Evidence for glaciation in the Northern Hemisphere back to 44 Ma from ice-rafted debris in the Greenland Sea
The widely accepted age estimate for the onset of glaciation in the Northern Hemisphere ranges between 2 and 15 million years ago (Ma). However, recent studies indicate the date for glacial onset may be significantly older. We report the presence of ice-rafted debris (IRD) in ∼ 44 to 30 Ma sediments from the Greenland Sea, evidence for glaciation in the North Atlantic during the Middle Eocene to Early Oligocene. Detailed sedimentological evidence indicates that glaciers extended to sea level in the region, allowing icebergs to be produced. IRD may have been sourced from tidewater glaciers, small ice caps, and/or a continental ice sheet.