A 200 ka glaciation history from NW Svalbard
Heidi T. Ryen
Jon Y. Landvik
Summary, in English
In the Kongsfjorden area in NW Svalbard, there are several stratigraphic sites containing information on Quaternary environmental change, and which can be used to reconstruct local depositional conditions, regional events such as large-scale glaciations and relative sea-level change. Here, we present results from an investigation of one of these sites, the Kongsfjordhallet coastal sections, which are located on the northern shore of Kongsfjorden. The sedimentary units at Kongsfjordhallet represent five high relative sea level events, which imply preceding regional glaciations (Henriksen et al., this volume). Together with the record from nearby Leinstranda (Alexanderson et al. 2011) we can thus identify six, possibly seven, large 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 glaciations are constrained in time by the ages of the high relative sea level events to just prior to ~190 ka, ~130 ka, ~100-85 ka (possibly two events), ~60 ka, ~35 ka and ~14 ka. Our study encompasses only the upper 15 m of the coastal cliff sections at Kongsfjordhallet (corresponding to succession A of Houmark-Nielsen and Funder 1999), and there is an additional ~20 m of sediments below our Unit 1, which is promising for future studies aiming to go further back in time. ReferencesAlexanderson, H., Landvik, J. Y. and Ryen, H. T. 2011. Chronology and styles of glaciation in an inter-fjord setting, northwestern Svalbard. Boreas 40, 175-197.Henriksen, M., Alexanderson, H., Ryen, H.T., Landvik, J.Y. & Peterson, G. this volume: Non-glacial deposits key to the late Quaternary history of NW Svalbard.Houmark-Nielsen, M. and Funder, S. 1999. Pleistocene stratigraphy of Kongsfjordhallet, Spitsbergen, Svalbard. Polar Research 18, 39-49.