We report here the results of a study aimed at providing radiometric age control on glacial events in the Weddell Sea during the late Quaternary. Sediment cores from the eastern continental shelf, where the East Antarctic ice sheet was grounded, have recovered glacial-marine sediments resting on tills and the latter deposits predate the isotope stage 2 last glacial maximum. Sediment cores from the continental slope and rise sampled a prominent ice-rafted debris layer, and radiocarbon ages indicate that this ice-rafting event took place prior to 26 000 yr B.P. Thus, the combined data indicate that significant deglaciation of the Weddell Sea continental shelf took place prior to the last glacial maximum. Our data also suggest that the ice masses that border the Weddell Sea are more extensive than they were during the previous glacial minimum.
- Geological Society of America