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The evolution of the Patagonian Ice Sheet from 35 ka to the present day (PATICE)

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Bethan DaviesORCiD


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© 2020 The AuthorsWe present PATICE, a GIS database of Patagonian glacial geomorphology and recalibrated chronological data. PATICE includes 58,823 landforms and 1,669 geochronological ages, and extends from 38°S to 55°S in southern South America. We use these data to generate new empirical reconstructions of the Patagonian Ice Sheet (PIS) and subsequent ice masses and ice-dammed palaeolakes at 35 ka, 30 ka, 25 ka, 20 ka, 15 ka, 13 ka (synchronous with the Antarctic Cold Reversal), 10 ka, 5 ka, 0.2 ka and 2011 AD. At 35 ka, the PIS covered of 492.6 x103 km2, had a sea level equivalent of ~1,496 mm, was 350 km wide and 2090 km long, and was grounded on the Pacific continental shelf edge. Outlet glacier lobes remained topographically confined and the largest generated the suites of subglacial streamlined bedforms characteristic of ice streams. The PIS reached its maximum extent by 33 – 28 ka from 38°S to 48°S, and earlier, around 47 ka from 48°S southwards. Net retreat from maximum positions began by 25 ka, with ice-marginal stabilisation then at 21 – 18 ka, which was then followed by rapid, irreversible deglaciation. By 15 ka, the PIS had separated into disparate ice masses, draining into large ice-dammed lakes along the eastern margin, which strongly influenced rates of recession. Glacial readvances or stabilisations occurred at least at 14 – 13 ka, 11 ka, 6 – 5 ka, 2 – 1 ka, and 0.5 – 0.2 ka. We suggest that 20th century glacial recession (% a-1) is occurring faster than at any time documented during the Holocene.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Davies BJ, Darvill CM, Lovell H, Bendle JM, Dowdeswell JA, Fabel D, Garcia J-L, Geiger A, Glasser NF, Gheorghiu DM, Harrison S, Hein AS, Kaplan MR, Martin JRV, Mendelova M, Palmer A, Pelto M, Rodes A, Sagredo EA, Smedley RK, Smellie JL, Thorndycraft VR

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Earth-Science Reviews

Year: 2020

Volume: 204

Print publication date: 17/04/2020

Online publication date: 18/03/2020

Acceptance date: 10/03/2020

ISSN (print): 0012-8252

ISSN (electronic): 1872-6828

Publisher: Elsevier B.V.


DOI: 10.1016/j.earscirev.2020.103152