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Optical ages indicate the southwestern margin of the Green Bay Lobe in Wisconsin, USA, was at its maximum extent until about 18,500years ago
- Attig, J.W., Hanson, P.R., Rawling, J.E., III, Young, A.R., Carson, E.C.
- Geomorphology 2011 v.130 no.3-4 pp. 384-390
- basins, drainage, glaciation, ice, lakes, sediment deposition, sediments, watersheds, Wisconsin
- Samples for optical dating were collected to estimate the time of sediment deposition in small ice-marginal lakes in the Baraboo Hills of Wisconsin. These lakes formed high in the Baraboo Hills when drainage was blocked by the Green Bay Lobe when it was at or very near its maximum extent. Therefore, these optical ages provide control for the timing of the thinning and recession of the Green Bay Lobe from its maximum position. Sediment that accumulated in four small ice-marginal lakes was sampled and dated. Difficulties with field sampling and estimating dose rates made the interpretation of optical ages derived from samples from two of the lake basins problematic. Samples from the other two lake basins—South Bluff and Feltz basins—responded well during laboratory analysis and showed reasonably good agreement between the multiple ages produced at each site. These ages averaged 18.2ka (n=6) and 18.6ka (n=6), respectively. The optical ages from these two lake basins where we could carefully select sediment samples provide firm evidence that the Green Bay Lobe stood at or very near its maximum extent until about 18.5ka. The persistence of ice-marginal lakes in these basins high in the Baraboo Hills indicates that the ice of the Green Bay Lobe had not experienced significant thinning near its margin prior to about 18.5ka. These ages are the first to directly constrain the timing of the maximum extent of the Green Bay Lobe and the onset of deglaciation in the area for which the Wisconsin Glaciation was named.