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Title: An ancient river landscape preserved beneath the East Antarctic Ice Sheet
Abstract

The East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) has its origins ca. 34 million years ago. Since then, the impact of climate change and past fluctuations in the EAIS margin has been reflected in periods of extensive vs. restricted ice cover and the modification of much of the Antarctic landscape. Resolving processes of landscape evolution is therefore critical for establishing ice sheet history, but it is rare to find unmodified landscapes that record past ice conditions. Here, we discover an extensive relic pre-glacial landscape preserved beneath the central EAIS despite millions of years of ice cover. The landscape was formed by rivers prior to ice sheet build-up but later modified by local glaciation before being dissected by outlet glaciers at the margin of a restricted ice sheet. Preservation of the relic surfaces indicates an absence of significant warm-based ice throughout their history, suggesting any transitions between restricted and expanded ice were rapid.

 
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NSF-PAR ID:
10470541
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Nature Publishing Group
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Volume:
14
Issue:
1
ISSN:
2041-1723
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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