Paired 10Be and 26Al analyses (n = 14) indicate that pre-Wisconsinan, glaciated bedrock surfaces near the northern (Baffin Island) and southern (Minnesota) paleo-margins of the Laurentide Ice Sheet have long and complex histories of cosmic-ray exposure, including significant periods of partial or complete shielding from cosmic rays. Using the ratio, 26Al/10Be, we calculate that striated outcrops of Sioux Quartzite in southwestern Minnesota (southern margin) were last overrun by ice at least 500,000 years ago. Weathered bedrock tors on the once-glaciated uplands of Baffin Island (northern margin) are eroding no faster than 1.1 m Myr-1, the equivalent of at least 450,000 years of surface and near-surface exposure. Our data demonstrate that exposure ages and erosion rates calculated from single nuclides can underestimate surface stability dramatically because any intermittent burial, and the resultant lowering of nuclide production rates and nuclide abundances, will remain undetected.
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Mid-Pleistocene cosmogenic minimum-age limits for pre-Wisconsinan glacial surfaces in southwestern Minnesota and southern Baffin Island: A multiple nuclide approach