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Late Devensian deglaciation of the Tyne Gap Palaeo-Ice Stream, northern England

Livingstone, S.; Roberts, D.H.; Davies, B.; Evans, D.; Ó Cofaigh, C.; Gheorghiu, D.

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S. Livingstone

B. Davies

D. Gheorghiu


The deglacial history of the central sector of the last British–Irish Ice Sheet is poorly constrained, particularly along major ice-stream flow paths. The Tyne Gap Palaeo-Ice Stream (TGIS) was a major fast-flow conduit of the British–Irish Ice Sheet during the last glaciation. We reconstruct the pattern and constrain the timing of retreat of this ice stream using cosmogenic radionuclide (10Be) dating of exposed bedrock surfaces, radiocarbon dating of lake cores and geomorphological mapping of deglacial features. Four of the five 10Be samples produced minimum ages between 17.8 and 16.5 ka. These were supplemented by a basal radiocarbon date of 15.7 ± 0.1 cal ka BP, in a core recovered from Talkin Tarn in the Brampton Kame Belt. Our new geochronology indicates progressive retreat of the TGIS from 18.7 to 17.1 ka, and becoming ice free before 16.4–15.7 ka. Initial retreat and decoupling of the TGIS from the North Sea Lobe is recorded by a prominent moraine 10–15 km inland of the present-day coast. This constrains the damming of Glacial Lake Wear to a period before ∼18.7–17.1 ka in the area deglaciated by the contraction of the TGIS. We suggest that retreat of the TGIS was part of a regional collapse of ice-dispersal centres between 18 and 16 ka.


Livingstone, S., Roberts, D., Davies, B., Evans, D., Ó Cofaigh, C., & Gheorghiu, D. (2015). Late Devensian deglaciation of the Tyne Gap Palaeo-Ice Stream, northern England. Journal of Quaternary Science, 30(8), 790-804.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 25, 2015
Online Publication Date Nov 13, 2015
Publication Date Nov 13, 2015
Deposit Date Oct 16, 2015
Publicly Available Date Oct 20, 2015
Journal Journal of Quaternary Science
Print ISSN 0267-8179
Electronic ISSN 1099-1417
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 30
Issue 8
Pages 790-804
Keywords British–Irish Ice Sheet, Cosmogenic surface exposure dating, Palaeo-ice stream, Radiocarbon dating, Tyne Gap.
Publisher URL


Accepted Journal Article (3.3 Mb)

Copyright Statement
Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Quaternary Science Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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