Geoecology, Prague, Czechia (
  • 2Department of Earth Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • 3Department of Earth Sciences, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

The North American Ice Sheet Complex (comprising the Laurentide, Cordilleran and Innuitian ice sheets) was the largest ice mass in the Northern Hemisphere that grew towards and waned after the Last Glacial Maximum. The existing ice margin chronology available for the North American Ice Sheet Complex is based on radiocarbon data only and does not reflect other geochronometric information constraining the last deglaciation, such as cosmogenic exposure- or optically stimulated luminescence ages. Here we present a series of newly produced ice margin isochrones from 25 ka to present, in a time step of 500 years. For each isochron, we draw maximum, best estimate, and minimum ice margin position in an attempt to capture the existing uncertainty. The ice margin isochrones are based on (i) an up-to-date dataset of radiocarbon ages (~5000), (ii) 10Be and 26Al cosmogenic nuclide data that directly date ~80 ice-marginal features over North America, (iii) ~350 optically stimulated luminescence ages dating the deposition of an aeolian cover immediately post-deglaciation, (iv) the ice-sheet scale glacial geomorphology record. Our effort brings the information on the last North American Ice Sheet Complex deglaciation on par with that for the Eurasian Ice Sheets and should serve the broad community of Quaternary research from archaeology to numerical ice sheet modelling.

How to cite: Margold, M., Dalton, A. S., Heyman, J., Dulfer, H. E., and Norris, S. L.: New ice margin chronology for the last deglaciation of the North American Ice Sheet Complex, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-11345,, 2022.