An accurate reconstruction of the Antarctic Ice Sheet is essential in order to develop an understanding of ice-sheet responses to global climate changes. However, the erosive nature of ice-sheet expansion and the difficulty of accessing much of Antarctica make it challenging to obtain field-based evidence of ice-sheet and sea-level changes before the Last Glacial Maximum. Limited sedimentary records from Lützow-Holm and Prydz Bays in East Antarctica demonstrate that the sea level during Marine Isotope Stage 3 was close to the present level despite the global sea-level drop lower than −40 m. We demonstrate glacial isostatic adjustment modeling with refined Antarctic Ice Sheet loading histories. Our experiments reveal that the Indian Ocean sector of the Antarctic Ice Sheet would have been required to experience excess ice loads before the Last Glacial Maximum in order to explain the observed sea-level highstands during Marine Isotope Stage 3. As such, we suggest that the Antarctic Ice Sheet partly reached its maximum thickness before the global Last Glacial Maximum.

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