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During the late Wisconsin glaciation (circa 26,000-13,000 carbon-14 yr BP) the Cordilleran glacier complex formed vast ice fields and large glaciers along the crest of the Coast Mountains. As these glaciers flowed west to the Pacific Ocean, they were joined by local glaciers originating on the higher reaches of the Alexander Archipelago (Mann and Hamiltion, 1995). This extensive volume of ice was channeled into deep troughs (present-day fiords) that formed major outlet glaciers, such as the glaciers that occupied Chatham Strait and Dixon Entrance. In several places along the coast, deep glacially scoured submarine troughs indicate that glaciers reached to the edge of the continental shelf. For instance, the glacier that extended into the Dixon Entrance trough is known to have extended to the edge of the continental shelf. Its retreat began sometime after 16,000-15,000 carbon-14 yr BP (Barrie and Conway, 1999).
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Map of glacial limits and possible refugia in the southern Alexander Archipelago, Alaska, during the late Wisconsin glaciation