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Science. 2006 Sep 15;313(5793):1623-5.

Early reactivation of European rivers during the last deglaciation.

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  • 1CEREGE, Collège de France, UMR 6635, CNRS Université Aix-Marseille III, Europole de l'Arbois, BP 80, 13545 Aix-en-Provence, France.


During the Last Glacial Maximum, the sea-level lowstand combined with the large extent of the Fennoscandian and British ice sheets led to the funneling of European continental runoff, resulting in the largest river system that ever drained the European continent. Here, we show an abrupt and early reactivation of the European hydrological cycle at the onset of the last deglaciation, leading to intense discharge of the Channel River into the Bay of Biscay. This freshwater influx, probably combined with inputs from proglacial or ice-dammed lakes, dramatically affected the hydrology of the region, both on land and in the ocean.

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