Constraints on the last deglaciation of the Ross Sea Sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) from 10Be dating
Friday, 19 December 2014
We present new 10Be surface exposure ages from glacial erratic boulders from several locations in McMurdo Sound in order to constrain the deglacial history of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Previous model and field data indicate that the present day Ross Ice Shelf was a grounded ice sheet, with the grounding line extending to near the continental shelf edge during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). However, the timing and rate of the last deglaciation of the Ross Sea Sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet remain uncertain. We sampled granitic and basaltic erratic boulders for dating with the cosmogenic nuclides 10Be and 3He; in situ 14C dating will be used to assess complex burial histories. The 10Be ages on erratics near or at the upper limit of Ross Sea Drift that do not appear to have inheritance range from 17 to 26 ka. 10Be ages from erratics below the limit of the (LGM) Ross Sea Drift suggest final deglaciation by ~11 ka. New 10Be ages from more highly weathered glacial deposits above the Ross Sea drift near Blue Glacier suggest an age range of 141 to 171 ka.