Reconstructing the Last Glacial Maximum ice sheet in the Weddell Sea embayment, Antarctica, using numerical modelling constrained by field evidence

A. M. Le Brocq*, M. J. Bentley, A. Hubbard, C. J. Fogwill, D. E. Sugden, P. L. Whitehouse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

The Weddell Sea Embayment (WSE) sector of the Antarctic ice sheet has been suggested as a potential source for a period of rapid sea-level rise - Meltwater Pulse 1a, a 20. m rise in ∼500 years. Previous modelling attempts have predicted an extensive grounding line advance in the WSE, to the continental shelf break, leading to a large equivalent sea-level contribution for the sector. A range of recent field evidence suggests that the ice sheet elevation change in the WSE at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) is less than previously thought. This paper describes and discusses an ice flow modelling derived reconstruction of the LGM ice sheet in the WSE, constrained by the recent field evidence. The ice flow model reconstructions suggest that an ice sheet consistent with the field evidence does not support grounding line advance to the continental shelf break. A range of modelled ice sheet surfaces are instead produced, with different grounding line locations derived from a novel grounding line advance scheme. The ice sheet reconstructions which best fit the field constraints lead to a range of equivalent eustatic sea-level estimates between approximately 1.4 and 3. m for this sector. This paper describes the modelling procedure in detail, considers the assumptions and limitations associated with the modelling approach, and how the uncertainty may impact on the eustatic sea-level equivalent results for the WSE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2422-2432
Number of pages11
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Volume30
Issue number19-20
Early online date20 Jun 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2011

Keywords

  • Antarctica
  • Ice sheet
  • Ice sheet modelling
  • Last Glacial Maximum
  • Meltwater pulse
  • Sea-level
  • Weddell Sea

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Reconstructing the Last Glacial Maximum ice sheet in the Weddell Sea embayment, Antarctica, using numerical modelling constrained by field evidence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this