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GPS rates of vertical bedrock motion suggest late Holocene ice-sheet readvance in a critical sector of East Antarctica


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King, MA ORCID: 0000-0001-5611-9498, Watson, CS ORCID: 0000-0002-7464-4592 and White, D 2022 , 'GPS rates of vertical bedrock motion suggest late Holocene ice-sheet readvance in a critical sector of East Antarctica' , Geophysical Research Letters , doi: 10.1029/2021GL097232.

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We investigate present-day bedrock vertical motion using new GPS timeseries from the Totten-Denman glacier region of East Antarctica (∼77-120°E) where models of glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) disagree, glaciers are likely losing mass, and few data constraints on GIA exist. We show that varying surface mass balance loading (SMBL) is a dominant signal, contributing random-walk-like noise to GPS timeseries across Antarctica. In the study region, it induces site velocity biases of up to ∼+1 mm/yr over 2010-2020. After correcting for SMBL displacement and GPS common mode error, subsidence is evident at all sites aside from the Totten Glacier region where uplift is ∼1.5 mm/yr. Uplift near the Totten Glacier is consistent with late Holocene ice retreat while the widespread subsidence further west suggests possible late Holocene readvance of the region’s ice sheet, in broad agreement with limited glacial geological data and highlighting the need for sampling beneath the current ice sheet.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:King, MA and Watson, CS and White, D
Keywords: glacial isostatic adjustment, Antarctica, GPS, late Holocene, surface mass balance, common mode error
Journal or Publication Title: Geophysical Research Letters
Publisher: Amer Geophysical Union
ISSN: 0094-8276
DOI / ID Number: 10.1029/2021GL097232
Copyright Information:

© 2022. The Authors.This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License, ( which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited

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