Past Glacial Activity in the Canadian High Arctic

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Science  21 Apr 1978:
Vol. 200, Issue 4339, pp. 265-270
DOI: 10.1126/science.200.4339.265


Field observations on northeast Ellesmere Island indicate that the maximum advance of the northwest Greenland Ice Sheet was about 100 kilometers beyond its present margin. This occurred before the outermost Ellesmere Island ice advance, which took place more than 30,000 years before present (B.P.). Recession from the Ellesmere Island ice margin began at least 28,000 to 30,000 and possibly more than 35,000 years B.P. During this sequence of glacial events, significant land areas remained free of ice. The late Wisconsin ice extent along both northeast Ellesmere Island and northwest Greenland was extremely limited, leaving an ice-free corridor along Kennedy and Robeson channels. Recession from these ice margins is indicated by initial postglacial emergence around 8100 to 8400 years B.P. The relatively minor extent of late Wisconsin ice in the High Arctic probably reflects a period of extreme aridity occasioned by the buildup of the Laurentide Ice Sheet to the south.