Younger Dryas and Early Holocene ice‐margin dynamics in northwest Russia

Ben Boyes, Danni Pearce, Lorna Linch, David Nash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The dynamics of the last Fennoscandian Ice Sheet (FIS) are relatively well constrained in the Nordic countries. Ice-sheet dynamics in NW Russia, however, are comparatively less well understood owing to the scale and resolution of existing studies. New large-scale glacial geomorphological datasets from NW Russia based on high-resolution remotely sensed imagery allow for an independent reassessment of the extent and dynamics of the FIS during the Younger Dryas and Early Holocene (c. 12.9–10 ka) in NW Russia. The reconstruction provides a more detailed link between geomorphological expressions of palaeoglaciation than previous proposals. Rather than a continuous Younger Dryas ice marginal zone (IMZ) stretching from Finland to northern Norway, the geomorphological signature of NW Russia reveals 14 IMZs that document discrete stationary ice-margin positions (possibly standstill and/or readvance events) during overall retreat. The relative age sequence of the IMZs, supported by an updated numerical age database, suggests that they formed time-transgressively during the YoungerDryas andEarlyHolocene rather than contemporaneously. Moreover, specific landform assemblages reveal contrasting glacial landsystems in NW Russia: (i) a northern subpolar glacial landsystem; and (ii) a southern temperate glacial landsystem. The model presented herein provides robust empirical constraints for testing and validating numerical ice-sheet models and understanding ice-sheet responses to rapid climate change.
Original languageEnglish
Article number12653
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2024


  • Fennoscandian Ice Sheet
  • Kola Peninsula
  • Karelia
  • Russia
  • Finland
  • Younger Dryas
  • early Holocene
  • Late Weichselian


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