Ice-stream initiation, duration and thinning on James Ross Island, northern Antarctic Peninsula

Authors Organisations
Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-88
Number of pages11
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Volume86
DOI
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2014
Links
Permanent link
View graph of relations
Citation formats

Abstract

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.

Keywords

  • 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