Data have been compiled from eleven sediment cores from 76° to 80°N on the western Svalbard slope. The cores are from water depths between 630 and 1880 m and show clear similarities in lithology and magnetic susceptibility. All cores penetrated into mass transported sediments from glacigenic debris flow events and turbidity flow events. The mass transport probably occurred when the ice reached the shelf edge. The deposits date between 24,080 ± 150 and 23,550 ± 185 calibrated (cal) years BP. The records also include laminated, fine grained sediments interpreted as deposits from sediment-laden meltwater plumes dated between 14,780 ± 220 and 14,300 ± 260 cal years BP. In Holocene sediments a diatom-rich fine grained layer dates 10,100 ± 150 to 9840 ± 200 cal years BP. The eleven cores have been stacked into one record with absolute age control from 35 AMS 14C dates. Together with oxygen isotope stratigraphy and contents of ice rafted detritus the stacked record provides a useful chronology tool for cores on the western Svalbard slope. Our study improves the age control of earlier well documented glacial events and shows that the maximum glacial state and the onset of the deglaciation both occurred 2500-3000 years earlier than previously reconstructed for the western Svalbard margin. The results indicate that during the last 30,000 years advance and retreat of the Svalbard-Barents Sea Ice Sheet was closely linked to the flow of Atlantic Water and Polar Water over the margin.
- Programområde 5: Natur og klima