Relative terrestrial exposure ages inferred from meteoric <sup>10</sup>Be and NO<sub>3</sub><sup>−</sup> concentrations in soils along the Shackleton Glacier, Antarctica Journal Article uri icon



  • Abstract. Modeling studies and field mapping show that increases in ice thickness during glacial periods were not uniform across Antarctica. Rather, outlet glaciers that flow through the Transantarctic Mountains (TAM) experienced the greatest changes in ice thickness. As a result, ice-free areas that are currently exposed may have been covered by ice at various points during the Cenozoic, thereby providing a record of past ice sheet behavior. We collected soil surface samples and depth profiles every 5 cm to refusal (up to 30 cm) from eleven ice-free areas along the Shackleton Glacier, a major outlet glacier of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) and measured meteoric 10Be and NO3− concentrations to calculate and estimate surface exposure ages. Using 10Be inventories from three locations, calculated maximum exposure ages range from 4.1 Myr at Roberts Massif near the Polar Plateau to 0.11 Myr at Bennett Platform further north. When corrected for inheritance of 10Be from prior exposure, the ages (representing a minimum) range from 0.14 Myr at Roberts Massif to 0.04 Myr at Thanksgiving Valley. We correlate NO3− concentrations with meteoric 10Be to estimate exposure ages for all locations with NO3− depth profiles but only surface 10Be data. These results indicate that NO3− concentrations can be used in conjunction with meteoric 10Be to help interpret EAIS dynamics over time. We show that the Shackleton Glacier has the greatest fluctuations near the Ross Ice Shelf while tributary glaciers are more stable, reflecting the sensitivity of the EAIS to climate shifts at TAM margins.;

publication date

  • July 8, 2020

has restriction

  • green

Date in CU Experts

  • February 17, 2023 12:01 PM

Full Author List

  • Diaz MA; Corbett LB; Bierman PR; Adams BJ; Wall DH; Hogg ID; Fierer N; Lyons WB

author count

  • 8

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