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The Welsh Ice Cap

During the last glacial maximum ~20 thousand years ago, Britain and Ireland became engulfed by a large and dynamic ice sheet. Wales played an important part, hosting its own semi-independent ice cap with accumulation centres located on Snowdonia, the Cambrian Mountains and the Brecon Beacons. Ice is thought to have covered all summits in Wales, with the major river valleys acting as conduits for ice drainage.

 As part of my PhD research, I have been involved in trying to numerically model this former ice cap. After running a suite of over 400 simulations, I narrowed down to two ‘optimal’ experiments that best represented the glacial ‘footprint’ left in the geological record. The movie below shows one of these experiments, E426, which proposes two major advances during the ice-cap’s evolution.


View the other optimum experiment and read more information regarding the modelling, or play with the model output in Google Earth.