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Evidence for a Former Large Ice Sheet in the Orville Coast–Ronne Ice Shelf Area, Antarctica

  • Paul Carrara (a1)

Abstract

The Orville Coast area of the Antarctic Peninsula was extensively glacierized in the past. Striations, polished rock surfaces, and erratics on nunatak summits indicate that this area was covered by a broad regional ice sheet whose grounded ice margin was on the continental shelf, in the present-day Ronne Ice Shelf area. If the glacial history of Antarctica has been controlled by eustatic sea-level changes, the destruction of this ice sheet would have been contemporaneous with that of the Ross Sea ice sheet due to the world-wide rise of eustatic sea-level at the end of the Wisconsin glaciation.

Résumé

La Orville Coast dans la Antarctic Pensinsula a été, dans le passé fortement englacée. Des roches striées et des surfaces polies, et des blocs erratiques en haut de nunataks indiquent que cette zone était couverte par une grande calotte glaciaire régionale, dont le front reposait sur le sol du socle continental, dans la zone de l’actuelle Ronne Ice Shelf. Si l’histoire de la glaciation antarctique a bien été contrôléé par des fluctuations marines eustatiques, la destruction de cette calotte devrait être contemporraine de celle de la calotte de la Ross Sea au moment du soulèvement eustatique mondial du niveau de la mer, à la fin de la glaciation du Wisconsin.

Zusammenfassung

Das Gebiet der Orville Coast auf der Antarktischen Halbinsel war früher stark vergletschert. Riefen, polierte Felsoberflächen und erratisches Material auf den Gipfeln von Nunatakkern weisen auf eine Bedeckung dieses Gebietes durch ein breites, regionales Eisschild hin, dessen Aufsetzlinie am Kontinentschelf im Bereich des heutigen Ronne Ice Shelf lag. Wenn das glaziale Geschehen auf Antarktika durch eustatische Meerespiegelschwankungen gesteuert wurde, dann müsste die Zerstörung dieses Eisschildes gleichzeitig mit der des Ross Sea-Eisschildes infolge des weltweiten, eustatischen Meeresspiegelanstiegs am Ende der Wisconsin-Eiszeit erfolgt sein.

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Copyright

References

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