, 4:17 | Cite as

10Be dating the last deglaciation of Bjørnøya, Svalbard

  • Jason P. BrinerEmail author
  • Anne Hormes
Original Article
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  1. PAST Gateways


The retreat of the Barents Sea Ice Sheet was a major event in the last deglaciation of the Arctic. Numerous studies document the fine details of the seafloor that reveal a highly dynamic ice sheet somewhat analogous to the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Despite detailed records of the Barents Sea Ice Sheet’s dynamics, comparatively few studies have provided chronological control that constrains its history of final collapse. We report cosmogenic 10Be exposure ages from 14 glacial erratics, nine moraine boulders and one bedrock surface from southern Bjørnøya, an island situated in the Barents Sea between Svalbard and Norway. 17 of 24 samples average 12.4 ± 0.5 ka with no significant relationship between age and elevation. We interpret the ages to represent the time when Bjørnøya, and the shallow Spitsbergenbanken upon which it sits, became finally deglaciated following break up of the Barents Sea Ice Sheet. The timing of deglaciation, overlapping with the early Younger Dryas, suggests that Younger Dryas climate change did not reverse overall glacier recession, although we cannot rule out a stillstand or re-advance during the early Younger Dryas.


Bjørnøya Cosmogenic 10Be exposure dating Barents Sea Ice Sheet Deglaciation 



We thank William d’Andrea, Katja Baum, Willem van der Bilt, Alexander Hovland, Henriika Kivilä and Torgeir Røthe for help during fieldwork, Joseph Tulenko for help with figure 1, and Susan Zimmerman and the Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for assistance with 10Be/9Be measurements.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeologyUniversity at BuffaloBuffaloUSA
  2. 2.Department of Arctic GeologyThe University Centre in SvalbardLongyearbyenNorway
  3. 3.Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden

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