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Glacial dynamics of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet in the southern Bellingshausen Sea during the last glacial cycle

By Claus-Dieter Hillenbrand, S. Benetti, W. Ehrmann, Robert D. Larter, C. Ó Cofaigh, J.A. Dowdeswell, H. Grobe and Alastair G.C. Graham

Abstract

A major glacial trough ("Belgica Trough") on the continental shelf in the southern Bellingshausen Sea acted as an important outlet for ice draining the West Antarctic Ice Sheet during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Mega-\ud scale glacial lineations, drumlins and grounding-zone wedges indicate that Belgica Trough represents the former pathway of a grounded ice stream, which advanced to the shelf break during the LGM and was fed by ice draining through Eltanin Bay and Ronne Entrance. Here we present the preliminary results of sedimentological investigations carried out on 26 sediment cores recovered from the shelf and slope. This unique dataset allows the identification of various facies types that reflect the different phases of grounded ice advance, retreat, and post-glacial onset of seasonal open-water conditions. We will reconstruct the complex processes of erosion, transport and (re-)deposition controlling sedimentation on the margin and the timing of ice-sheet retreat from the shelf

Topics: Glaciology
Publisher: National Academy Press
Year: 2007
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:13757

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