Marine Science Faculty Publications

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Climate sciences, Environmental sciences, Ocean sciences, Scientific community

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Reductions in the thickness and extent of Antarctic ice shelves are triggering increased discharge of marine-terminating glaciers. While the impacts of recent changes are well documented, their role in modulating past ice-sheet dynamics remains poorly constrained. This reflects two persistent issues; first, the effective discrimination of sediments and landforms solely attributable to sub-ice-shelf deposition, and second, challenges in dating these records. Recent progress in deciphering the geological imprint of Antarctic ice shelves is summarised, including advances in dating methods and proxies to reconstruct drivers of change. Finally, we identify several challenges to overcome to fully exploit the paleo record. The recent collapses of ice shelves in Antarctica due to warming make it essential to understand past ice shelf conditions and mechanisms. Here Smith and colleagues review the latest progress in deciphering the geological imprint of Antarctic ice shelves via sediments, landforms and proxy indicators.

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Nature Communications, v. 10, art. 5635

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