Ice-Free Conditions on the Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, at the Height of Late Wisconsin Glaciation

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Science  12 Nov 1982:
Vol. 218, Issue 4573, pp. 675-677
DOI: 10.1126/science.218.4573.675


New radiocarbon dates and plant macrofossil data establish that parts of the Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, were ice-free during and subsequent to the late Wisconsin glacial maximum on the Pacific coast of Canada. A paleoecological investigation of dated sediments at Cape Ball has indicated that a varied flora consisting of terrestrial and aquatic plants was present there about 16,000 years ago. This finding provides support for the existence of a heretofore questioned biotic refugium on the Queen Charlotte Islands during the last glaciation. These results shed new light on problems of glacial chronology, climatic change, biogeography, and archeology along the western margin of North America.