West Antarctic paleotopography estimated at the Eocene-Oligocene climate transition

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doi: 10.1029/2009GL039297
Author(s): Wilson, Douglas S.; Luyendyk, Bruce P.
Author Affiliation(s): Primary:
University of California, Santa Barbara, Marine Science Institute, Santa Barbara, CA, United States
Volume Title: Geophysical Research Letters
Source: Geophysical Research Letters, 36(16). Publisher: American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, United States. ISSN: 0094-8276 CODEN: GPRLAJ
Note: In English. 31 refs.; illus., incl. geol. sketch map
Summary: One generally recognized limitation of models for rapid growth of Antarctic ice near the Eocene-Oligocene transition is that they are based on present topography, corrected only for removal of modern ice. For West Antarctica, this results in large areas below sea level that would not readily host ice. In the recently active West Antarctic rift system, other factors may have contributed to significant vertical motions since the Eocene: Additional corrections for thermal contraction resulting from tectonic extension and for erosion and sedimentation since 34 Ma restore most of West Antarctica to above sea level, increasing total Antarctic land area by 10-20%. Because ice sheets have convex slopes, the potential increase in ice volume is larger than the increase in land area. Accounting for large changes in West Antarctic topography may resolve conflicts between ice models and data by demonstrating the possibility of an early, large West Antarctic Ice Sheet.
Year of Publication: 2009
Research Program: DSDP Deep Sea Drilling Project
Key Words: 12 Stratigraphy, Historical Geology and Paleoecology; Antarctic ice sheet; Antarctica; Cenozoic; DSDP Site 270; Deep Sea Drilling Project; Eocene; Glacial environment; Glacial geology; Ice sheets; Ice shelves; Leg 28; Oligocene; Paleoenvironment; Paleogene; Paleogeography; Paleorelief; Plate tectonics; Rifting; Ross Sea; Southern Ocean; Stratigraphic boundary; Subsidence; Tertiary; Transantarctic Mountains; West Antarctic Rift; West Antarctic ice sheet; West Antarctica
Record ID: 2010006510
Copyright Information: GeoRef, Copyright 2019 American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by, and/or abstract, Copyright, American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, United States

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