Marine and nonmarine diatoms occur throughout a South Pole ice core spanning the past 2000 yr. Similar diatoms occur in East and West Antarctica at Siple and Taylor domes. Because there are no local diatom sources at these locations, diatoms must have been carried by winds from coastal or extra-Antarctic sites. Our data demonstrate widespread historical eolian transport of diatoms to the Antarctic ice sheets, supporting the view that Sirius Group sediments were contaminated by late Neogene diatoms long after they were deposited. If so, there is no reason to postulate a Pliocene deglaciation event in East Antarctica.

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