A community-based geological reconstruction of Antarctic Ice Sheet deglaciation since the Last Glacial Maximum

Michael Bentley, Colm Ó Cofaigh, John Anderson, Howard Conway, Bethan Davies, Alastair Graham, Claus-Dieter Hillenbrand, Dominic Hodgson, Stewart Jamieson, Robert Larter, Andrew Mackintosh, James Smith, Elie Verleyen, Robert Ackert, Philip Bart, Sonja Berg, Daniel Brunstein, Miguel Canals, Eric Colhoun, Xavier CrostaWilliam Dickens, Eugene Domack, Julian Dowdeswell, Robert Dunbar, Werner Ehrmann, Jeffrey Evans, Vincent Favier, David Fink, Christopher Fogwill, Neil Glasser, Karsten Gohl, Nicholas Golledge, Ian Goodwin, Damian Gore, Sarah Greenwood, Brenda Hall, Kevin Hall, David Hedding, Andrew Hein, Emma Hocking, Martin Jakobsson, Joanne S. Johnson, Vincent Jomelli, R. Selwyn Jones, Johann Klages, Yngve Kristoffersen, Gerhard Kuhn, Amy Leventer, Kathy Licht, Katherine Lilly, Julia Lindow, Stephen Livingstone, Guillaume Masse, Matt McGlone, Robert McKay, Martin Melles, Hideki Miura, Robert Mulvaney, Werner Nel, Frank Nitsche, Philip O'Brien, Alexandra Post, Stephen J. Roberts, Krystyna Saunders, Patricia Selkirk, Alexander Simms, Cornelia Spiegel, Travis Stolldorf, David Sugden, Nathalie van der Putten, Tas van Ommen, Deborah Verfaillie, Wim Vyverman, Bernd Wagner, Duanne White, Alexandra Witus, Dan Zwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

185 Citations (Scopus)


A robust understanding of Antarctic Ice Sheet deglacial history since the Last Glacial Maximum is important in order to constrain ice sheet and glacial-isostatic adjustment models, and to explore the forcing mechanisms responsible for ice sheet retreat. Such understanding can be derived from a broad range of geological and glaciological datasets and recent decades have seen an upsurge in such data gathering around the continent and Sub-Antarctic islands. Here, we report a new synthesis of those datasets, based on an accompanying series of reviews of the geological data, organised by sector. We present a series of timeslice maps for 20 ka, 15 ka, 10 ka and 5 ka, including grounding line position and ice sheet thickness changes, along with a clear assessment of levels of confidence. The reconstruction shows that the Antarctic Ice sheet did not everywhere reach the continental shelf edge at its maximum, that initial retreat was asynchronous, and that the spatial pattern of deglaciation was highly variable, particularly on the inner shelf. The deglacial reconstruction is consistent with a moderate overall excess ice volume and with a relatively small Antarctic contribution to meltwater pulse 1a. We discuss key areas of uncertainty both around the continent and by time interval, and we highlight potential priorities for future work. The synthesis is intended to be a resource for the modelling and glacial geological community.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Early online date22 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2014


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