Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Glacio-isostasy and Glacial Ice Load at Law Dome, Wilkes Land, East Antarctica

  • Ian D. Goodwin (a1) and Christopher Zweck (a2)

The Holocene sea-level high stand or “marine limit” in Wilkes Land, East Antarctica, reached ∼30 m above present sea level at a few dispersed sites. The most detailed marine limit data have been recorded for the Windmill Islands and Budd Coast at the margin of the Law Dome ice cap, a dome of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS). Relative sea-level lowering of 30 m and the associated emergence of the Windmill Islands have occurred since 6900 14C (corr.) yr B.P. Numerical modeling of the Earth's rheology is used to determine the glacio-isostatic component of the observed relative sea-level lowering. Glaciological evidence suggests that most of EAIS thickening occurred around its margin, with expansion onto the continental shelf. Consequently, a regional ice history for the last glacial maximum (LGM) was applied in the glacio-isostatic modeling to test whether the observed relative sea-level lowering was primarily produced by regional ice-sheet changes. The results of the modeling indicate that the postglacial (13,000 to 8000 14C yr B.P) removal of an ice load of between 770 and 1000 m from around the margin of the Law Dome and adjacent EAIS have produced the observed relative sea-level lowering. Such an additional ice load would have been associated with a 40- to 65-km expansion of the Law Dome to near the continental shelf break, together with a few hundred meters of ice thickening on the adjoining coastal slope of the EAIS up to 2000 m elevation. Whereas the observed changes in relative sea level are shown to be strongly influenced by regional ice sheet changes, the glacio-isostatic response at the Windmill Islands results from a combination of regional and to a lesser extent, Antarctic-wide effects. The correspondence between the Holocene relative sea-level lowering interpreted at the margin of the Law Dome and the lowering interpreted along the remainder of the Wilkes Land and Oates Land coasts (105°–160° E) suggests that a similar ice load of up to 1000 m existed along the EAIS margin between Wilkes Land and Oates Land.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

E.A. Colhoun , M.C.G. Mabin , D.A. Adamson , R.M. Kirk , (1992). Antarctic ice volume and contribution to sea-level fall at 20,000 yr B.P. from raised beaches. Nature 358, 316319.

M. Delmotte , D. Raynaud , V. Morgan , J. Jouzel , (1999). Climatic and glaciological information inferred from air content measurements of a Law Dome East Antarctica ice core. Journal of Glaciology 45, 255263.

R.G. Fairbanks , (1989). A 17,000-year glacio-eustatic sea level record: Influence of glacial melting rates on the Younger Dryas event and deep-ocean circulation. Nature 342, 637642.

I.D. Goodwin , (1993). Holocene deglaciation, sea-level change, and the emergence of the Windmill Islands, Budd Coast, Antarctica. Quaternary Research 40, 7080.

I.D. Goodwin , (1993). Basal ice accretion and debris entrainment within the coastal ice margin, Law Dome, Antarctica. Journal of Glaciology 39, 157166.

I.D. Goodwin , (1996). A mid- to late Holocene readvance of the Law Dome ice margin, Budd Coast, East Antarctica. Antarctic Science 8, 395406.

J.T. Hollin , (1962). On the glacial history of Antarctica. Journal of Glaciology 4, 173195.

J.T. Hollin , R.L. Cameron , (1961). I.G.Y. Glaciological work at Wilkes Station, Antarctica. Journal of Glaciology 3, 833842.

J. Jouzel , C. Lorius , J.R. Petit , C. Genthon , N.I. Barkov , V.M. Kotlyakov , V.M. Petrov , (1987). Vostok ice core: A continuous isotope temperature record over the last climatic cycle (160,000 years). Nature 329, 402408.

P. Martinerie , V.Y. Lipenkov , D. Raynaud , J. Chappellaz , N.I. Barkov , C. Lorius , (1994). Air content palaeo record in the Vostok ice core (Antarctica): A mixed record of climatic and glaciological parameters. Journal of Geophysical Research 99, 10,56510,576.

V. Morgan , C.W. Wookey , J. Li , T.D. van Ommen , W. Skinner , M. Fitzpatrick , (1997). Site information and initial results from deep ice drilling at Law Dome, Antarctica. Journal of Glaciology 43, 310.

M. Nakada , K. Lambeck , (1988). The melting history of the Late Pleistocene Antarctic ice sheet. Nature 333, 3640.

W.R. Peltier , (1988). Lithospheric thickness, Antarctic deglaciation history, and ocean basin discretization effects in a global model of Postglacial sea level change: A summary of some sources of non-uniqueness. Quaternary Research 29, 93112.

D. Raynaud , B. Lebel , (1979). Total gas content and surface elevation of polar ice sheets. Nature 281, 289291.

A.M. Tushingham , W.R. Peltier , (1991). ICE-3G: A new model of Late Pleistocene deglaciation based upon geophysical predictions of Post-Glacial relative sea level change. Journal of Geophysical Research 96, 44974523.

P. Wu , (1992). Viscoelastic versus viscous deformation and the advection of prestress. Geophysical Journal International 108, 136143.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Quaternary Research
  • ISSN: 0033-5894
  • EISSN: 1096-0287
  • URL: /core/journals/quaternary-research
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Abstract views

Total abstract views: 11 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 20th January 2017 - 26th April 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.