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Bedrock erosion surfaces record former East Antarctic Ice Sheet extent

Paxman, G.J.G.; Jamieson, S.S.R.; Ferraccioli, F.; Bentley, M.J.; Ross, N.; Armadillo, E.; Gasson, E.G.W.; Leitchenkov, G.; DeConto, R.M.

Bedrock erosion surfaces record former East Antarctic Ice Sheet extent Thumbnail


F. Ferraccioli

N. Ross

E. Armadillo

E.G.W. Gasson

G. Leitchenkov

R.M. DeConto


East Antarctica hosts large subglacial basins into which the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) likely retreated during past warmer climates. However, the extent of retreat remains poorly constrained, making quantifying past and predicted future contributions to global sea level rise from these marine basins challenging. Geomorphological analysis and flexural modeling within the Wilkes Subglacial Basin is used to reconstruct the ice margin during warm intervals of the Oligocene–Miocene. Flat‐lying bedrock plateaus are indicative of an ice sheet margin positioned >400–500 km inland of the modern grounding zone for extended periods of the Oligocene–Miocene, equivalent to a 2 meter rise in global sea level. Our findings imply that if major EAIS retreat occurs in the future, isostatic rebound will enable the plateau surfaces to act as seeding points for extensive ice rises, thus limiting extensive ice margin retreat of the scale seen during the early EAIS.


Paxman, G., Jamieson, S., Ferraccioli, F., Bentley, M., Ross, N., Armadillo, E., …DeConto, R. (2018). Bedrock erosion surfaces record former East Antarctic Ice Sheet extent. Geophysical Research Letters, 45(9), 4114-4123.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 14, 2018
Online Publication Date Apr 27, 2018
Publication Date May 16, 2018
Deposit Date Sep 20, 2017
Publicly Available Date Apr 30, 2018
Journal Geophysical Research Letters
Print ISSN 0094-8276
Electronic ISSN 1944-8007
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 45
Issue 9
Pages 4114-4123


Accepted Journal Article (1.4 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2018. The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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