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

Michael Bentley, Colm Cofaigh, John Anderson, Howard Conway, Bethan Davies, Alastair G C Graham, Claus Dieter Hillenbrand, Dominic Hodgson, Stewart Jamieson, Robert Larter, Andrew Mackintosh, James A. Smith, Elie Verleyen, Robert P. Ackert, Philip Bart, Sonja Berg, Daniel Brunstein, Miquel Canals, Eric Colhoun, Xavier CrostaWilliam Dickens, Eugene Domack, Julian Dowdeswell, Robert Dunbar, Werner Ehrmann, Jeffrey Evans, Vincent Favier, David Fink, Christopher J. Fogwill, Neil Glasser, Karsten Gohl, Nicholas R. Golledge, Ian Goodwin, Damian B. Gore, Sarah Greenwood, Brenda L. Hall, Kevin Hall, David Hedding, Andrew Hein, Emma Hocking, Martin Jakobsson, Joanne Johnson, Vincent Jomelli, R. Selwyn Jones, Johann Klages, Yngve Kristoffersen, Gerhard Kuhn, Amy Leventer, Kathy Licht, Katherine Lilly, Julia Lindow, Stephen Livingstone, Guillaume Masse, Matt McGlone, Robert M. McKay, Martin Melles, Hideki Miura, Robert Mulvaney, Werner Nel, Frank Nitsche, Philip E. O'Brien, Alexandra L. Post, Stephen J. Roberts, Krystyna Saunders, Patricia Selkirk, Alexander Simms, Cornelia Spiegel, Travis Stolldorf, David Sugden, Nathalie van der Putten, Tas van Ommen, Deborah Verfaillie, Wim Vyverman, Bernd Wagner, Duanne WHITE, Alexandra Witus, Dan Zwartz

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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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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