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Major ice‐sheet change in the Weddell Sector of West Antarctica over the last 5000 years

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Title: Major ice‐sheet change in the Weddell Sector of West Antarctica over the last 5000 years
Authors: Siegert, M
Kingslake, J
Ross, N
Whitehouse, P
Woodward, J
Jamieson, S
Bentley, M
Winter, K
Wearing, M
Hein, A
Jeofry, H
Sugden, D
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Until recently, little was known about the Weddell Sea sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. In the last 10 years, a variety of expeditions and numerical modelling experiments have improved knowledge of its glaciology, glacial geology, and tectonic setting. Two of the sector's largest ice streams rest on a steep reverse‐sloping bed yet, despite being vulnerable to change, satellite observations show contemporary stability. There is clear evidence for major ice‐sheet reconfiguration in the last few thousand years, however. Knowing precisely how the ice sheet has changed in the past, and when, would allow us to better understand whether it is now at risk. Two competing hypotheses have been established for this glacial history. In one, the ice sheet retreated and thinned progressively from its Last Glacial Maximum position. Retreat stopped at, or very near, the present position in the Late Holocene. Alternatively, in the Late Holocene the ice sheet retreated significantly upstream of the present grounding line, and then advanced to the present location due to glacial isostatic adjustment, and ice‐shelf and ice rise buttressing. Both hypotheses point to data and theory in their support, yet neither has been unequivocally tested or falsified. Here, we review geophysical evidence to determine how each hypothesis has been formed, where there are inconsistencies in the respective glacial histories, how they may be tested or reconciled, and what new evidence is required to reach a common model for the Late Holocene ice sheet history of the Weddell Sea sector of West Antarctica.
Issue Date: 1-Jan-2019
Date of Acceptance: 11-Aug-2019
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/74579
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2019RG000651
ISSN: 8755-1209
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Journal / Book Title: Reviews of Geophysics
Copyright Statement: ©2019. The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited 9https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Sponsor/Funder: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
British Council (UK)
Funder's Grant Number: NE/G00465X/3
GEOG.RE2356
ICECAP-2
Keywords: Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences
04 Earth Sciences
09 Engineering
02 Physical Sciences
Publication Status: Published online
Online Publication Date: 2019-09-03
Appears in Collections:Centre for Environmental Policy
Faculty of Natural Sciences



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