Evidence for a highly dynamic West Antarctic Ice Sheet during the Pliocene

Gohl, Karsten; Uenzelmann-Neben, Gabriele; Gille-Petzoldt, Johanna; Hillenbrand, Claus-Dieter ORCID:; Klages, Johann P.; Bohaty, Steven M.; Passchier, Sandra; Frederichs, Thomas; Wellner, Julia S.; Lamb, Rachel; 379 Scientists, IODP Expedition. 2021 Evidence for a highly dynamic West Antarctic Ice Sheet during the Pliocene. Geophysical Research Letters, 48 (14), e2021GL093103. 11, pp.

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Major ice loss in the Amundsen Sea sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) is hypothesized to have triggered ice sheet collapses during past warm periods such as those in the Pliocene. International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 379 recovered continuous late Miocene to Holocene sediments from a sediment drift on the continental rise, allowing assessment of sedimentation processes in response to climate cycles and trends since the late Miocene. Via seismic correlation to the shelf, we interpret massive prograding sequences that extended the outer shelf by 80 km during the Pliocene through frequent advances of grounded ice. Buried grounding zone wedges indicate prolonged periods of ice-sheet retreat, or even collapse, during an extended mid-Pliocene warm period from ∼4.2‒3.2 Ma inferred from Expedition 379 records. These results indicate that the WAIS was highly dynamic during the Pliocene and major retreat events may have occurred along the Amundsen Sea margin.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 0094-8276
Additional Keywords: seismic stratigraphy, West Antarctic Ice Sheet, Pliocene climate, IODP Expedition 379, Amundsen Sea Embayment, ground zone wedge
Date made live: 05 Jul 2021 10:44 +0 (UTC)

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