Seismic and geomorphic records of Antarctic Ice Sheet evolution in the Ross Sea and controlling factors in its behaviour
Published:January 01, 2019
John B. Anderson, Lauren M. Simkins, Phillip J. Bart, Laura De Santis, Anna Ruth W. Halberstadt, Elisabetta Olivo, Sarah L. Greenwood, 2019. "Seismic and geomorphic records of Antarctic Ice Sheet evolution in the Ross Sea and controlling factors in its behaviour", Glaciated Margins: The Sedimentary and Geophysical Archive, D.P. Le Heron, K.A. Hogan, E.R. Phillips, M. Huuse, M.E. Busfield, A.G.C. Graham
Download citation file:
A robust collection of seismic and geomorphic data is used to examine the evolution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet within the Ross Sea Embayment. We use geomorphic data to reconstruct Last Glacial Maximum and post-Last Glacial Maximum ice sheet drainage and demonstrate retreat behaviours for the East Antarctic and West Antarctic sectors of the ice sheet. Using this framework, we then use seismic data and chronostratigraphic information from drill cores to reconstruct the long-term evolution of the ice sheet. Early ice sheet evolution during the Late Oligocene was characterized by isolated ice caps on bathymetric highs, followed by an interval of sediment infilling of rift basins and the development of more subdued relief in the eastern Ross Sea than in the western Ross Sea. Both ice sheets have experienced multiple episodes of expansion across the continental shelf since the Middle Miocene, with the frequency increasing during the Plio-Pleistocene. We conclude that seafloor bathymetry has been the principal control on ice sheet palaeodrainage and retreat behaviour since at least the middle Miocene, demonstrated by broad West Antarctic ice streams loosely guided by south to north cross-shelf troughs, whereas East Antarctic ice streams were funnelled through troughs that merge and converge around banks.
Figures & Tables
Glaciated Margins: The Sedimentary and Geophysical Archive
CONTAINS OPEN ACCESS
Understanding the sedimentary and geophysical archive of glaciated margins is a complex task that requires integration and analysis of disparate sedimentological and geophysical data. Their analysis is vital for understanding the dynamics of past ice sheets and how they interact with their neighbouring marine basins, on timescales that cannot be captured by observations of the cryosphere today. As resources, sediments deposited on the inner margins of glaciated shelves also exhibit resource potential where more sand-dominated systems occur, acting as reservoirs for both hydrocarbons and water. This book surveys the full gamut of glaciated margins, from deep time (Neoproterozoic, Ordovician and Carboniferous–Permian) to modern high-latitude margins in Canada and Antarctica. This collection of papers is the first attempt to deliberately do this, allowing not only the similarities and differences between modern and ancient glaciated margins to be explored, but also the wide spectrum of their mechanisms of investigation to be probed. Together, these papers offer a high-resolution, spatially and temporally diverse blueprint of the depositional processes, ice sheet dynamics, and basin architectures of the world’s former glaciated margins; a vital resource in advancing understanding of our present and future marine-terminating ice sheet margins.