1Centre for Ice and Climate, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Juliane Maries Vej 30, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
2Depart. of Geography, Univ. of Wales Swansea, Singleton Park, Swansea, SA2 8PP, UK
3GeoBiosphere Science Centre, Quaternary Sciences, Lund University, Sölvegatan 12, 22362 Lund, Sweden
4Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Géophysique de l'Environnement, CNRS and Joseph Fourier University, Grenoble, France
5British Antarctic Survey, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0ET, UK
6Climate Research Unit, School of Environmental Sciences, Univ. of East Anglia, NR47TJ, Norwich, UK
Abstract. The Greenland Ice Core Chronology 2005 (GICC05) is a time scale based on annual layer counting of high-resolution records from Greenland ice cores. Whereas the Holocene part of the time scale is based on various records from the DYE-3, the GRIP, and the NorthGRIP ice cores, the glacial part is solely based on NorthGRIP records. Here we present an 18 kyr extension of the time scale such that GICC05 continuously covers the past 60 kyr. The new section of the time scale places the onset of Greenland Interstadial 12 (GI-12) at 46.9±1.0 kyr b2k (before year AD 2000), the North Atlantic Ash Zone 2 layer in GI-15 at 55.4±1.2 kyr b2k, and the onset of GI-17 at 59.4±1.3 kyr b2k. The error estimates are derived from the accumulated number of uncertain annual layers and can be regarded as 1σ uncertainties. In the 40–60 kyr interval the new time scale has a discrepancy with the Meese-Sowers GISP2 time scale of up to 2.4 kyr, whereas GICC05 compares well to the dating of the Hulu Cave record with absolute age differences of less than 800 years throughout the 60 kyr period. The new time scale is generally in close agreement with other independently dated records and reference horizons, such as the Laschamp geomagnetic excursion and the Kleegruben speleothem record from the Austrian Alps, suggesting high accuracy of both event durations and absolute age estimates.