Retreat of the East Antarctic ice sheet during the last glacial termination

Andrew Mackintosh, Nicholas Golledge, Eugene Domack, Robert Dunbar, Amy Leventer, Duanne White, David Pollard, Robert Deconto, David Fink, Dan Zwartz, Damian Gore, Caroline Lavoie

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    103 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The retreat of the East Antarctic ice sheet at the end of the last glacial period has been attributed to both sea-level rise and warming of the ocean at the margin of the ice sheet, but it has been challenging to test these hypotheses. Given the lack of constraints on the timing of retreat, it has been difficult to evaluate whether the East Antarctic ice sheet contributed to meltwater pulse 1a, an abrupt sea-level rise of approximately 20â¿¿m that occurred about 14,700 years ago. Here we use terrestrial exposure ages and marine sedimentological analyses to show that ice retreat in Mac. Robertson Land, East Antarctica, initiated about 14,000 years ago, became widespread about 12,000 years ago, and was completed by about 7,000 years ago. We use two models of different complexities to assess the forcing of the retreat. Our simulations suggest that, although the initial stage of retreat may have been forced by sea-level rise, the majority of the ice loss resulted from ocean warming at the onset of the Holocene epoch. In light of our age model we conclude that the East Antarctic ice sheet is unlikely to have been the source of meltwater pulse 1a, and, on the basis of our simulations, suggest that Antarctic ice sheets made an insignificant contribution to eustatic sea-level rise at this time.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)195-202
    Number of pages8
    JournalNature Geoscience
    Volume4
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

    Fingerprint

    Last Glacial
    ice sheet
    meltwater
    warming
    ice retreat
    ocean
    simulation
    Holocene
    ice
    sea level rise

    Cite this

    Mackintosh, A., Golledge, N., Domack, E., Dunbar, R., Leventer, A., White, D., ... Lavoie, C. (2011). Retreat of the East Antarctic ice sheet during the last glacial termination. Nature Geoscience, 4(3), 195-202. https://doi.org/10.1038/NGEO1061
    Mackintosh, Andrew ; Golledge, Nicholas ; Domack, Eugene ; Dunbar, Robert ; Leventer, Amy ; White, Duanne ; Pollard, David ; Deconto, Robert ; Fink, David ; Zwartz, Dan ; Gore, Damian ; Lavoie, Caroline. / Retreat of the East Antarctic ice sheet during the last glacial termination. In: Nature Geoscience. 2011 ; Vol. 4, No. 3. pp. 195-202.
    @article{82f8e65d9249465686297904171ae82a,
    title = "Retreat of the East Antarctic ice sheet during the last glacial termination",
    abstract = "The retreat of the East Antarctic ice sheet at the end of the last glacial period has been attributed to both sea-level rise and warming of the ocean at the margin of the ice sheet, but it has been challenging to test these hypotheses. Given the lack of constraints on the timing of retreat, it has been difficult to evaluate whether the East Antarctic ice sheet contributed to meltwater pulse 1a, an abrupt sea-level rise of approximately 20{\^a}¿¿m that occurred about 14,700 years ago. Here we use terrestrial exposure ages and marine sedimentological analyses to show that ice retreat in Mac. Robertson Land, East Antarctica, initiated about 14,000 years ago, became widespread about 12,000 years ago, and was completed by about 7,000 years ago. We use two models of different complexities to assess the forcing of the retreat. Our simulations suggest that, although the initial stage of retreat may have been forced by sea-level rise, the majority of the ice loss resulted from ocean warming at the onset of the Holocene epoch. In light of our age model we conclude that the East Antarctic ice sheet is unlikely to have been the source of meltwater pulse 1a, and, on the basis of our simulations, suggest that Antarctic ice sheets made an insignificant contribution to eustatic sea-level rise at this time.",
    author = "Andrew Mackintosh and Nicholas Golledge and Eugene Domack and Robert Dunbar and Amy Leventer and Duanne White and David Pollard and Robert Deconto and David Fink and Dan Zwartz and Damian Gore and Caroline Lavoie",
    year = "2011",
    doi = "10.1038/NGEO1061",
    language = "English",
    volume = "4",
    pages = "195--202",
    journal = "Nature Geoscience",
    issn = "1752-0894",
    publisher = "Nature Publishing Group",
    number = "3",

    }

    Mackintosh, A, Golledge, N, Domack, E, Dunbar, R, Leventer, A, White, D, Pollard, D, Deconto, R, Fink, D, Zwartz, D, Gore, D & Lavoie, C 2011, 'Retreat of the East Antarctic ice sheet during the last glacial termination', Nature Geoscience, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 195-202. https://doi.org/10.1038/NGEO1061

    Retreat of the East Antarctic ice sheet during the last glacial termination. / Mackintosh, Andrew; Golledge, Nicholas; Domack, Eugene; Dunbar, Robert; Leventer, Amy; White, Duanne; Pollard, David; Deconto, Robert; Fink, David; Zwartz, Dan; Gore, Damian; Lavoie, Caroline.

    In: Nature Geoscience, Vol. 4, No. 3, 2011, p. 195-202.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Retreat of the East Antarctic ice sheet during the last glacial termination

    AU - Mackintosh, Andrew

    AU - Golledge, Nicholas

    AU - Domack, Eugene

    AU - Dunbar, Robert

    AU - Leventer, Amy

    AU - White, Duanne

    AU - Pollard, David

    AU - Deconto, Robert

    AU - Fink, David

    AU - Zwartz, Dan

    AU - Gore, Damian

    AU - Lavoie, Caroline

    PY - 2011

    Y1 - 2011

    N2 - The retreat of the East Antarctic ice sheet at the end of the last glacial period has been attributed to both sea-level rise and warming of the ocean at the margin of the ice sheet, but it has been challenging to test these hypotheses. Given the lack of constraints on the timing of retreat, it has been difficult to evaluate whether the East Antarctic ice sheet contributed to meltwater pulse 1a, an abrupt sea-level rise of approximately 20â¿¿m that occurred about 14,700 years ago. Here we use terrestrial exposure ages and marine sedimentological analyses to show that ice retreat in Mac. Robertson Land, East Antarctica, initiated about 14,000 years ago, became widespread about 12,000 years ago, and was completed by about 7,000 years ago. We use two models of different complexities to assess the forcing of the retreat. Our simulations suggest that, although the initial stage of retreat may have been forced by sea-level rise, the majority of the ice loss resulted from ocean warming at the onset of the Holocene epoch. In light of our age model we conclude that the East Antarctic ice sheet is unlikely to have been the source of meltwater pulse 1a, and, on the basis of our simulations, suggest that Antarctic ice sheets made an insignificant contribution to eustatic sea-level rise at this time.

    AB - The retreat of the East Antarctic ice sheet at the end of the last glacial period has been attributed to both sea-level rise and warming of the ocean at the margin of the ice sheet, but it has been challenging to test these hypotheses. Given the lack of constraints on the timing of retreat, it has been difficult to evaluate whether the East Antarctic ice sheet contributed to meltwater pulse 1a, an abrupt sea-level rise of approximately 20â¿¿m that occurred about 14,700 years ago. Here we use terrestrial exposure ages and marine sedimentological analyses to show that ice retreat in Mac. Robertson Land, East Antarctica, initiated about 14,000 years ago, became widespread about 12,000 years ago, and was completed by about 7,000 years ago. We use two models of different complexities to assess the forcing of the retreat. Our simulations suggest that, although the initial stage of retreat may have been forced by sea-level rise, the majority of the ice loss resulted from ocean warming at the onset of the Holocene epoch. In light of our age model we conclude that the East Antarctic ice sheet is unlikely to have been the source of meltwater pulse 1a, and, on the basis of our simulations, suggest that Antarctic ice sheets made an insignificant contribution to eustatic sea-level rise at this time.

    U2 - 10.1038/NGEO1061

    DO - 10.1038/NGEO1061

    M3 - Article

    VL - 4

    SP - 195

    EP - 202

    JO - Nature Geoscience

    JF - Nature Geoscience

    SN - 1752-0894

    IS - 3

    ER -