Rapid tunnel-valley formation beneath the receding Late Weichselian ice sheet in Vendsyssel, Denmark

Peter B.E. Sandersen, Flemming Jørgensen, Nicolaj Krog Larsen, Joakim H. Westergaard, Esben Auken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Interpretation of Transient ElectroMagnetic (TEM) data and wire-line logs has led to the delineation of an intricate pattern of buried tunnel valleys, along with new evidence of glaciotectonically dislocated layers in recessional moraines in the central part of Vendsyssel, Denmark. The TEM data have been compared with recent results of stratigraphical investigations based on lithological and biostratigraphical analyses of borehole samples and dating with Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) and radiocarbon. This has provided an overview of the spatial distribution of the late Quaternary lithostratigraphical formations, and the age of the tunnel valleys has been estimated. The tunnel valleys are typically 5-10 km long, 1 km wide and are locally eroded to depths of more than 180m b.s.l. The valleys are interpreted to have been formed by subglacial meltwater erosion beneath the outermost part of the ice sheet during temporary standstills and minor re-advances during the overall Late Weichselian recession of the Scandinavian Ice Sheet. The formation of the tunnel valleys occurred after the retreat of the Main ice advance c. 20 kyr BP and before the Lateglacial marine inundation c. 18 kyr BP. Based on the occurrence of the tunnel valleys and the topography, four ice-marginal positions related to the recession of the northeastern Main advance and seven ice-marginal positions related to the recession from the following eastern re-advance across Vendsyssel are delineated. All the tunnel valleys were formed within a time interval of a few thousand years, giving only a few hundred years or less for the formation of the tunnel valleys at each ice-marginal position.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)834-851
Number of pages18
JournalBoreas
Volume38
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 2: Water Resources

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