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Ice sheet retreat and glacio-isostatic adjustment in Lützow-Holm Bay, East Antarctica

Verleyen, Elie; Tavernier, Ines; Hodgson, Dominic A.; Whitehouse, Pippa L.; Kudoh, Sakae; Imura, Satoshi; Heirman, Katrien; Bentley, Michael J.; Roberts, Steve J.; De Batist, Marc; Sabbe, Koen; Vyverman, Wim

Ice sheet retreat and glacio-isostatic adjustment in Lützow-Holm Bay, East Antarctica Thumbnail


Elie Verleyen

Ines Tavernier

Dominic A. Hodgson

Sakae Kudoh

Satoshi Imura

Katrien Heirman

Steve J. Roberts

Marc De Batist

Koen Sabbe

Wim Vyverman


The East Antarctic Ice Sheet has relatively few field data to constrain its past volume and contribution to global sea-level change since the Last Glacial Maximum. We provide new data on deglaciation history and develop new relative sea-level (RSL) curves along an 80 km transect (from Skallen to Skarsvnes, Langhovde and the Ongul Islands) in Lützow Holm Bay, East Antarctica. The geological constraints were compared with output from two Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA) models. The minimum radiocarbon age for regional deglaciation is c. 11,240 cal. yr BP on West Ongul Island with progressively younger deglaciation ages approaching the main regional ice outflow at Shirase Glacier. Marked regional differences in the magnitude and timing of RSL change were observed. More in particular, in Skarvsnes a minimum marine limit of 32.7 m was inferred, which is c. 12.7 m higher than previously published evidence, and at least 15 m higher than that reported in the other three ice-free areas. Current GIA model predictions slightly underestimate the rate of Late Holocene RSL fall at Skallen, Langhovde, and West Ongul, but provide a reasonable fit to the reconstructed minimum marine limit at these sites. GIA model predictions are unable to provide an explanation for the shape of the reconstructed RSL curve at Skarvsnes. We consider a range of possible explanations for the Skarvsnes RSL data and favour an interpretation where the anomalously high marine limit and rate of RSL fall is due to reactivation of a local fault.


Verleyen, E., Tavernier, I., Hodgson, D. A., Whitehouse, P. L., Kudoh, S., Imura, S., …Vyverman, W. (2017). Ice sheet retreat and glacio-isostatic adjustment in Lützow-Holm Bay, East Antarctica. Quaternary Science Reviews, 169, 85-98.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 1, 2017
Online Publication Date Jun 12, 2017
Publication Date Aug 1, 2017
Deposit Date Jul 6, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jun 12, 2018
Journal Quaternary Science Reviews
Print ISSN 0277-3791
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 169
Pages 85-98


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