Retreat of the Cordillera Darwin icefield during Termination I

B. L. Hall, G. Denton, T. Lowell, G. R. M. Bromley, A. E. Putnam


During the last glaciation, the Cordillera Darwin icefield expanded northward toward the Straits of Magellan, eastward across Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego and through Canal Beagle, and south and west across the numerous islands of southernmost Chile. Deglaciation commenced at ~18 ka during Termination I. Alpine glaciers in the Fuegian Andes also likely retreated at that time. Radiocarbon ages from the interior regions of Cordillera Darwin suggest ice in at least some locations had retreated close to its present-day limit as early as ~16.5 ka. The most likely cause for such rapid ice retreat was rising atmospheric temperatures at the start of Termination I.


Cordillera Darwin; Termination I; Radiocarbon; Deglaciation; Tierra del Fuego

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