Cenozoic history of Antarctic glaciation and climate from onshore and offshore studies

The past three decades have seen a sustained and coordinated effort to refine the seismic stratigraphic framework of the Antarctic margin that has underpinned the development of numerous geological drilling expeditions from the continental shelf and beyond. Integration of these offshore drilling datasets covering the Cenozoic era with Antarctic inland datasets, provides important constraints that allow us to understand the role of Antarctic tectonics, the Southern Ocean biosphere, and Cenozoic ice sheet dynamics and ice sheet–ocean interactions on global climate as a whole. These constraints are critical for improving the accuracy and precision of future projections of Antarctic ice sheet behaviour and changes in Southern Ocean circulation. Many of the recent advances in this field can be attributed to the community-driven approach of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) Past Antarctic Ice Sheet Dynamics (PAIS) research programme and its two key subcommittees: Paleoclimate Records from the Antarctic Margin and Southern Ocean (PRAMSO) and Palaeotopographic-Palaeobathymetric Reconstructions. Since 2012, these two PAIS subcommittees provided the forum to initiate, promote, coordinate and study scientific research drilling around the Antarctic margin and the Southern Ocean. Here we review the seismic stratigraphic margin architecture, climatic and glacial history of the Antarctic continent following the break-up of Gondwanaland in the Cretaceous, with a focus on records obtained since the implementation of PRAMSO. We also provide a forward-looking approach for future drilling proposals in frontier locations critically relevant for assessing future Antarctic ice sheet, climatic and oceanic change.


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Authors: McKay, Robert M., Escutia, Carlota, De Santis, Laura, Donda, Federica, Duncan, Bella, Gohl, Karsten, Gulick, Sean, Hernández-Molina, Javier, Hillenbrand, Claus-Dieter ORCIDORCID record for Claus-Dieter Hillenbrand, Hochmuth, Katharina, Kim, Sookwan, Kuhn, Gerhard, Larter, Robert ORCIDORCID record for Robert Larter, Leitchenkov, German, Levy, Richard H., Naish, Tim R., O’Brien, Phil, Perez, Lara F. ORCIDORCID record for Lara F. Perez, Shevenell, Amelia E., Williams, Trevor

Editors: Florindo, Fabio, Siegert, Martin, De Santis, Laura, Naish, Tim

On this site: Claus-Dieter Hillenbrand, Lara Perez Miguel, Robert Larter
1 October, 2021
In: Florindo, Fabio, Siegert, Martin, De Santis, Laura, Naish, Tim (eds.). Antarctic Climate Evolution 2nd edition, Elsevier, 41-164.
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