Iceberg discharge to the Chukchi shelf during the Younger Dryas

Hill, JC, Driscoll NW.  2010.  Iceberg discharge to the Chukchi shelf during the Younger Dryas. Quaternary Research. 74:57-62.

Date Published:



arctic-ocean, Chukchi shelf, climate-change, fresh-water, glaciation, Iceberg discharge, last glacial maximum, marine geology, origin, sea-ice, younger dryas


The extent of glaciation in northwestern Alaska, the source of sediment supply to the Chukchi shelf and slope, and the movement of sea ice and icebergs across the shelf during the last glacial maximum (LGM) remain poorly constrained. Here we present geophysical and geological data from the outer Chukchi margin that reveal a regionally extensive, heavily ice-scoured surface similar to 5-8 m below the modern seafloor. Radiocarbon dating of this discrete event yields age estimates between 10,600 and 11,900 (14)C yr BP, indicating the discharge event occurred during the Younger Dryas. Based on mineralogy of the ice-rafted debris, the icebergs appear to be sourced from the northwestern Alaskan margin, which places important constraints on the ice extent in northern Alaska during the LGM as well as existing circulation models for the region. (C) 2010 University of Washington. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.