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Boulder dating suggests that an ice-free corridor from the Beringia to the Great Plains existed 13,800 years ago.

Central Rocky Mountains in Alberta, Canada. Credit: Anders Karlsson.

Evidence that an international team of researchers began to exist about 13,800 years ago with an ice-free corridor (IFC) that was proposed to exist between ice beds along the route from Beringia to the Great Plains. I found.In their treatise published in Minutes of the National Academy of SciencesThe group uses surface exposures of cosmogenic nuclides dating back to the boulders left by the ice sheet that once covered the IFC, explaining their conclusion that early travelers probably came by boat.


Over the past few decades, scientists have sought to pinpoint exactly when and where humans first inhabited North America, and how they arrived. Most of the community agrees that the first humans living in North America came from Eurasia, but when and how this happened is still under debate. According to one theory, people walked down from near the current Bering Strait along the IFC, a corridor formed by the space between the ice beds. This journey would have taken them through what is now western Canada to what is now the Great Plains of the United States. Researchers have found evidence that people living in parts of western North America date back 15,000 years. Therefore, if it goes down via IFC, IFC must have existed at that time. In this new initiative, researchers tested this concept by dating the rocks left by the ice sheet that once covered the IFC.

Surface exposure dating of cosmogenic nuclides measures the effect of cosmic rays penetrating an object (in this case, boulder).when Cosmic rays Hitting a rock produces beryllium-10. Therefore, to determine the date when the boulder was exposed to light, researchers measured the amount of beryllium-10. In this scenario, researchers worked under the assumption that the rocks were hidden under hundreds of feet of ice before the IFC opened. Researcher tests have shown that boulders were left on the ice sheet about 13,800 years ago. This suggests that IFC was not formed until that time. They conclude by suggesting that their findings suggest that the first people to come to North America did so by boat along the coast, not by traveling to IFC.


Ice Age discoveries may reveal early routes of travel for the first Americans


For more information:
Jorie Clark et al, The Age of Iceless Corridor Opening and Impact on Settlement of the Americas, Minutes of the National Academy of Sciences (2022). DOI: 10.1073 / pnas.2118558119

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Quote: Rock dating suggests that an ice-free corridor from the Beringia to the Great Plains existed 13,800 years ago (March 22, 2022). -corridor-beringia.html

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Boulder dating suggests that an ice-free corridor from the Beringia to the Great Plains existed 13,800 years ago.

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