Deep water inflow slowed offshore expansion of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet at the Eocene-Oligocene transition

Uenzelmann-Neben, Gabriele, Gohl, Karsten, Hochmuth, Katharina, Salzmann, Ulrich, Larter, Robert D., Hillenbrand, Claus-Dieter, Klages, Johann P., Science Team of Expedition PS104, , Afanasyeva, V., Arndt, J. E., Bickert, T., Bohaty, S. M., Dziadek, R., Ebermann, B., Ehrmann, W., Esper, O., Frederichs, T., Freudenthal, T., Gebhardt, C., Küssner, K., Kuhn, G., Najman, Y., Pälike, H., Riefstahl, F., Ronge, T., Scheinert, M., Simoes Pereira, P., Smith, J. A., Spiegel, C., Van de Flierdt, T. and Zundel, M. (2022) Deep water inflow slowed offshore expansion of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet at the Eocene-Oligocene transition. Communications Earth & Environment, 3 (1). p. 36. ISSN 2662-4435

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1038/s43247-022-00369-x

Abstract

The stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is threatened by the incursion of warm Circumpolar Deepwater which flows southwards via cross-shelf troughs towards the coast there melting ice shelves. However, the onset of this oceanic forcing on the development and evolution of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet remains poorly understood. Here, we use single- and multichannel seismic reflection profiles to investigate the architecture of a sediment body on the shelf of the Amundsen Sea Embayment. We estimate the formation age of this sediment body to be around the Eocene-Oligocene Transition and find that it possesses the geometry and depositional pattern of a plastered sediment drift. We suggest this indicates a southward inflow of deep water which probably supplied heat and, thus, prevented West Antarctic Ice Sheet advance beyond the coast at this time. We conclude that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has likely experienced a strong oceanic influence on its dynamics since its initial formation.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cryospheric science, Environmental impact, Geophysics, Palaeoceanography, Sedimentology
Subjects: F700 Ocean Sciences
F800 Physical and Terrestrial Geographical and Environmental Sciences
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Geography and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2022 10:12
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2022 10:15
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/48525

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