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The configuration of Northern Hemisphere ice sheets through the Quaternary

Batchelor, C.L.; Margold, M.; Krapp, M.; Murton, D.K.; Dalton, A.S.; Gibbard, P.L.; Stokes, C.R.; Murton, J.B.; Manica, A.

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C.L. Batchelor

M. Margold

M. Krapp

D.K. Murton

A.S. Dalton

P.L. Gibbard

J.B. Murton

A. Manica


Our understanding of how global climatic changes are translated into ice-sheet fluctuations and sea-level change is currently limited by a lack of knowledge of the configuration of ice sheets prior to the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Here, we compile a synthesis of empirical data and numerical modelling results related to pre-LGM ice sheets to produce new hypotheses regarding their extent in the Northern Hemisphere (NH) at 17 time-slices that span the Quaternary. Our reconstructions illustrate pronounced ice-sheet asymmetry within the last glacial cycle and significant variations in ice-marginal positions between older glacial cycles. We find support for a significant reduction in the extent of the Laurentide Ice Sheet (LIS) during MIS 3, implying that global sea levels may have been 30–40m higher than most previous estimates. Our ice-sheet reconstructions illustrate the current state-of-the-art knowledge of pre-LGM ice sheets and provide a conceptual framework to interpret NH landscape evolution.


Batchelor, C., Margold, M., Krapp, M., Murton, D., Dalton, A., Gibbard, P., …Manica, A. (2019). The configuration of Northern Hemisphere ice sheets through the Quaternary. Nature Communications, 10, Article 3713.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 25, 2019
Online Publication Date Aug 16, 2019
Publication Date 2019
Deposit Date Jul 29, 2019
Publicly Available Date Aug 29, 2019
Journal Nature Communications
Publisher Nature Research
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Article Number 3713


Published Journal Article (Advance online version) (2.7 Mb)

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