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Ice-stream initiation, duration and thinning on James Ross Island, northern Antarctic Peninsula

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Bethan DaviesORCiD


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Predicting the future response of the Antarctic Ice Sheet to climate change requires an understanding of the ice streams that dominate its dynamics. Here we use cosmogenic isotope exposure-age dating (26Al, 10Be and 36Cl) of erratic boulders on ice-free land on James Ross Island, north-eastern Antarctic Peninsula, to define the evolution of Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) ice in the adjacent Prince Gustav Channel. These data include ice-sheet extent, thickness and dynamical behaviour. Prior to ~18ka, the LGM Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet extended to the continental shelf-edge and transported erratic boulders onto high-elevation mesas on James Ross Island. After ~18ka there was a period of rapid ice-sheet surface-lowering, coincident with the initiation of the Prince Gustav Ice Stream. This timing coincided with rapid increases in atmospheric temperature and eustatic sea-level rise around the Antarctic Peninsula. Collectively, these data provide evidence for a transition from a thick, cold-based LGM Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet to a thinner, partially warm-based ice sheet during deglaciation. © 2013.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Glasser NF, Davies BJ, Carrivick JL, Rodes A, Hambrey MJ, Smellie JL, Domack E

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Quaternary Science Reviews

Year: 2014

Volume: 86

Pages: 78-88

Print publication date: 15/02/2014

Online publication date: 21/01/2014

Acceptance date: 13/11/2013

ISSN (print): 0277-3791

ISSN (electronic): 1873-457X

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2013.11.012


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