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A community-based geological reconstruction of Antarctic Ice Sheet deglaciation since the Last Glacial Maximum

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posted on 12.06.2015, 12:47 by Michael J. Bentley, Colm O Cofaigh, John B. Anderson, Howard Conway, Bethan J. Davies, Alastair G.C. Graham, Claus-Dieter Hillenbrand, Dominic A. Hodgson, Stewart S.R. Jamieson, Robert D. Larter, Andrew Mackintosh, James A. Smith, Elie Verleyen, Robert P. Ackert, Philip J. Bart, Sonja Berg, Daniel Brunstein, M. Canals, Eric A. Colhoun, Xavier Crosta, William A. Dickens, Eugene Domack, Julian A. Dowdeswell, Robert Dunbar, Werner Ehrmann, Jeffrey Evans, Vincent Favier, David Fink, Christopher J. Favier, Neil F. Glasser, Karsten Gohl, Nicholas R. Golledge, Ian Goodwin, Damian B. Gore, Sarah L. Greenwood, Brehda L. Hall, Kevin Hall, David W. Hedding, AndrewS. Hein, Emma P. Hocking, Martin Jakobsson, Joanne S. Johnson, Vincent Jomelli, R. Selwyn Jones, Johann P. Klages, Yngve Kristoffersen, Gerhard Kuhn, Amy Leventer, Kathy Licht, Katherine Lilly, Julia Lindow, Stephin J. Livingstone, Guillaume Masse, Matt S. McGlone, Robert M. McKay, Martin Melles, Hideki Miura, Robert Mulvaney, Werner Nel, Frank O. Nitsche, Philip E. O'Brien, Alexandra L. Post, Stephen J. Roberts, Krystyna M. Saunders, Patricia M. Selkirk, Alexander R. Simms, Cornelia Spiegel, Travis D. Stolldorf, David E. Sugden, Nathalie van der Putten, Tas van Ommen, Deborah Verfaillie, Wim Vyverman, Bernd Wagner, Duanne A. White, Alexandra E. Witus, Dan Zwartz
A robust understanding of Antarctic Ice Sheet deglacial history since the Last Glacial Maximum is important in order to constrain ice sheet and glacial-isostatic adjustment models, and to explore the forcing mechanisms responsible for ice sheet retreat. Such understanding can be derived from a broad range of geological and glaciological datasets and recent decades have seen an upsurge in such data gathering around the continent and Sub-Antarctic islands. Here, we report a new synthesis of those datasets, based on an accompanying series of reviews of the geological data, organised by sector. We present a series of timeslice maps for 20ka, 15ka, 10ka and 5ka, including grounding line position and ice sheet thickness changes, along with a clear assessment of levels of confidence. The reconstruction shows that the Antarctic Ice sheet did not everywhere reach the continental shelf edge at its maximum, that initial retreat was asynchronous, and that the spatial pattern of deglaciation was highly variable, particularly on the inner shelf. The deglacial reconstruction is consistent with a moderate overall excess ice volume and with a relatively small Antarctic contribution to meltwater pulse 1a. We discuss key areas of uncertainty both around the continent and by time interval, and we highlight potential priorit. © 2014 The Authors.


The authors thank all of the national funding agencies who have supported the work described in this volume (MJB acknowledges NERC grant NE/F014260/1). The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) research programme 2004–2011 ‘Antarctic Climate Evolution’ (ACE) provided funding for an initial discussion workshop for which we are grateful. This Special Volume forms an output of the SCAR programme ‘Past Antarctic Ice Sheet Dynamics’ (PAIS).



  • Social Sciences


  • Geography and Environment

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Quaternary Science Reviews




1 - 9


BENTLEY, M.J. ... et al, 2014. A community-based geological reconstruction of Antarctic Ice Sheet deglaciation since the Last Glacial Maximum. Quaternary Science Reviews, 100, pp. 1 - 9.


Elsevier Ltd / © The Authors


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This is an Open Access article published by Elsevier and distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence CC-BY 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.







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