Pliocene paleoclimate and East Antarctic ice-sheet history from surficial ash deposits

David R. Marchant, Carl C. Swisher, Daniel R. Lux, David P. West, George H. Denton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


The preservation, age, and stratigraphic relation of an in situ ashfall layer with an underlying desert pavement in Arena Valley, southern Victoria Land, indicate that a cold-desert climate has persisted in Arena Valley during the past 4.3 million years. These data indicate that the present East Antarctic Ice Sheet has endured for this time and that average temperatures during the Pliocene in Arena Valley were no greater than 3°C above present values. One implication is that the collapse of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet due to greenhouse warming is unlikely, even if global atmospheric temperatures rise to levels last experienced during mid-Pliocene times.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)667-670
Number of pages4
Issue number5108
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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