Skip to Main Content

Is climate change affecting rates of dune migration in Antarctica?

Charlie S. Bristow, Paul Augustinus, Ed J. Rhodes, Irene C. Wallis and Harry M. Jol
Is climate change affecting rates of dune migration in Antarctica?
Geology (Boulder) (September 2011) 39 (9): 831-834


Antarctica is the coldest, driest, and windiest continent on Earth, and contains sand dunes, like deserts elsewhere. The structure and age of the cold climate dunes found in the Victoria Valley, Antarctica, are described in the light of changing climate in the Ross Sea region of Antarctica during the late Holocene. Ground penetrating radar (GPR) was used to image sand dune stratigraphy, and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) was used to determine when the sands were deposited. The timing of sand dune accretion identified from the GPR stratigraphy ranges from the present day to ca. 1.3 kyr B.P. The OSL ages were used to calculate end-point migration rates of 0.05-1.5 m/yr, lower than migration rates from photogrammetry and field surveys undertaken over the past 50 yr. The earliest recorded dune development, ca. 1.3 kyr B.P., was probably controlled by intensification of circumpolar westerlies at that time as well as by drier conditions and lower temperatures that promoted dune stabilization. The dune reactivation ca. 300 yr ago coincides with cooling ca. A.D. 1700-1850, and strengthening of southern circumpolar westerlies. The increase in rate of dune migration after this period and especially the past 200 yr may coincide with the modern rise in CO (sub 2) and the warmest temperatures in Antarctica during the past 800 kyr.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 39
Serial Issue: 9
Title: Is climate change affecting rates of dune migration in Antarctica?
Affiliation: University of London, Birkbeck College, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, London, United Kingdom
Pages: 831-834
Published: 201109
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 38
Accession Number: 2011-080425
Categories: Quaternary geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: With GSA Data Repository Item 2011242
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sects., 1 table, sketch maps
S77°45'00" - S77°15'00", E161°19'60" - E163°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: University of Auckland, NZL, New ZealandUniversity of California, Los Angeles, USA, United StatesUniversity of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201144
Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal