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Widespread evidence of an unrecognized late glacial advance across preexisting moraines in western New York is confirmed by 40 14C ages and six new optically stimulated luminescence analyses between the Genesee Valley and the Cattaraugus Creek basin of eastern Lake Erie. The Late Wisconsin chronology is relatively unconstrained by local dating of moraines between Pennsylvania and Lake Ontario. Few published 14C ages record discrete events, unlike evidence in the upper Great Lakes and New England. The new 14C ages from wood in glacial tills along Buttermilk Creek south of Springville, New York, and reevaluation of numerous 14C ages from miscellaneous investigations in the Genesee Valley document a significant glacial advance into Cattaraugus and Livingston Counties between 13,000 and 13,300 cal yr B.P., near the Greenland Interstadial 1b (GI-1b) cooling leading into the transition from the Bölling-Alleröd to the Younger Dryas. The chronology from four widely distributed sites indicates that a Late Wisconsin advance spread till discontinuously over the surface, without significantly modifying the preexisting glacial topography. A short-lived advance by a partially grounded ice shelf best explains the evidence. The advance, ending 43 km south of Rochester and a similar distance south of Buffalo, overlaps the revised chronology for glacial Lake Iroquois, now considered to extend from ca. 14,800–13,000 cal yr B.P. The spread of the radiocarbon ages is similar to the well-known Two Creeks Forest Bed, which equates the event with the Two Rivers advance in Wisconsin.


Geosphere (2021) 17 (1): 271–305. doi: 10.1130/GES02257.1