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Extent and Chronology of the Ross Sea Ice Sheet and the Wilson Piedmont Glacier along the Scott Coast at and Since the Last Glacial Maximum

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Abstract:

During the last glacial maximum, a coalescent ice mass consisting of the grounded Ross Sea ice sheet and an expanded Wilson Piedmont Glacier covered the southern Scott Coast. This coalescent ice mass was part of a larger grounded ice sheet that occupied the Ross Sea Embayment during the last glacial maximum. Deglaciation of the western Ross Sea Embayment adjacent to the southern Scott Coast was delayed until shortly before 6500 14C yr bp, a conclusion based on ages of marine shells from McMurdo Sound, a relative sea-level curve, and algae that lived in ice-dammed lakes. Therefore, most recession of grounded ice in the Ross Sea Embayment occurred in mid to late Holocene time, after deglacial sea-level rise due to melting of Northern Hemisphere ice sheets essentially was accomplished. Rising sea level alone could not have driven grounding-line retreat back to the present-day Siple Coast.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Geological Sciences and Institute for Quaternary Studies, University of Maine, and Department of Geology and Geophysics, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA 2: Department of Geological Sciences and Institute for Quaternary Studies, University of Maine, USA

Publication date: February 1, 2000

bpl/geoa/2000/0000082a/F0020002/art00128
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