Javascript is not activated in your browser. This website needs javascript activated to work properly.
You are here

An interglacial polar bear and an early Weichselian glaciation at Poolepynten, western Svalbard

  • Helena Alexanderson
  • Olafur Ingolfsson
  • Andrew S. Murray
  • Justyna Dudek
Publishing year: 2013
Language: English
Pages: 532-543
Publication/Series: Boreas
Volume: 42
Issue: 3
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Ltd

Abstract english

The recent discovery of a subfossil polar bear (Ursus maritimus) jawbone in the Poolepynten coastal cliff sequence, western Svalbard, and its implications for the natural history of the polar bear motivated an effort to better constrain the environmental history and age envelope of the Poolepynten sediment sequence. The focus of the present study is on the lithostratigraphy of the coastal cliffs and on re-dating the sequence using the Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating technique. We report a revised lithostratigraphy and nine new OSL ages. It is concluded that the Poolepynten sequence contains evidence of four regional glaciation events, recorded in the strata as erosional unconformities or glacial deposits followed by shallow-marine deposition signifying transgressions and subsequent glacio-isostatic rebound and regression. Our OSL ages refine previous age determinations (14C and IRSL) and support the interpretation that the subfossil polar bear jawbone is probably of last interglacial (Eemian) age.


  • Geology


  • Glacial history of Svalbard
  • Lund Luminescence Laboratory-lup-obsolete
  • ISSN: 1502-3885
Helena Alexandersson
E-mail: helena [dot] alexanderson [at] geol [dot] lu [dot] se


Quaternary Sciences

+46 46 222 44 83



Aeolian sand project

Project members
Members of the aeolian sand project: Martin Bernhardson, Sara Florén, Edyta Kalińska-Nartiša and Helena Alexanderson.

Read more about the project here.