Abstract

10Be and 26Al data from sandstone boulders in three Neogene glacial deposits in the McMurdo Sound–Dry Valleys region of southern Victoria Land, Antarctica, indicate minimum exposure ages of (Approx.)3 Ma and maximum long-term erosion rates of (Approx.)5–12 cm/m.y., supporting the suggestion that polar desert conditions have persisted in the Dry Valleys since at least late Pliocene time. Variation of cosmogenic nuclide production rate with altitude also allows constraints on past uplift rates. Model calculations employing 10Be data indicate little or no uplift in the Dry Valleys region in the past 3 m.y., precluding rapid (≈1 km/m.y.) late Pliocene uplift previously suggested for some parts of the Transantarctic Mountains.

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