A community-based geological reconstruction of Antarctic Ice Sheet deglaciation since the Last Glacial Maximum

Michael J. Bentley*, Colm Ocofaigh, John B. Anderson, Howard Conway, Bethan Davies, Alastair G C Graham, Claus Dieter Hillenbrand, Dominic A. Hodgson, Stewart S R Jamieson, Robert D. Larter, Andrew Mackintosh, James A. Smith, Elie Verleyen, Robert P. Ackert, Philip J. Bart, Sonja Berg, Daniel Brunstein, Miquel Canals, Eric A. Colhoun, Xavier CrostaWilliam A. Dickens, Eugene Domack, Julian A. Dowdeswell, Robert Dunbar, Werner Ehrmann, Jeffrey Evans, Vincent Favier, David Fink, Christopher J. Fogwill, Neil F. Glasser, Karsten Gohl, Nicholas R. Golledge, Ian Goodwin, Damian B. Gore, Sarah L. Greenwood, Brenda L. Hall, Kevin Hall, David W. Hedding, Andrew S. Hein, Emma P. Hocking, Martin Jakobsson, Joanne S. Johnson, Vincent Jomelli, R. Selwyn Jones, Johann P. Klages, Yngve Kristoffersen, Gerhard Kuhn, Amy Leventer, Kathy Licht, Katherine Lilly, Julia Lindow, Stephen J. Livingstone, Guillaume Massé, Matt S. McGlone, Robert M. McKay, Martin Melles, Hideki Miura, Robert Mulvaney, Philip E. O'Brien, Werner Nel, Frank O. Nitsche, Alexandra L. Post, Stephen J. Roberts, Krystyna M. Saunders, Patricia Selkirk, Alexander R. Simms, Cornelia Spiegel, Travis D. Stolldorf, David E. Sugden, Nathalie van der Putten, Tas van Ommen, Deborah Verfaillie, Wim Vyverman, Bernd Wagner, Duanne White, Alexandra E. Witus, Dan Zwartz

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    220 Citations (Scopus)


    A robust understanding of Antarctic Ice Sheet deglacial history since the Last Glacial Maximum is important in order to constrain ice sheet and glacial-isostatic adjustment models, and to explore the forcing mechanisms responsible for ice sheet retreat. Such understanding can be derived from a broad range of geological and glaciological datasets and recent decades have seen an upsurge in such data gathering around the continent and Sub-Antarctic islands. Here, we report a new synthesis of those datasets, based on an accompanying series of reviews of the geological data, organised by sector. We present a series of timeslice maps for 20ka, 15ka, 10ka and 5ka, including grounding line position and ice sheet thickness changes, along with a clear assessment of levels of confidence. The reconstruction shows that the Antarctic Ice sheet did not everywhere reach the continental shelf edge at its maximum, that initial retreat was asynchronous, and that the spatial pattern of deglaciation was highly variable, particularly on the inner shelf. The deglacial reconstruction is consistent with a moderate overall excess ice volume and with a relatively small Antarctic contribution to meltwater pulse 1a. We discuss key areas of uncertainty both around the continent and by time interval, and we highlight potential priorit.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-9
    Number of pages9
    JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2014


    • Antarctic Ice Sheet
    • Glacial geology
    • modelling
    • Quaternary


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