Reconstructing the Younger Dryas ice dammed lake in the Baltic Basin: Bathymetry, area and volume

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A digital 3D-reconstruction of the Baltic Ice Lake's (BIL) configuration during the termination of the Younger Dryas cold phase (ca. 11700 cal. yr BP) was compiled using a combined bathymetric-topographic Digital Terrain Model (DTM), Scandinavian ice sheet limits, Baltic Sea Holocene bottom sediment thickness information, and a paleoshoreline database maintained at the Lund University. The bathymetric-topographic DTM, assembled from publicly available data sets, has a resolution of 500 X 500 m on Lambert Azimuthal Equal Area projection allowing area and volume calculations of the BIL to be made with an unprecedented accuracy. When the damming Scandinavian ice sheet margin eventually retreated north of Mount Billingen, the high point in terrain of Southern central Sweden bordering to lower terrain further to the north, the BIL was catastrophically drained resulting in a 25 m drop of the lake level. With our digital reconstruction, we estimate that approximately 7800 km(3) of water drained during this event and that the ice dammed lake area was reduced by ca. 18%. Building on previous results suggesting drainage over 1 to 2 years, our lake volume calculations imply that the freshwater flux to the contemporaneous sea in the west was between about 0.12 and 0.25 Sv. The BIL reconstruction provides new detailed information on the paleogeography in the area of southern Scandinavia, both before and after the drainage event, with implications for interpretations of geological records concerning the post-glacial environmental development. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V All rights reserved.


  • Martin Jakobsson
  • Svante Björck
  • Goran Alm
  • Thomas Andren
  • Greger Lindeberg
  • Nils-Olof Svensson
Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Geologi


Sidor (från-till)355-370
TidskriftGlobal and Planetary Change
Utgåva nummer3-4
StatusPublished - 2007
Peer review utfördJa