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Pleistocene Collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

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Science  03 Jul 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5373, pp. 82-85
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5373.82

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Abstract

Some glacial sediment samples recovered from beneath the West Antarctic ice sheet at ice stream B contain Quaternary diatoms and up to 108 atoms of beryllium-10 per gram. Other samples contain no Quaternary diatoms and only background levels of beryllium-10 (less than 106 atoms per gram). The occurrence of young diatoms and high concentrations of beryllium-10 beneath grounded ice indicates that the Ross Embayment was an open marine environment after a late Pleistocene collapse of the marine ice sheet.

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