Late Pleistocene and early Holocene change in the Weddell Sea: a new climate record from the Patriot Hills, Ellsworth Mountains, West Antarctica

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Chris SM Turney1, Christopher Joseph Fogwill1, Mauro Rubino2, David Etheridge2, Tas D van Ommen3, Andrew David Moy4 and Mark A Curran5, (1)University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia, (2)CSIRO, Aspendale, Australia, (3)Australian Antarctic Division, Kingston, Australia, (4)Australian Antarctic Division, Kingston, TAS, Australia, (5)Australian Antarctic Division, Hobart, Australia
The transition from the late Pleistocene to the Holocene (30 000–5000 years ago) was a period of considerable climate variability, which has been associated with changes in deep water formation and the intensity of the Meridional Overturning Circulation. Although numerous records exist across the North Atlantic region, few Antarctic ice core records have been obtained from the south.

Here we exploit the potential of upwelling ancient ice – so-called blue ice areas (BIAs) – from the Patriot Hills in the Ellsworth Mountains to derive the first deuterium isotope record (dD) from continental Antarctica south of the Weddell Sea. Gas analysis and glaciological considerations provide a first relative chronology and provide new constraints on ice sheet dynamics in the region. Inferred temperature trends from the Patriot Hills BIA and snow pit suggest changing climate influences during the transition between the last glacial period and Holocene. Our results demonstrate the considerable potential of the Patriot Hills site for reconstructing past climate change in the south Atlantic region.