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  1. Abstract

    The impact of late Cenozoic climate on the East Antarctic Ice Sheet is uncertain. Poorly constrained patterns of relative ice thinning and thickening impair the reconstruction of past ice-sheet dynamics and global sea-level budgets. Here we quantify long-term ice cover of mountains protruding the ice-sheet surface in western Dronning Maud Land, using cosmogenic Chlorine-36, Aluminium-26, Beryllium-10, and Neon-21 from bedrock in an inverse modeling approach. We find that near-coastal sites experienced ice burial up to 75–97% of time since 1 Ma, while interior sites only experienced brief periods of ice burial, generally <20% of time since 1 Ma. Based on these results, we suggest that the escarpment in Dronning Maud Land acts as a hinge-zone, where ice-dynamic changes driven by grounding-line migration are attenuated inland from the coastal portions of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, and where precipitation-controlled ice-thickness variations on the polar plateau taper off towards the coast.

  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2023
  3. Abstract. We use 25 new measurements of in situ produced cosmogenic 26Al and 10Bein river sand, paired with estimates of dissolved load flux in river water,to characterize the processes and pace of landscape change in central Cuba.Long-term erosion rates inferred from 10Be concentrations in quartzextracted from central Cuban river sand range from3.4–189 Mg km−2 yr−1 (mean 59, median 45). Dissolved loads (10–176 Mg km−2 yr−1; mean 92, median 97), calculated from stream soluteconcentrations and modeled runoff, exceed measured cosmogenic-10Be-derived erosion rates in 18 of 23 basins. This disparity mandatesthat in this environment landscape-scale mass loss is not fully representedby the cosmogenic nuclide measurements. The 26Al / 10Be ratios are lower than expected for steady-state exposure or erosion in 16 of 24 samples. Depressed 26Al / 10Be ratios occur in many of the basins that have the greatest disparity between dissolved loads (high) and erosion rates inferred from cosmogenic nuclide concentrations (low). Depressed 26Al / 10Be ratios are consistentwith the presence of a deep, mixed, regolith layer providing extendedstorage times on slopes and/or burial and extended storage during fluvialtransport. River water chemical analyses indicate that many basins with lower 26Al / 10Be ratios and high 10Be concentrations are underlain at least in part by evaporitic rocks that rapidly dissolve. Our data show that when assessingmore »mass loss in humid tropical landscapes,accounting for the contribution of rock dissolution at depth is particularly important. In such warm, wet climates, mineral dissolution can occur many meters below the surface, beyond the penetration depth of most cosmic rays and thus the production of most cosmogenic nuclides. Our data suggest the importance of estimating solute fluxes and measuring paired cosmogenic nuclides to better understand the processes and rates of mass transfer at a basin scale.« less
  4. Abstract. Sometime during the middle to late Holocene (8.2 ka to ∼ 1850–1900 CE), the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) was smaller than its currentconfiguration. Determining the exact dimensions of the Holocene ice-sheetminimum and the duration that the ice margin rested inboard of its currentposition remains challenging. Contemporary retreat of the GrIS from itshistorical maximum extent in southwestern Greenland is exposing a landscapethat holds clues regarding the configuration and timing of past ice-sheetminima. To quantify the duration of the time the GrIS margin was near itsmodern extent we develop a new technique for Greenland that utilizes in situcosmogenic 10Be–14C–26Al in bedrock samples that have becomeice-free only in the last few decades due to the retreating ice-sheet margin atKangiata Nunaata Sermia (n=12 sites, 36 measurements; KNS), southwest Greenland. To maximizethe utility of this approach, we refine the deglaciation history of the regionwith stand-alone 10Be measurements (n=49) and traditional 14C agesfrom sedimentary deposits contained in proglacial–threshold lakes. We combineour reconstructed ice-margin history in the KNS region with additionalgeologic records from southwestern Greenland and recent model simulations ofGrIS change to constrain the timing of the GrIS minimum in southwestGreenland and the magnitude of Holocene inland GrIS retreat, as well as to explore theregional climate history influencing Holocenemore »ice-sheet behavior. Our10Be–14C–26Al measurements reveal that (1) KNS retreated behindits modern margin just before 10 ka, but it likely stabilized near thepresent GrIS margin for several thousand years before retreating fartherinland, and (2) pre-Holocene 10Be detected in several of our sample sitesis most easily explained by several thousand years of surface exposure duringthe last interglaciation. Moreover, our new results indicate that the minimumextent of the GrIS likely occurred after ∼5 ka, and the GrISmargin may have approached its eventual historical maximum extent as early as∼2 ka. Recent simulations of GrIS change are able to match thegeologic record of ice-sheet change in regions dominated by surface massbalance, but they produce a poorer model–data fit in areas influenced by oceanicand dynamic processes. Simulations that achieve the best model–data fitsuggest that inland retreat of the ice margin driven by early to middleHolocene warmth may have been mitigated by increased precipitation. Triple10Be–14C–26Al measurements in recently deglaciated bedrockprovide a new tool to help decipher the duration of smaller-than-present iceover multiple timescales. Modern retreat of the GrIS margin in southwestGreenland is revealing a bedrock landscape that was also exposed during themigration of the GrIS margin towards its Holocene minimum extent, but it has yetto tap into a landscape that remained ice-covered throughout the entireHolocene.« less