Did changes in Antarctic ice volume influence late Holocene sea-level lowering?

Ian D. Goodwin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


There has been great debate over the last few decades on the magnitude and causes of relative sea-level lowering during the late Holocene. The principal attributed causes are geodynamic rather than glacio-eustatic. An alternative partial cause is an increase in Antarctic ice volume. Glaciological and glacial geological field evidence indicates that during the late Holocene, the Antarctic alpine glaciers, ice sheet margins and outlet glaciers have expanded, and the ice sheet interior has thickened. This is attributed to: (i) an ice thickening in central East Antarctica throughout the Holocene, which was caused by the 50% higher Holocene snow accumulation rates than those during the glacial stage, coupled with the slow reaction time for ice sheet velocities to respond to the increased accumulation and temperature; and (ii) increased ice volume supplied by higher than mean Holocene accumulation rates, associated with a warmer climatic period between 4000 to 2500 years B.P. It is estimated that these effects could account for ~ 1.0 ± 0.2 m of the interpreted sea-level lowering on mid-oceanic islands, with ~ 0.7 ± 0.1 m of lowering occurring between 4000 and 2500 years B.P.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-332
Number of pages14
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Issue number4-5
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Did changes in Antarctic ice volume influence late Holocene sea-level lowering?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this