Combined palaeobathymetry and palaeotopography of the Southern Ocean and the Antarctic continent

Karsten.Gohl [ at ]


The Antarctic continent and its surrounding Southern Ocean are a key component of our planet’s climate system. Since the Eocene/Oligocene Boundary (34 Ma) the Antarctic region has undergone tremendous topographical change on the continent and in the oceanic realm. The massive erosion on the continent by the Antarctic ice sheets and the resulting glacial deposition within the Southern Ocean have shaped our modern maps of the Southern hemisphere. Detailed, high-resolution reconstructions of the palaeotopography and palaeobathymetry shed light on crucial periods in the development of the Antarctic ice sheets as well as the Southern Ocean. This includes e.g. the establishment of the modern circum-polar current system, the pathways of modern and ancient glacial systems as well as the role of the continental shelves in ice sheet stability. Most recent reconstructions of the paleotopography (Paxman et al. 2019) and paleobathymetry (Hochmuth et al. 2020) used all available geophysical as well as geological and borehole data to produce high-resolution maps (0.1 deg) of key time slices of the Southern Ocean evolution. The combined palaeobathymetry and palaeotopography allows seamless land-to-ocean studies including analysis of ice sheet behaviour and erosion and associated depositional cycles. The five time slices presented span from the onset of continental glaciation in Antarctica (34 Ma) to the warmer climates of the Miocene and early Pliocene to the manifestation of modern glacial condition at the Pliocene/Pleistocene Boundary.

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Conference (Poster)
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UK-IODP Annual Meeting, 27 Aug 2020 - 28 Aug 2020, online.
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Hochmuth, K. , Paxman, G. , Jamieson, S. S. , Gohl, K. , Leitchenkov, G. , Bentley, M. J. , Ferraccioli, F. , Sauermilch, I. , Whittaker, J. M. , Uenzelmann-Neben, G. , Davy, B. and De Santis, L. (2020): Combined palaeobathymetry and palaeotopography of the Southern Ocean and the Antarctic continent , UK-IODP Annual Meeting, online, 27 August 2020 - 28 August 2020 .

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