Periglacial trimlines and former nunataks of the last glacial maximum: the Gap of Dunloe, Southwest Ireland

A. Rae, S. Harrison, Timothy Michael Mighall, A. G. Dawson

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42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

During the last main phase of glaciation (26-13 ka) an ice-cap developed in southwest Ireland and ice, from a dispersal centre in the vicinity of Kenmare, flowed north through the Gap of Dunloe in the Macgillycuddy's Reeks. On surrounding hillsides a weathering limit separates ice-moulded bedrock, on low ground, from frost-weathered terrain above. Assessment of bedrock dilation joint characteristics, Schmidt hammer R-value data and clay-sized mineral contents of basal soil samples, demonstrate significant contrasts in the degree of weathering above and below this limit. The weathering limit declines in altitude along former ice flow-lines and is confluent with morainic deposits on the eastern side of the Gap. This supports the assertion that the high-level weathering limit is a periglacial trimline that marks the former maximum upper limit of the body of ice which occupied the Gap of Dunloe during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Reconstruction of the former ice-surface profile from periglacial trimline limits on the eastern side of the Gap yields a mean estimate for basal shear stress of 106.5 kPa. This value suggests that the ice mass which occupied the Gap of Dunloe at the LGM was warm based and flowed on a bedrock substrate. Copyright (C) 2004 John Wiley Sons, Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-98
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Quaternary Science
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Keywords

  • periglacial trimlines
  • nunataks
  • southwest Ireland
  • LGM
  • ice-surface profile reconstruction
  • LATE DEVENSIAN GLACIATION
  • ICE-SHEET
  • SOUTHERN-NORWAY
  • SCHMIDT HAMMER
  • NEOGLACIAL MORAINES
  • NORTHWEST SCOTLAND
  • VERTICAL EXTENT
  • FORMER NUNATAKS
  • OUTER HEBRIDES
  • WESTERN NORWAY

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