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Isotope stage 5 (130-80 ka) in Greenland, a review.

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal article

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1991
<mark>Journal</mark>Quaternary International
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)107-122
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Marine and glacigene deposits, dated with varying degrees of certainty to isotope stage 5 (130-74 ka) are exposed in coastal cliffs in 18 areas and localities in northern and eastern Greenland. Dating methods include thermoluminescence (TL), U-Th methods and correlation with the deep sea record. Amino-acid parameters are used for correlation between localities. Deposits from the last interglaciation (isotope substage 5e) are rare and have been found only at three localities in both West and East Greenland. Their mollusc and foraminifer faunas indicate more vigorous sea surface circulation and sea surface temperatures some degrees higher than known from the Holocene. During this warm period ice sheet growth began. In Northwest Greenland the ice sheet reached its maximum for the last ice age during the succeeding phase, provisionally correlated with isotope substage 5d. This was followed by a new warm period with increased influx of warm subarctic water, and high summer temperatures on land, provisionally correlated with isotope substage 5a. In East Greenland the observations indicate a more complex ice sheet history. The record from Greenland is very similar to that obtained in adjacent coastal areas of the high Arctic implying that the rapid shifts from warm to cold during isotope stage 5 were especially conducive to the formation of the embryonic North American and Scandinavian ice sheets at high northern latitudes, probably because the pulses of warm water were required to advect sufficient moisture into these areas to allow the growth of continental ice sheets.