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Tundra environments in the Neogene Sirius Group, Antarctica; evidence from the geological record and coupled atmosphere-vegetation models

J. E. Francis, A. M. Haywood, A. C. Ashworth and P. J. Valdes
Tundra environments in the Neogene Sirius Group, Antarctica; evidence from the geological record and coupled atmosphere-vegetation models
Journal of the Geological Society of London (March 2007) 164 (2): 317-322

Abstract

The Neogene Meyer Desert Formation, Sirius Group, at Oliver Bluffs in the Transantarctic Mountains, contains a sequence of glacial deposits formed under a wet-based glacial regime. Within this sequence fluvial deposits have yielded fossil plants that, along with evidence from fossil insects, invertebrates and palaeosols, indicate the existence of tundra conditions at 85 degrees S during the Neogene. Mean annual temperatures of c. -12 degrees C are estimated, with short summer seasons with temperatures up to +5 degrees C. The current published date for this formation is Pliocene, although this is hotly debated. Reconstructions produced by the TRIFFID and BIOME 4 vegetation models, utilizing a Pliocene climatology derived from the HadAM3 General Circulation Model (running with prescribed boundary conditions from the US Geological Survey PRISM2 dataset), also predict tundra-type vegetation in Antarctica. The consistency of the model outputs with geological evidence demonstrates that a Pliocene age for the Meyer Desert Formation is consistent with proxy environmental reconstructions and numerical model reconstructions for the mid-Pliocene. If so, the East Antarctic Ice Sheet has behaved in a dynamic manner in the recent geological past.


ISSN: 0016-7649
EISSN: 2041-479X
Coden: JGSLAS
Serial Title: Journal of the Geological Society of London
Serial Volume: 164
Serial Issue: 2
Title: Tundra environments in the Neogene Sirius Group, Antarctica; evidence from the geological record and coupled atmosphere-vegetation models
Affiliation: University of Leeds, School of Earth and Environment, Leeds, United Kingdom
Pages: 317-322
Published: 200703
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of London, London, United Kingdom
References: 30
Accession Number: 2007-026564
Categories: Stratigraphy
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sketch maps
S85°07'00" - S85°07'00", E166°34'60" - E166°34'60"
Secondary Affiliation: British Antarctic Survey, GBR, United KingdomNorth Dakota State University, USA, United StatesUniversity of Bristol, GBR, United Kingdom
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data from The Geological Society, London, London, United Kingdom
Update Code: 200715
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