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Subglacial Landform Analysis and Reconstruction of Miocene Paleotopography of Marie Byrd Land. Perry Spector 1,2 , Christine Siddoway 1 , and Paul Morin 2 1 Dept Geology, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO 2 Antarctic Geospatial Information Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.

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Subglacial landform analysis and reconstruction of miocene paleotopography of marie byrd land

Subglacial Landform Analysis and Reconstruction of Miocene Paleotopography of Marie Byrd Land

Perry Spector1,2, Christine Siddoway1, and Paul Morin2

1Dept Geology, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO

2Antarctic Geospatial Information Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN


Antscape
ANTscape Paleotopography of Marie Byrd Land

  • International group of Antarctic researchers and climate scientists

  • ACE subcommittee on Antarctic Paleotopographic Maps

  • 3 yr mission: Create a series of series of paleotopographic maps from Cretaceous to Present which:

    • Show change in bedrock elevations, landforms, and geotectonic configuration of Antarctica over the past ~100 Ma.

    • Visualizations of past landscapes

    • Provide a geographical base for diverse paleo-environmental data:

      • Cretaceous through Recent climate variations

      • Biological evolution and biodiversity

      • Glacial cycles and growth of continental ice sheets.

ANT scape


Time intervals for paleotopographic reconstruction
Time intervals for paleotopographic reconstruction Paleotopography of Marie Byrd Land

  • First Priority:

  • ~34 Ma

    • Landscape that supported first continental ice sheet when global temperatures dropped from ~8 to ~4°C above present

  • ~4 Ma

    • Pliocene warm period when global temperatures were ~3°C warmer

  • ~50 Ma

    • Eocene warm peak (as distinct from the PETM at 55 Ma)

    • Warmest part of Greenhouse Earth (10-15°C warmer than present)

    • Will help address the question of formation of ABW in a Greenhouse world


Time intervals for paleotopographic reconstruction1
Time intervals for paleotopographic reconstruction Paleotopography of Marie Byrd Land

  • Second Priority:

  • 14 Ma

    • Mid Miocene climate transition

  • ~70 Ma

    • Antarctic margins were established once Gondwana breakup was complete

    • The Late Cretaceous was a time of cool climate

  • ~92 Ma

    • Continental separation had occurred on all but the West Antarctic margin

    • Intracontinental extension underway in the WARS

    • Early Cretaceous was a time of warm climate (Miller et al, 2005)

    • ~20 m sea level drop observed in the oceanographic record is attributed to glaciation


34 ma restoration wilson and luyendyk grl 2009
34 Ma restoration (Wilson and Luyendyk, GRL, 2009) Paleotopography of Marie Byrd Land

Image from Studinger and Barrett, 2009, Nature Geoscience

  • Factors accounted for:

  • Loading from growth of ice sheets

  • Subsidence from thermal contraction as a result of prior tectonic extension

  • Erosion and sediment deposition

  • Horizontal tectonic motion since 34 Ma


BEDMAP1_plus Paleotopography of Marie Byrd Land


Wais initiation models high topog
WAIS initiation models / high topog Paleotopography of Marie Byrd Land

Pollard and DeConto, 2003


Mbl subaerial volcano ages
MBL Subaerial Volcano Ages Paleotopography of Marie Byrd Land

17 Ma or younger (Mt Petras and Reynolds excepted)

High summits and alpine areas absent at 34 Ma onset of continental Glaciation

LeMasurier and Rocchi, 2005


Glacial Incision Paleotopography of Marie Byrd Land

Jamieson and Sugden, 2008:

-Following mid-Miocene climate transition, Antarctica entered an arid period when extensive areas of the ice sheets became cold-based. Warm-based glacial erosion became focused within preexisting drainages at low elevation, leading to development of deeply incised outlet glacier troughs.


Miocene volcanoes and glacier streams
Miocene Volcanoes and glacier streams Paleotopography of Marie Byrd Land

Crary Mtns

Takahe, 3460m

Sidley, 4181 m

Petras

29-25 Ma

Hampton

13.7 – 8.5 Ma

Berlin,

3478m

2.5 Ma – 0 yr

Perkins,

1178m

c. 1.4 Ma

Siple, 3110 m

Red line --lithospheric boundary, inferred. Origin: intracontinental transform active in Cretaceous time.

Siddoway et al., 2005; Siddoway 2008; McFadden et al. 2009 in revision


BEDMAP1_plus Paleotopography of Marie Byrd Land

Mt Takahe

WARS

Ford Ranges


~21 Ma Reconstruction Paleotopography of Marie Byrd Land

WARS


BEDMAP1_plus Paleotopography of Marie Byrd Land

Analyzed cross-sectional profiles of bedrock topography (BEDMAP1_plus) on a 40 km grid


BEDMAP1_plus Paleotopography of Marie Byrd Land

Analyzed cross-sectional profiles of bedrock topography (BEDMAP1_plus) on a 40 km grid


Assumptions
Assumptions Paleotopography of Marie Byrd Land

  • Volcanism - Interpret the majority of eastern MBL subglacial vertical relief to be a result of volcanism

    • Close proximity to subaerial volcanoes

    • Topographically concentric morphology

    • Comparison with findings of numerous subglacial volcanoes from CWA geophysical surveys.

  • Glacial Incision – Certain deep, structurally-controlled troughs have been further deepened by glacial incision

  • Sedimentation - Deep, structural basins have been locations of deposition


Methods assumptions and reasoning volcanoes
Methods, assumptions, and reasoning Paleotopography of Marie Byrd Land - Volcanoes


Methods assumptions and reasoning incised glacial valleys
Methods, Assumptions, and Reasoning Paleotopography of Marie Byrd Land - Incised glacial valleys


Methods assumptions and reasoning sediment volumes
Methods, Assumptions, and Reasoning Paleotopography of Marie Byrd Land - Sediment volumes

For more in-depth treatment, see Wilson and Luyendyk, GRL, September 2009


Alpine glacier troughs in executive committee range
Alpine glacier troughs in Executive Committee Range Paleotopography of Marie Byrd Land


Flexural moat around executive committee range
Flexural Moat around Executive Committee Range Paleotopography of Marie Byrd Land


Conclusions
Conclusions Paleotopography of Marie Byrd Land

  • ANTscape’s effort to create a series of paleotopographic maps of Antarctica over the past ~100 Ma

  • MBL volcanoes are 17 Ma to present (Petras and Reynolds excepted) and thus were not present to serve as high elevation sites for ice cap nucleation during early history of WAIS.

  • Alpine glacier troughs on 14 Ma and younger volcanoes of Executive Committee Range

    • Wet-based erosive features formed at high elevations after the mid-Miocene climate transition (change to hyper arid climate and onset of cold-based mode of Antarctic glaciation (Jamieson and Sugden, 2008)) is a possible indication of elevated basal thermal conditions in the vicinity of the volcanoes.

  • Volcanic moat on north and south margins of Executive Committee Range

    • Potentially show the need of accounting for volcanic rock in addition to ice in isostatic corrections of WANT


Methods assumptions and reasoning
Methods, Assumptions, and Reasoning Paleotopography of Marie Byrd Land


BEDMAP1_plus Paleotopography of Marie Byrd Land

Mt Takahe

WARS

Ford Ranges


~21 Ma Reconstruction Paleotopography of Marie Byrd Land

WARS


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