We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Research & business

View Profile

Publication details for Professor Mike Bentley

Bentley, M.J., Hodgson, D.A., Sugden, D.E., Roberts, S.J., Smith, J.A., Leng, M.J. & Bryant, C. (2005). Early Holocene retreat of the George VI Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula. Geology 33(3): 173-176.

Author(s) from Durham


The recent collapse of several Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves has been linked to rapid regional atmospheric warming during the twentieth century. New high-resolution lake sediment records of Holocene ice-shelf behavior show that the George VI Ice Shelf was absent beginning ca. 9595 calibrated (cal.) yr B.P., but reformed by ca. 7945 cal. yr B.P. This retreat immediately followed a period of maximum Holocene warmth that is recorded in some ice cores and occurred at the same time as an influx of warmer ocean water onto the Antarctic Peninsula shelf. The absence of the ice shelf suggests that early Holocene ocean-atmosphere variability in the Antarctic Peninsula was greater than that measured in recent decades


Anderson, J.B., 1999, Antarctic marine geology: Cambridge, Cambridge University
Press, 297 p.
Berkman, P.A., and Forman, S.L., 1996, Pre-bomb radiocarbon and reservoir
correction for calcareous marine species in the southern ocean: Geophysical
Research Letters, v. 23, p. 363–366.
Clapperton, C.M., and Sugden, D.E., 1982, Late Quaternary glacial history of
George VI Sound area, West Antarctica: Quaternary Research, v. 18,
p. 243–267.
Crabtree, R.D., Storey, B.C., and Doake, C.S.M., 1985, The structural evolution
of George VI Sound, Antarctic Peninsula: Tectonophysics, v. 114,
p. 431–442.
Cremer, H., Roberts, D., McMinn, A., Gore, D., and Melles, M., 2003, The
Holocene diatom flora of marine bays in the Windmill Islands, East Antarctica:
Botanica Marina, v. 46, p. 82–106.
de Angelis, H., and Skvarca, P., 2003, Glacier surge after ice shelf collapse:
Science, v. 299, p. 1560–1562.
Doake, C.S.M., Corr, H.F.J., Rott, H., Skvarca, P., and Young, N., 1998, Breakup
and conditions for stability of the northern Larsen Ice Shelf, Antarctica:
Nature, v. 391, p. 778–780.
Domack, E., Leventer, A., Dunbar, R., Taylor, F., Brachfeld, S., and Sjunneskog,
C., 2001, Chronology of the Palmer Deep site, Antarctic Peninsula: A
Holocene palaeoenvironmental reference for the circum-Antarctic: Holocene,
v. 11, p. 1–9.
Gilbert, R., and Domack, E.W., 2003, Sedimentary record of disintegrating ice
shelves in a warming climate, Antarctic Peninsula: Geochemistry, Geophysics,
Geosystems, doi: 10.1029/2002GC000441.
Hendy, C.H., Sadler, A.J., Denton, G.H., and Hall, B.L., 2000, Proglacial lakeice
conveyors: A new mechanism for deposition of drift in polar environments:
Geografiska Annaler, ser. A, v. 82, p. 249–270.
Heywood, R.B., 1977, A limnological survey of the Ablation Point area, Alexander
Island, Antarctica: Royal Society of London Philosophical Transactions,
ser. B, v. 279, p. 39–54.
Hodgson, D.A., Doran, P.T., Roberts, D., and McMinn, A., 2004, Palaeolimnological
studies from the Antarctic and subantarctic islands, in Pienitz,
R., et al., eds., Long-term environmental change in Arctic and Antarctic
Lakes: Dordrecht, Netherlands, Kluwer, 500 p.
Ingo´lfsson, O., Hjort, C., Berkman, P.A., Bjo¨rck, S., Colhoun, E., Goodwin,
I.D., Hall, B., Hirakawa, K., Melles, M., Mo¨ller, P., and Prentice, M.L.,
1998, Antarctic glacial history since the Last Glacial Maximum: An overview
of the record on land: Antarctic Science, v. 10, p. 326–344.
Jones, V.J., Hodgson, D.A., and Chepstow-Lusty, A., 2000, Palaeolimnological
evidence for marked Holocene environmental changes on Signy Island,
Antarctica: Holocene, v. 10, p. 43–60.
Masson, V., Vimeux, F., Jouzel, J., Morgan, V., Delmotte, M., Ciais, P., Hammer,
C., Johnsen, S., Lipenkov, V.Y., Mosley-Thompson, E., Petit, J.R., Steig,
E.J., Stievenard, M., and Vaikmae, R., 2000, Holocene climate variability
in Antarctica based on 11 ice-core isotopic records: Quaternary Research,
v. 54, p. 348–358.
Masson-Delmotte, V., Stenni, B., and Jouzel, J., 2004, Common millennial-scale
variability of Antarctic and Southern Ocean temperatures during the past
5000 years reconstructed from the EPICA Dome C ice core: The Holocene,
v. 14, p. 145–151.
Meyers, P.A., 1997, Organic geochemical proxies of palaeoceanographic, palaeolimnologic,
and palaeoclimate processes: Organic Geochemistry,
v. 27, p. 213–250.
Murray, J.W., 1991, Ecology and distribution of benthic foraminifera, in Lee,
J.J., and Anderson, O.R., eds., Biology of Foraminifera: London, Academic
Press, p. 221–255.
Potter, J.R., and Paren, J.G., 1985, Interaction between ice shelf and ocean in
George VI Sound, Antarctica, in Jacobs, S., ed., Oceanology of the Antarctic
continental shelves: American Geophysical Union Antarctic Research
Series, v. 43, p. 35–58.
Pudsey, C.J., and Evans, J., 2001, First survey of Antarctic sub–ice shelf sediments
reveals mid-Holocene ice shelf retreat: Geology, v. 29, p. 787–790.
Rignot, E., 2002, Ice-shelf changes in Pine Island Bay, Antarctica, 1947–2000:
Journal of Glaciology, v. 48, p. 247–256.
Scambos, T.A., Hulbe, C., Fahnestock, M., and Bohlander, J., 2000, The link
between climate warming and break-up of ice shelves in the Antarctic
Peninsula: Journal of Glaciology, v. 46, p. 516–530.
Shepherd, A., 2003, Larsen Ice Shelf has progressively thinned: Science, v. 302,
p. 856–859.
Vaughan, D.G., and Doake, C.S.M., 1996, Recent atmospheric warming and
retreat of ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula: Nature, v. 379,
p. 328–331.