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Open letter sent to quaternary geologists in 17 countries

Subject: Dating Database and GIS-based Reconstruction for Eurasian Deglaciation

Dear colleague,
In the British-Dutch-Norwegian co-operative project “Impact of changing freshwater flows on the thermohaline circulation and European climate – analysis and modelling of the last deglaciation” led by Sandy Harrison, Bristol, we have promised to produce maps of the deglaciation chronology of the Eurasian ice sheets (i.e. including the Barents-Kara sea, Scandinavian and British ice sheets).
    This is a letter of information, an invitation for collaboration, and a request for help with this huge task. Simply reply to this e-mail (to: richard.gyllencreutz@geo.uib.no) if you want to know more. Please distribute this letter to all interested research colleagues.

We have decided to subdivide it in two tasks:
1) a  DATabase on Eurasian Deglaciation Dates (DATED – 1)
2) a Digital ATlas of the Eurasian Deglaciation (DATED - 2).
    In (DATED - 2) we aim to build a GIS (geographical information system) on the deglaciation pattern of the European ice margin, based on existing literature on mapped ice marginal deposits and with interpreted ice margin reconstructions (isochrones) for certain time-slices (1 ka interval?) on a calendar year time scale from ca 25 ka to ca 9 ka.
Along with the GIS, we will create a database (DATED – 1) on available dates (14C, exposure, OSL) relevant for the deglaciation chronology (~ 25 ka to ~ 9 ka), with full reference and credit to original authors.
    Our intention is that both the GIS and chronology-database shall be available on the WEB to the scientific community and successively updated. The purpose is to provide accurate digital maps of the deglaciation pattern to modellers and other researchers, and to facilitate future recalibrations of dates and re-interpretation of the deglaciation pattern. Full references to all authors of the data used will be stored in the GIS, along with all original data sources (scanned maps, dating and calibration info etc), available for successive quality control and re-interpretation.
    This giant task obviously requires collaboration with other researchers (such as you) in this field. We would therefore like to know if any similar projects are planned or ongoing elsewhere, in order to eliminate “double work”. We would also like to know about existing compilations or databases on dates for smaller areas or limited time scales.
Looking forward to a successful collaboration!
Feel free to distribute this letter.

Richard Gyllencreutz
John Inge Svendsen
Jan Mangerud
Øystein Lohne