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Evidence of past migration of the ice divide between the Shirase and Sôya drainage basins derived from chemical characteristics of the marginal ice in the Sôya drainage basin, East Antarctica

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Ice originating near the inland ice divide of the ice sheet can reappear as marginal ice at the surface near the ice terminal in the ablation area. We have analyzed 18O values and ion concentrations of the Skallen, Skarvsnes and Hamna terminal ice sections, located along the estuary line in the Sôya drainage basin, East Antarctica. The data suggest that the upper part of the Skallen terminal ice section could have originated from inland precipitation on the Shirase drainage basin during marine isotope stage (MIS) 5e, while the upper part of Skarvsnes and Hamna terminal ice sections could have originated from inland precipitation on the Sôya drainage basin. We calculate past elevation maps for the Antarctic ice sheet using the three-dimensional model, SICOPOLIS. This model suggests that the upstream portion of the Sôya drainage basin during the glacial period (MIS 2, 3 or 4) was located to the northeast of its present location. A flow history is proposed wherein ice from the inland Shirase drainage area flowed over the present ice-divide line from the Shirase to the Sôya drainage basin during the glacial period. The ice in the Sôya drainage basin then flowed to the marginal part of the sheet after the ice divide had assumed its present position.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2010-08-01

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  • The Journal of Glaciology is published six times per year. It accepts submissions from any discipline related to the study of snow and ice. All articles are peer reviewed. The Journal is included in the ISI Science Citation Index.

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