Tasmania is important for understanding Quaternary climatic change because it is one of only three areas that experienced extensive mid-latitude Southern Hemisphere glaciation and it lies in a dominantly oceanic environment at a great distance from Northern Hemisphere ice sheet feedbacks. We applied exposure dating using ³⁶Cl to an extensive sequence of moraines from the last glacial at Mt. Field, Tasmania. Glaciers advanced at 41-44 ka during Marine oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 3 and at 18 ka during MIS 2. Both advances occurred in response to an ELA lowering greater than 1100 m below the present-day mean summer freezing level, and a possible temperature reduction of 7-8°C. Deglaciation was rapid and complete by ca. 16 ka. The overall story emerging from studies of former Tasmanian glaciers is that the MIS 2 glaciation was of limited extent and that some glaciers were more extensive during earlier parts of the last glacial cycle.
Journal of Quaternary Science Vol. 21, Issue 4, p. 363-376