Constraints on Antarctic Ice Sheet configuration during and following the Last Glacial Maximum and its episodic contribution to sea-level rise
John B. Anderson, Alexandra E. Kirshner, Alexander R. Simms, 2013. "Constraints on Antarctic Ice Sheet configuration during and following the Last Glacial Maximum and its episodic contribution to sea-level rise", Antarctic Palaeoenvironments and Earth-Surface Processes, M. J. Hambrey, P. F. Barker, P. J. Barrett, V. Bowman, B. Davies, J. L. Smellie, M. Tranter
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Marine geological studies provide a record of diachronous expansion and retreat of the Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet, West Antarctic Ice Sheet and East Antarctic Ice Sheet during the past c. 30 000 cal yr BP. Retreat of these ice sheets and Antarctica’s contribution to sea-level rise was largely complete by the early Holocene. Estimates of ice sheet thickness, based on maximum grounding depths, range from 640 to 1640 m on the inner continental shelf. Grounding depths on the outer continental shelf equate to minimum thicknesses of 410–950 m. Geomorphic features indicate that retreat from the continental shelf was mostly step-wise around the continent, a result of the different factors that control ice sheet behaviour and the degree to which these factors vary regionally. Thus, the nature of post-LGM (Last Glacial Maximum) sea-level rise was episodic and believed to have been punctuated by rapid pulses triggered by individual ice stream collapse. Most of these pulses would have been of sub-metre magnitudes and below the resolution of existing sea-level curves, but they would have had significant impact on coastal evolution, especially along low-gradient coasts.
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Antarctic Palaeoenvironments and Earth-Surface Processes
The volume highlights developments in our understanding of the palaeogeographical, palaeobiological, palaeoclimatic and cryospheric evolution of Antarctica. It focuses on the sedimentary record from the Devonian to the Quaternary Period. It features tectonic evolution and stratigraphy, as well as processes taking place adjacent to, beneath and beyond the ice-sheet margin, including the continental shelf.
The contributions in this volume include several invited review papers, as well as original research papers arising from the International Symposium on Antarctic Earth Sciences in Edinburgh, in July 2011. These papers demonstrate a remarkable diversity of Earth science interests in the Antarctic. Following international trends, there is particular emphasis on the Cenozoic Era, reflecting the increasing emphasis on the documentation and understanding of the past record of ice-sheet fluctuations. Furthermore, Antarctic Earth history is providing us with important information about potential future trends, as the impact of global warming is increasingly felt on the continent and its ocean.