200 ka of glacial events in NW Svalbard: an emergence cycle facies model and regional correlations
Heidi T. Ryen
Jon Y. Landvik
Summary, in English
Late Quaternary sedimentary units at Kongsfjordhallet, NW Svalbard, represent five cycles of glaciations and subsequent deglaciations during high relative sea levels. The high sea level events are interpreted as glacioisostatically induced and imply preceding regional glaciations, which we constrain in time by luminescence and radiocarbon ages to just prior to ~ 195, ~ 130, ~ 85, ~ 60, and ~ 15 ka. Combined with the stratigraphical record from nearby Leinstranda we identify six, possibly seven, major glacial advances during the last 200 ka in the Kongsfjorden region. Two of these occurred during the Saalian and at least four during the Weichselian. The results are based on detailed sedimentological, stratigraphical and chronological investigations of the uppermost 15 m of the 40-m-high Kongsfjordhallet coastal sections. The succession is dominated by sediments of marine and littoral origin, representing partial shallowing-upward sequences due to isostatic rebound. Only one subglacial till was recognised. Interestingly, alluvial and periglacial deposits, not commonly recognised in this type of setting, occur in the sequence. These include weathered coarse alluvium, sandy channel fills as well as cryoturbated sediments and solifluction deposits, which are positive evidence of a non-glacial environment. The sequence of sediments that represents an emergence cycle has been formalised in a facies model.