Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Holocene relative sea-level change and deglaciation on Alexander Island, Antarctic Peninsula, from elevated lake deltas

By S.J. Roberts, D.A. Hodgson, M.J. Bentley, D.C.W. Sanderson, G. Milne, J.A. Smith, E. Verleyen and A. Balbo


Field data constraining the rate and spatial pattern of deglaciation and relative sea-level (RSL) change on the\ud Antarctic Peninsula (AP) are relatively sparse, but are needed to improve regional ice sheet and RSL change\ud models, and contribute to better model predictions of future sea-level rise. We investigated the\ud geomorphology, sedimentology and quartz-fraction single aliquot regeneration optically-stimulated\ud luminescence (SAR-OSL) geochronology of elevated deltas around two epishelf lakes, Ablation Lake (AL)\ud and Moutonnée Lake (ML), Alexander Island, Antarctic Peninsula. AL and ML are dammed by George VI Ice\ud Shelf, and maintain a direct hydraulic connection to the sea; hence, their water levels are controlled by\ud changes in RSL. Our aim was to provide new terrestrial constraints on RSL and deglaciation for the southern\ud AP by comparing the formation processes, age and altitude of the AL and ML deltas with: (1) existing RSL\ud curves for the AP; (2) isostatically-coupled AP ice sheet models, and (3) existing AP deglaciation history and\ud SAR-OSL ages from elevated deltas around the nearby inland Hodgson Lake (HL). Although there was\ud insufficient quartz in the ML samples for SAR-OSL dating, the 4.6±0.4 ka SAR-OSL age of the elevated delta at\ud AL represents the last time active deltas were forming higher than present day lake level, and implies: (1) a\ud fall in RSL of up to 14.4 m since the mid-Holocene in this part of Alexander Island, which is consistent with\ud existing field-based RSL chronologies for the AP; (2) relatively smaller ice masses than suggested by some\ud (but not all) isostatically-coupled ice sheet models since the mid-Holocene, and (3) significant mid-Holocene\ud thinning of the AP ice sheets, which is consistent with regional sediment core data and cosmogenic exposure\ud ages, and the 4.4±0.7 ka SAR-OSL age of the lowermost HL delta

Topics: Glaciology, Earth Sciences
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2009.05.011
OAI identifier:
Download PDF:
Sorry, we are unable to provide the full text but you may find it at the following location(s):
  • (external link)
  • (external link)
  • (external link)
  • (external link)
  • Suggested articles

    To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.