Deglaciation of the central Barents Sea
The marine-based Barents Sea Ice Sheet covered the polar continental shelf north of Norway and western Russia during the Last Glacial Maximum. Initial ice sheet retreat along the western margin is well established, while the retreat pattern in the interior parts of the ice sheet remains poorly known. Here we present new geological data from the central Barents Sea. The results are based on analysis of several marine geophysical datasets, including geomorphological mapping of multibeam swath bathymetry data and analysis of seismic and acoustic stratigraphy. The new results provide insights into the configuration and dynamics of the ice sheet during its retreat across the central Barents Sea. In particular they show clear changes in the location of the main ice divides and domes, with ice flow becoming gradually more topographically controlled as deglaciation progressed. Major troughs were characterised by episodic retreat and reoccurring cycles of fast and slow ice flow, sometimes leading to stagnation and ice shelf formation. Meanwhile, adjacent bank areas were covered by comparatively slowly retreating ice, although evidence of streaming ice is also seen locally.
Submitted manuscript version. Published version available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2013.09.012.