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Late Pliocene age of glacial deposits at Heidemann Valley, East Antarctica: evidence for the last major glaciation in the Vestfold Hills


Colhoun, E and Kiernan, K and McConnell, A and Quilty, PG and Fink, D and Murray-Wallace, CV and Whitehead, J, Late Pliocene age of glacial deposits at Heidemann Valley, East Antarctica: evidence for the last major glaciation in the Vestfold Hills, Antarctic Science, 22, (1) pp. 53-63. ISSN 0954-1020 (2010) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright © Antarctic Science Ltd 2009

DOI: doi:10.1017/S0954102009990526


A Pliocene (2.6–3.5 Ma) age is determined from glacial sediments studied in a 20 m long, 4 m deep trench excavated in Heidemann Valley, Vestfold Hills, East Antarctica. The age determination is based on a combined study of amino acid racemization, diatoms, foraminifera, and magnetic polarity, and supports earlier estimates of the age of the sedimentary section; all are beyond 14C range. Four till units are recognized and documented, and 16 subunits are identified. All are ascribed to deposition during a Late Pliocene glaciation that was probably the last time the entire Vestfold Hills was covered by an enlarged East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS). Evidence for other more recent glacial events of the ‘Vestfold Glaciation’ may have been due to lateral expansion of the Sørsdal Glacier and limited expansion of the icesheet margin during the Last Glacial Maximum rather than a major expansion of the EAIS. The deposit appears to correlate with a marine deposition event recorded in Ocean Drilling Program Site 1166 in Prydz Bay, possibly with the Bardin Bluffs Formation of the Prince Charles Mountains and with part of the time represented in the ANDRILL AND-1B core in the Ross Sea.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:amino acid racemization dating, diatoms, foraminifera, magnetic polarity, origin, Sorsdal Glacier, trench excavation
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Physical geography and environmental geoscience
Research Field:Quaternary environments
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Effects of climate change on Antarctic and sub-Antarctic environments (excl. social impacts)
UTAS Author:Kiernan, K (Dr Kevin Kiernan)
UTAS Author:McConnell, A (Ms Anne McConnell)
UTAS Author:Quilty, PG (Dr Pat Quilty)
UTAS Author:Whitehead, J (Mr Whitehead)
ID Code:60456
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:11
Deposited By:Geography and Environmental Studies
Deposited On:2010-02-05
Last Modified:2011-03-28
Downloads:71 View Download Statistics

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