Major advance of South Georgia glaciers during the Antarctic Cold Reversal following extensive sub-Antarctic glaciation

The history of glaciations on Southern Hemisphere sub-polar islands is unclear. Debate surrounds the extent and timing of the last glacial advance and termination on sub-Antarctic South Georgia in particular. Here, using sea-floor geophysical data and marine sediment cores, we resolve the record of glaciation offshore of South Georgia through the transition from the Last Glacial Maximum to Holocene. We show a sea-bed landform imprint of a shelf-wide last glacial advance and progressive deglaciation. Renewed glacier resurgence in the fjords between c. 15,170 and 13,340 yr ago coincided with a period of cooler, wetter climate known as the Antarctic Cold Reversal, revealing a cryospheric response to an Antarctic climate pattern extending into the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean. We conclude that the last glaciation of South Georgia was extensive, and the sensitivity of its glaciers to climate variability during the last termination more significant than implied by previous studies.


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Authors: Graham, Alastair G. C., Kuhn, Gerhard, Meisel, Ove, Hillenbrand, Claus-Dieter ORCIDORCID record for Claus-Dieter Hillenbrand, Hodgson, Dominic A. ORCIDORCID record for Dominic A. Hodgson, Ehrmann, Werner, Wacker, Lukas, Wintersteller, Paul, dos Santos Ferreira, Christian, Römer, Miriam, White, Duanne, Bohrmann, Gerhard

On this site: Dominic Hodgson, Claus-Dieter Hillenbrand
17 March, 2017
Nature Communications / 8
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