Little Diomede Island

The Age and Origin of the Little Diomede Island Upland Surface

The flat, 363 m surface of Little Diomede Island in the Bering Strait.


The Arctic Institute of North America

Project Summary

This work was part of my PhD dissertation at the University of Massachusetts where I worked with Dr. Julie Brigham-Grette.

Based on geomorphology and projected uplift rates, the upland surface of Little Diomede Island may represent a 2.6 Ma high sea level stand in the Bering Strait. The 350-363 m upland surface of the Island could be correlative with the York terrace, an uplifted marine terrace previously recognized on the southern flanks of the York Mountains, Seward Peninsula. The modern surface is composed of a cryoplanation terrace enclosing a central blockfield and rimmed with tors. Beryllium-10 cosmogenic isotope analysis of 2 tors and 3 outcrops from the upper surface indicate the island has been under the influence of a subaerial periglacial environment since at least the last 36 ka (MIS 3) and probably since 254 ka (MIS 7/8). Unequivocal evidence does not exist to support glaciation of Little Diomede Island.

Publications resulting from this research

Gualtieri, L. and Brigham-Grette, J. 2001. The Age and Origin of the Little Diomede Island Upland Surface. Arctic 54 (1): 12-21.


Bering Land Bridge National Preserve