Deglacial history of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet in the Weddell Sea embayment: Constraints on past ice volume change

Anne M. Le Brocq, Alun L. Hubbard, Christopher J. Fogwill, Tibor J. Dunai, David E. Sugden, Stewart P. H. T. Freeman, Michael J. Bentley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

The retreat history of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) since the Last Glacial Maximum is important for understanding the process of rapid deglaciation, constraining models that seek to predict the future trajectory of the ice sheet, and for estimating rates of sea-level change. Here we report new glacial geologic data from the southwestern Weddell Sea embayment that demonstrate that this part of the WAIS was thinner than previously suggested, and that there was progressive thinning of the ice sheet by 230-480 m since ca. 15 ka. We use geomorphological data and a numerical ice sheet model to reconstruct the ice sheet in the Weddell Sea at the Last Glacial Maximum. The volume of this ice would have added between 1.4 and 2.0 m to postglacial sea-level rise and would not have been sufficient to contribute significantly to meltwater pulse 1A, a rapid rise in sea level similar to 14,200 yr ago.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-414
Number of pages4
JournalGeology
Volume38
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2010

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