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Late Holocene ice-flow reconfiguration in the Weddell Sea sector of West Antarctica

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Neil RossORCiD


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Here we report Late Holocene ice sheet and grounding-line changes to the Weddell Sea sector of West Antarctica. Internal radio-echo layering within the Bungenstock Ice Rise, which comprises very slow-flowing ice separating the fast-flowing Institute and Möller ice streams, reveals ice deformed by former enhanced flow, overlain by un-deformed ice. The ice-rise surface is traversed by surface lineations explicable as diffuse ice-flow generated stripes, which thus capture the direction of flow immediately prior to the creation of the ice rise. The arrangement of internal layers can be explained by adjustment to the flow path of the Institute Ice Stream, during either a phase of ice sheet retreat not longer than ∼4000 years ago or by wholesale expansion of the grounding-line from an already retreated situation not sooner than ∼400 years ago. Some combination of these events, involving uplift of the ice rise bed during ice stream retreat and reorganisation, is also possible. Whichever the case, the implication is that the ice sheet upstream of the Bungenstock Ice Rise, which currently grounds over a >1.5 km deep basin has been, and therefore may be, susceptible to significant change.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Siegert MJ, Ross N, Corr HFJ, Kingslake J, Hindmarsh RCA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Quaternary Science Reviews

Year: 2013

Volume: 78

Pages: 98-107

Print publication date: 15/10/2013

ISSN (print): 0277-3791

ISSN (electronic): 1873-457X

Publisher: Pergamon


DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2013.08.003


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Funder referenceFunder name
BAS Polar Science for Planet Earth programme
ES0701COST Action