Eurasian ice-sheet interaction in northwestern Russia throughout the late Quaternary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Sediment successions from the Kanin Peninsula and Chyoshskaya Bay in northwestern Russia contain information on the marginal behaviour of all major ice sheets centred in Scandinavia, the Barents Sea and the Kara Sea during the Eemian - Weichselian. Extensive luminescence dating of regional lithostratigraphical units, supported by biostratigraphical evidence, identifies four major ice advances at 100 - 90, 70 - 65, 55 - 45 and 20 - 18 kyr ago interbedded with lacustrine, glaciolacustrine and marine sediments. The widespread occurrence of marine tidal sediments deposited c. 65 - 60 kyr ago allows a stratigraphical division of the Middle Weichselian Barents Sea and Kara Sea ice sheets into two shelf-based glaciations separated by almost complete deglaciation. The first ice dispersal centre was in the Barents Sea and thereafter in the Kara Sea. It is possible to extract both flow patterns from ice marginal landforms inside the southward termination. Accordingly, it is proposed that the Markhida line and its western continuation are asynchronous and originate from two separate glaciations before and after the marine transgression. The marine sedimentation occurred during a eustatic sea-level rise of up to 20 m/1000 yr, i. e. the Mezen Transgression. We speculate that the rapid eustatic sea-level rise triggered a collapse of the Barents Sea Ice Sheet at the MIS ( Marine Isotope Stage) 4 to 3 transition. This is motivated by lack of an early marine highstand, the timing of events, and the marginal position of Arkhangelsk relative to open marine conditions.


  • Kurt Kjaer
  • Eiliv Larsen
  • Svend Funder
  • Igor Demidov
  • Maria Jensen
  • Lena Håkansson
  • Andrew Murray
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Geology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)444-475
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Publication categoryResearch