Measurements of the loss or gain of ice mass from large ice sheets are presently achieved through satellite-based techniques such as GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment). The accuracy of these satellite-based measurements to changes in modern ice sheet mass depends on our knowledge of present-day glacio-isostatic crustal uplift rates caused by past ice sheet changes. To improve models of glacio-isostatic rebound in East Antarctica, we investigated ice histories along Rayner Glacier, Enderby Land, and a little explored sector of the ice sheet where GRACE data had suggested significant mass gain during the last decade. Observations from a recent glacial geomorphic reconnaissance coupled with cosmogenic nuclide dating indicate that in the lower part of the Rayner Glacier, Enderby Land, ice heights lowered by at least 300 m and the calving margin retreated by at least 10 km in the early Holocene (∼6 to 9 ka B.P.). The magnitude and timing of deglaciation are consistent with ice histories used to model the postglacial rebound corrections for present-day GRACE mass trends. These observations strengthen the body of evidence that suggests ice mass gain in Enderby Land is presently partly offsetting mass loss in other parts of Antarctica.
Bibliographical noteCopyright 2014 by the American Geophysical Union. Originally published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 119(3), pp401â€“413, DOI: 10.1002/2013JF002870. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.
- Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE)
- cosmogenic nuclide exposure dating
- glacial erosion
- mass balance
- sea level
- subglacial environments