Professor Volli Kalm, University of Tartu
Senior Research Fellow Tiit Hang, University of Tartu
Professor Wojciech Wysota, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Poland
This thesis examines the chronology of Weichselian Glaciation, maximum extent of Scandinavian Ice Sheet (SIS) and its glacial advance and decay dynamics in western part of the East European Plain (EEP). Knowledge about temporal and spatial dynamics of former ice sheets would allow us to predict the response of current glaciers to globally warming climate. The study area of the thesis encompasses the SE sector of the SIS between the Baltic Sea and the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) position in the western part of the EEP.
The Weichselian Glaciation is most extensively studied; however chronological data are unevenly distributed. Still, the occurrence of Early to Middle Weichselian glaciation in this region remains controversial because the advancing ice sheet has a great destructive potential for soft unconsolidated sediments and most of the sediments of former glaciations have been removed. However, evidence of glacial sediments attributed to the Middle Weichselian has been found in several sites in Europe, although, the opinions about the extent of SIS during the Middle Weichselian glaciation have remained contradicting. More is known about the last glaciation, but the timing of the advance of the last SIS and its arrival to maximum extent and deglaciation are continuously debated.
This has necessitated the revision of the chronological data. In current thesis the behaviour of the SIS during the Weichselian Glaciation on EEP is discussed through the collection, review and synchronization of all available chronological data. In detail the duration of the ice-free period before the last glaciation is determined; an overall chronology for the last SIS advance is established; deglaciation chronology in conjunction with the current understanding of the ice-flow pattern is defined and overall rates of ice-sheet advance and recession are discussed.