Dating glacimarine sediments from the continental shelf in the Amundsen Sea using a multi-tool box: Implications for West Antarctic ice-sheet extent and retreat during the last glacial cycle


Contact
gerhard.kuhn [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

Satellite data and in-situ measurements show that today considerable mass loss is occurring from the Amundsen Sea sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). The observational record only spans the past four decades, and until recently the long-term context of the current deglaciation was poorly constrained. This information is, however, crucial for understanding WAIS dynamics, evaluating the role of forcing mechanisms for ice-sheet melting, and testing and calibrating ice-sheet models that attempt to predict future WAIS behavior and its impact on global sea level. Over the past decade several multinational marine expeditions and terrestrial fieldwork campaigns have targeted the Amundsen Sea shelf and its hinterland to reconstruct the WAIS configuration during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and its subsequent deglacial history. The resulting studies succeeded in shedding light on the maximum WAIS extent at the LGM and the style, pattern and speed of its retreat and thinning thereafter. Despite this progress, however, significant uncertainties and discrepancies between marine and terrestrial reconstructions remain, which may arise from difficulties in dating sediment cores from the Antarctic shelf, especially their deglacial sections. Resolving these issues is crucial for understanding the WAIS’ contribution to post-LGM sea-level rise, its sensitivity to different forcing mechanisms and its future evolution. Here we present chronological constraints on WAIS advance in the Amundsen Sea and its retreat from ~20 ka BP into the Holocene that were obtained by various techniques, such as 14C dating of large (~10 mg) and small (<<1 mg) sample aliquots of calcareous microfossils, 14C dating of acid-insoluble organic matter combusted at low (300 °C) and high (800 °C) temperatures and dating of sediment cores by using geomagnetic paleointensity. We will compare the different age constraints and discuss their reliability, applicability and implications for WAIS history.



Item Type
Conference (Invited talk)
Authors
Divisions
Primary Division
Programs
Primary Topic
Peer revision
Not peer-reviewed
Publication Status
Published
Event Details
AGU Ocean Sciences Meeting, 21 Feb 2016 - 26 Feb 2016, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.
Eprint ID
41682
Cite as
Hillenbrand, C. D. , Smith, J. A. , Klages, J. P. , Kuhn, G. , Maher, B. , Moreton, S. G. , Wacker, L. , Frederichs, T. , Wiers, S. , Jernas, P. E. , Anderson, J. B. , Ehrmann, W. , Graham, A. G. C. , Gohl, K. and Larter, R. D. (2016): Dating glacimarine sediments from the continental shelf in the Amundsen Sea using a multi-tool box: Implications for West Antarctic ice-sheet extent and retreat during the last glacial cycle , AGU Ocean Sciences Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, 21 February 2016 - 26 February 2016 .


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