Holocene Deglaciation of Marie Byrd Land, West Antarctica

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Science  03 Jan 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5603, pp. 99-102
DOI: 10.1126/science.1077998

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Surface exposure ages of glacial deposits in the Ford Ranges of western Marie Byrd Land indicate continuous thinning of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet by more than 700 meters near the coast throughout the past 10,000 years. Deglaciation lagged the disappearance of ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere by thousands of years and may still be under way. These results provide further evidence that parts of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet are on a long-term trajectory of decline. West Antarctic melting contributed water to the oceans in the late Holocene and may continue to do so in the future.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: stone{at}

  • Present address: Department of Physics, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907–1396, USA.

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