Regional sea-level highstand triggered Holocene ice sheet thinning across coastal Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctica

Yusuke Suganuma*, Heitaro Kaneda, Martim Mas e Braga, Takeshige Ishiwa, Takushi Koyama, Jennifer Newall, Jun'ichi Okuno, Takashi Obase, Fuyuki Saito, Irina Rogozhina, Jane Andersen, Moto Kawamata, Motohiro Hirabayashi, Nathaniel Lifton, Ola Fredin, Jonathan Harbor, Arjen Stroeven, Ayako Abe-Ouchi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The East Antarctic Ice Sheet stores a vast amount of freshwater, which makes it the single largest potential contributor to future sea-level rise. However, the lack of well-constrained geological records of past ice sheet changes impedes model validation, hampers mass balance estimates, and inhibits examination of ice loss mechanisms. Here we identify rapid ice-sheet thinning in coastal Dronning Maud Land from Early to Middle Holocene (9000–5000 years ago) using a deglacial chronology based on in situ cosmogenic nuclide surface exposure dates from central Dronning Maud Land, in concert with numerical simulations of regional and continental ice-sheet evolution. Regional sea-level changes reproduced from our refined ice-load history show a highstand at 9000–8000 years ago. We propose that sea-level rise and a concomitant influx of warmer Circumpolar Deep Water triggered ice shelf breakup via the marine ice sheet instability mechanism, which led to rapid thinning of upstream coastal ice sheet sectors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number273
Number of pages11
JournalCommunications Earth & Environment
Volume3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2022

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