Predicting the future response of the Antarctic Ice Sheet to climate change requires an understanding of the ice streams that dominate its dynamics. Here we use cosmogenic isotope exposure-age dating (Al-26, Be-10 and Cl-36) of erratic boulders on ice-free land on James Ross Island, north-eastern Antarctic Peninsula, to define the evolution of Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) ice in the adjacent Prince Gustav Channel. These data include ice-sheet extent, thickness and dynamical behaviour. Prior to similar to 18 ka, the LGM Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet extended to the continental shelf-edge and transported erratic boulders onto high-elevation mesas on James Ross Island. After similar to 18 ka there was a period of rapid ice-sheet surface-lowering, coincident with the initiation of the Prince Gustav Ice Stream. This timing coincided with rapid increases in atmospheric temperature and eustatic sea-level rise around the Antarctic Peninsula. Collectively, these data provide evidence for a transition from a thick, cold-based LGM Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet to a thinner, partially warm-based ice sheet during deglaciation. Crown Copyright (C) 2013 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- Antarctica, Ice streams, Cosmogenic isotope dating, LAST GLACIAL MAXIMUM, PRINCE GUSTAV CHANNEL, EXPOSURE AGES, GEOLOGICAL CONSTRAINTS, CLIMATE HISTORY, FLOW DYNAMICS, WEDDELL SEA, SHEET, HOLOCENE, REGION