Hostname: page-component-5d59c44645-hb754 Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-02-26T01:21:17.654Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Limited Pliocene/Pleistocene glaciation in Deep Freeze Range, northern Victoria Land, Antarctica, derived from in situ cosmogenic nuclides

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 December 2003

PETER OBERHOLZER
Affiliation:
Institute of Isotope Geology and Mineral Resources, ETH Zürich, Sonneggstrasse 5, CH-8092 Zürich, Switzerland
CARLO BARONI
Affiliation:
Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università di Pisa, e Istituto di Geoscienze e Georisorse CNR, Via S. Maria 53, I-56126 Pisa, Italy
JOERG M. SCHAEFER
Affiliation:
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, NY 10964, USA
GIUSEPPE OROMBELLI
Affiliation:
Dipartimento di Scienze dell'Ambiente e del Territorio, Università di Milano-Bicocca, Piazza della Scienza 1, I-20126 Milano, Italy
SUSAN IVY OCHS
Affiliation:
Institute of Particle Physics, ETH Zürich, ETH Hönggerberg, CH-8093 Zürich, Switzerland
PETER W. KUBIK
Affiliation:
Paul Scherrer-Institut, c/o Institute of Particle Physics, ETH Zürich, ETH Hönggerberg, CH-8093 Zürich, Switzerland
HEINRICH BAUR
Affiliation:
Institute of Isotope Geology and Mineral Resources, ETH Zürich, Sonneggstrasse 5, CH-8092 Zürich, Switzerland
RAINER WIELER
Affiliation:
Institute of Isotope Geology and Mineral Resources, ETH Zürich, Sonneggstrasse 5, CH-8092 Zürich, Switzerland

Abstract

The question of how stable the climate in Antarctica has been during the last few million years compared to the rest of the planet is still controversial. This study attempts to add new information to the discussion by reconstructing the timing and spatial extent of glacial advances in northern Victoria Land over tens of thousands to millions of years. In Terra Nova Bay region, surface exposure ages and erosion rates of glacially rounded bedrock and glacial erratics have been determined using the cosmogenic nuclides 3He, 10Be and 21Ne. Three morphological units have been analysed. They yield minimum ages of 11 to 34 ka, 309 ka, and 2.6 Ma, respectively. Erosion rates were as low as 20 cm Ma−1 since middle Pliocene time. Taking erosion into account, the oldest surface is 5.3 Ma old. Pleistocene glacier advances had considerable extent, reaching up to 780 m above modern ice levels, but have been restricted to the valleys since at least mid-Pliocene. The existence of landscapes of mid-Pliocene age in northern Victoria Land implies that the climatic stability of the McMurdo Dry Valleys is not unique within the Transantarctic Mountains, but rather the expression of a constantly cold and hyperarid climate regime in entire Victoria Land.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© Antarctic Science Ltd 2003

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)