Terrestrial and submarine evidence for the extent and timing of the Last Glacial Maximum and the onset of deglaciation on the maritime-Antarctic and sub-Antarctic islands

Dominic A. Hodgson*, Alastair G C Graham, Stephen J. Roberts, Michael J. Bentley, Colm O. Cofaigh, Elie Verleyen, Wim Vyverman, Vincent Jomelli, Vincent Favier, Daniel Brunstein, Deborah Verfaillie, Eric A. Colhoun, Krystyna M. Saunders, Patricia M. Selkirk, Andrew Mackintosh, David W. Hedding, Werner Nel, Kevin Hall, Matt S. McGlone, Nathalie Van der PuttenWilliam A. Dickens, James A. Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

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    This paper is the maritime and sub-Antarctic contribution to the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (SCAR) Past Antarctic Ice Sheet Dynamics (PAIS) community Antarctic Ice Sheet reconstruction. The overarching aim for all sectors of Antarctica was to reconstruct the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) ice sheet extent and thickness, and map the subsequent deglaciation in a series of 5000 year time slices. However, our review of the literature found surprisingly few high quality chronological constraints on changing glacier extents on these timescales in the maritime and sub-Antarctic sector. Therefore, in this paper we focus on an assessment of the terrestrial and offshore evidence for the LGM ice extent, establishing minimum ages for the onset of deglaciation, and separating evidence of deglaciation from LGM limits from those associated with later Holocene glacier fluctuations. Evidence included geomorphological descriptions of glacial landscapes, radiocarbon dated basal peat and lake sediment deposits, cosmogenic isotope ages of glacial features and molecular biological data. We propose a classification of the glacial history of the maritime and sub-Antarctic islands based on this assembled evidence. These include: (Type I) islands which accumulated little or no LGM ice; (Type II) islands with a limited LGM ice extent but evidence of extensive earlier continental shelf glaciations; (Type III) seamounts and volcanoes unlikely to have accumulated significant LGM ice cover; (Type IV) islands on shallow shelves with both terrestrial and submarine evidence of LGM (and/or earlier) ice expansion; (Type V) Islands north of the Antarctic Polar Front with terrestrial evidence of LGM ice expansion; and (Type VI) islands with no data. Finally, we review the climatological and geomorphological settings that separate the glaciological history of the islands within this classification scheme.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)137-158
    Number of pages22
    JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2014

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright the Author(s) 2014. 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.


    • Antarctic ice sheet
    • Climate
    • Deglaciation
    • Maritime Antarctica glaciation
    • Quaternary
    • Sub-Antarctica


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