Post-LGM ice sheet dynamics in the southern Weddell Sea, Antarctica

Jan.Erik.Arndt [ at ]


Past ice sheet conditions in the southern Weddell Sea remain poorly known. Previous studies have led to contradicting scenarios of maximum ice extent during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Scenario A is mainly based on terrestrial data indicating limited ice sheet thickening in the hinterland and suggests a LGM grounding-line position on the inner shelf. Scenario B is based on marine geological/-physical data and concludes that the grounding line was located on the outer shelf (~650 km further offshore than in scenario A). In addition, studies suggest a complex history of ice retreat and drainage pattern since the LGM that needs further constraint. We investigated hydroacoustic data acquired during 18 expeditions. A key finding is a previously unknown stacked grounding zone wedge (GZW) located in Filchner Trough on the outer shelf showing that a palaeo-ice stream stabilized at this position at least twice. Radiocarbon dates from sediment cores indicate that (i) the GZW was formed in the early Holocene and (ii) grounded ice did not extend seaward at the LGM. Hence, the grounding line in Filchner Trough experienced dynamic changes in the Holocene and ice sheet retreat after the LGM was not linear. Ice-flow switches in the hinterland changing the drainage pattern of the West and East Antarctic Ice Sheets possibly explain this behaviour. In addition, new data were acquired in the southern Weddell Sea during expedition PS111 with RV Polarstern in Jan-Mar 2018. We intend to provide a brief update on the ongoing work and show some preliminary results.

Item Type
Conference (Talk)
Primary Division
Primary Topic
Peer revision
Not peer-reviewed
Publication Status
Event Details
AGU Fall Meeting 2018, Washington D.C..
Eprint ID
Cite as
Arndt, J. E. , Hillenbrand, C. D. , Grobe, H. , Kuhn, G. , Wacker, L. , Larter, R. D. , Dorschel, B. , Sørlie, S. H. and Forwick, M. (2018): Post-LGM ice sheet dynamics in the southern Weddell Sea, Antarctica , AGU Fall Meeting 2018, Washington D.C. .


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