Middle and Late Weichselian (Devensian) glaciation history of south-western Norway, North Sea and eastern UK

H. P. Sejrup*, A. Nygård, A. M. Hall, H. Haflidason

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Data from eastern England, Scotland, the northern North Sea and western Norway have been compiled in order to outline our current knowledge of the Middle and Late Weichselian glacial history of this region. Radiometric dates and their geological context from key sites in the region are presented and discussed. Based on the available information the following conclusions can be made: (i) Prior to 39 cal ka and most likely after ca 50 cal ka Scotland and southern Norway were extensively glaciated. Most likely the central North Sea was not glaciated at this time and grounded ice did not reach the shelf edge. (ii) During the time interval between 29 and 39 ka periods with ameliorated climate (including the Ålesund, Sandnes and Tolsta Interstadials) alternated with periods of restricted glaciation in Scotland and western Norway. (iii) Between 29 and 25 ka maximum Weichselian glaciation of the region occurred, with the Fennoscandian and British ice sheets coalescing in the central North Sea. (iv) Decoupling of the ice sheets had occurred at 25 ka, with development of a marine embayment in the northern North Sea (v) Between 22 and 19 ka glacial ice expanded westwards from Scandinavia onto the North Sea Plateau in the Tampen readvance. (vi) The last major expansion of glacial ice in the offshore areas was between 17.5 and 15.5 ka. At this time ice expanded in the north-western part of the region onto the Måløy Plateau from Norway and across Caithness and Orkney and to east of Shetland from the Moray Firth. The Norwegian Channel Ice Stream (NCIS), which drained major parts of the south-western Fennoscandian Ice Sheet, was active at several occasions between 29 and 18 ka.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)370-380
Number of pages11
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009


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