Chronology of the last recession of the Greenland Ice Sheet

Ole Bennike, Svante Björck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

147 Citations (Scopus)


A new deglaciation chronology for the ice-free parts of Greenland, the continental shelf and eastern Ellesmere (Canada) is proposed. The chronology is based on a new compilation of all published radiocarbon dates from Greenland, and includes crucial new material from southern, northeastern and northwestern Greenland. Although each date provides only a minimum age for the local deglaciation, some of the dates come from species that indicate ice-proximal glaciomarine conditions, and thus may be connected with the actual ice recession. In addition to shell dates, dates from marine algae, lake sediments, peat, terrestrial plants and driftwood also are included. Only offshore and in the far south have secure late-glacial sediments been found. Other previous reports of late-glacial sediments (older than 11.5 cal. kyr BP) from onshore parts of Greenland need to be confirmed. Most of the present ice-free parts of Greenland and Nares Strait between Greenland and Ellesmere Island were not deglaciated until the early Holocene.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-219
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Quaternary Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2002


  • C dating
  • Deglaciation
  • Greenland
  • Holocene
  • Last glacial maximum
  • Quaternary

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 5: Nature and Climate


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