Substantial spatial variation in glacial erosion rates in the Dronning Maud Land Mountains, East Antarctica
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonCommunications Earth & Environment. 2021, 2, 244. 10.1038/s43247-021-00315-3
The coast-parallel Dronning Maud Land (DML) mountains represent a key nucleation site for the protracted glaciation of Antarctica. Their evolution is therefore of special interest for understanding the formation and development of the Antarctic ice sheet. Extensive glacial erosion has clearly altered the landscape over the past 34 Myr. Yet, the total erosion still remains to be properly constrained. Here, we investigate the power of low-temperature thermochronology in quantifying glacial erosion in-situ. Our data document the differential erosion along the DML escarpment, with up to c. 1.5 and 2.4 km of erosion in western and central DML, respectively. Substantial erosion at the escarpment foothills, and limited erosion at high elevations and close to drainage divides, is consistent with an escarpment retreat model. Such differential erosion suggests major alterations of the landscape during 34 Myr of glaciation and should be implemented in future ice sheet models.