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Department of Geography

Staff Profile

Publication details for Professor Mike Bentley

Bassett, S.A., Milne, G.A., Bentley, M.J. & Huybrechts, P. Modelling Antarctic sea-level data to explore the possiblity of a dominant Antarctic contribution to meltwater pulse IA. Quaternary Science Reviews. 2007;26:2113-2127.

Author(s) from Durham


We compare numerical predictions of glaciation-induced sea-level change to data from 8 locations around the Antarctic coast in order to test if the available data preclude the possibility of a dominant Antarctic contribution to meltwater pulse IA (mwp-IA). Results based on a subset of 7 spherically symmetric earth viscosity models and 6 different Antarctic deglaciation histories indicate that the sea-level data do not rule out a large Antarctic source for this event. Our preliminary analysis indicates that the Weddell Sea is the most likely source region for a large (9 m) Antarctic contribution to mwp-IA. The Ross Sea is also plausible as a significant contributor (5 m) from a sea-level perspective, but glacio-geological field observations are not compatible with such a large and rapid melt from this region. Our results suggest that the Lambert Glacier component of the East Antarctic ice sheet experienced significant retreat at the time of mwp-IA, but only contributed 0.15 m (eustatic sea-level change). All of the ice models considered under-predicted the isostatic component of the sea-level response in the Antarctic Peninsula and the Sôya Coast region of the East Antarctic ice sheet, indicating that the maximum ice thickness in these regions is underestimated. It is therefore plausible that ice melt from these areas, the Antarctic Peninsula in particular, could have made a significant contribution to mwp-IA.