The glaciers act as an important proxy of climate changes; however, little is known about the glacial activities in Ny-Alesund during the Little Ice Age (LIA). In the present study, we studied a 118-cm-high palaeo-notch sediment profile YN in Ny-Alesund which is divided into three units: upper unit (0–10 cm), middle unit (10–70 cm) and lower unit (70–118 cm). The middle unit contains many gravels and lacks regular lamination, and most of the gravels have striations and extrusion pits on the surface. The middle unit has the grain size characteristics and origin of organic matter distinct from other units, and it is likely the glacial till. The LIA in Svalbard took place between 1500 and 1900 AD, the middle unit is deposited between 2219 yr BP and AD 1900, and thus the middle unit is most likely caused by glacier advance during the LIA. Glaciers during the LIA likely overran the sampling site, removed part of the pre-existing sediments, and contributed to the formation of diamicton in the middle unit. This study provides evidence for glacial deposits during the LIA in Ny-Alesund and improves our understanding about historical glacier dynamics and ice-sheet margins during the LIA in western Spitsbergen.
Volume 129, 2020
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