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Glacial history of Mackay Glacier, Transantarctic Mountains Chronology of thinning to the present day
Richard S. Jones


Richard Selwyn Jones
Victoria University of Wellington, Kelburn, Wellington, New Zealand

Andrew Mackintosh
Victoria University of Wellington, Kelburn, Wellington, New Zealand

Kevin Norton
Victoria University of Wellington, Kelburn, Wellington, New Zealand

Nicholas Golledge
GNS Science, Avalon, Lower Hutt, New Zealand
Victoria University of Wellington, Kelburn, Wellington, New Zealand


Configuration of the Antarctic ice sheets is inherently linked to changes in climate and the encircling Southern Ocean. Quantifying the changes that occurred in the ice sheet since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) is therefore vital for understanding the overall ice sheet sensitivity and long-term drivers of ice sheet changes. Mackay Glacier drains the East Antarctic Ice Sheet through the Transantarctic Mountains into the Ross Sea, and is therefore well placed to record the sensitivity of outlet glaciers to regional atmospheric warming, sea level rise or increased ocean temperatures.

We present recent fieldwork at Mackay Glacier which aims to firstly better constrain the thickness of the Antarctic Ice Sheet in this region of the Transantarctic Mountains at the LGM, and secondly to understand the way in which it subsequently thinned and retreated to its present configuration. Geomorphological mapping aided sample collection for terrestrial cosmogenic nuclide dating. Samples were collected in a series of elevation transects at several locations down the longitudinal profile of the glacier to record deglacial thinning. The resultant chronology will include mostly 10Be dates but will also require multiple isotope analysis. It will subsequently constrain a glaciological flowline model that will investigate the dynamics of outlet glaciers during deglaciation.

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Key dates

  • 11th June 2013
    Registrations close
  • 21st June 2013
    Registrations at the AAD open for staff
  • 24th June 2013
    Registrations at the venue open
  • 24th June 2013
    Conference commences
  • 26th June 2013
    Conference concludes

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This page was last modified on 24 September 2013.