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Abstract

Landforms and sediments in the Prince Charles Mountains record the timing and magnitude of Cenozoic palaeotopographic changes in the Lambert Glacier–Amery Ice Shelf system. A review of geomorphic and sedimentological evidence indicates that considerable (>1–2 km) glacial incision into a pre-glacial palaeosurface occurred along the major outlet glaciers during the Cenozoic. This erosion was in turn the likely driver for uplift that averaged c. 50 m/Ma along the flank of the Amery Ice Shelf since at least the mid-Miocene Epoch. The volume of eroded material is an order of magnitude greater than the quantity of sediment presently preserved in Prydz Bay, suggesting considerable export of Cenozoic sediment off the continental shelf. The magnitude of erosion recorded in the Prince Charles Mountains is sufficient to have focussed Cenozoic ice-drainage patterns, but was too slow to have driven Quaternary changes in ice volume.

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