Wilkes Land, East Antarctica: using subglacial geology as a key test for ice sheet stability

Lara Urosevic

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis

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Ice sheets have been of global interest because of their influence on sea level rise (SLR) in our currently warming world. Ice sheet stability is difficult to simulate and model, especially past events of ice sheet destabilisation and growth. Studying ice-rafted detritus allows for these ice sheets processes to be better understood, however these are often limited by provenance determination. The aim of this study was to simulate detrital signatures from a determined provenance in Wilkes Land. This was achieved by mapping and interpreting data from geophysical data and spatially analysing the erosive potential within these maps via ice sheet modelling. The ice sheets models used were “retreat models” that analysed the retreat mechanisms of an ice sheet under different air and ocean temperature forcings. Results showed that the approach was able to simulate unique detrital signatures for each modelled ice sheet state, with connection to a known provenance. The limitation is that the ice sheet models were not time- and hence climate-constrained and did not account for all the processes undergone by a retreating ice sheet. This includes cycles of advance and processes of detritus after erosion, such as entrainment, transport and deposition. These are all factors that control current IRD signature genesis in Antarctica. Despite the limitations, this study shows that a complex system can be better understood through a multidisciplinary approach.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Western Australia
  • Aitken, Alan, Supervisor
  • Lowe, Ryan, Supervisor
Award date2 Feb 2018
Publication statusUnpublished - 2017


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