Uncertainties of Glacial Isostatic Adjustment Model Predictions in North America Associated With 3D Structure

Tanghua Li, Patrick Wu, Hansheng Wang, Holger Steffen, Nicole S. Khan, Simon E. Engelhart, Matteo Vacchi, Timothy A. Shaw, W. Richard Peltier, Benjamin P. Horton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


We quantify GIA prediction uncertainties of 250 1D and 3D glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) models through comparisons with deglacial relative sea-level (RSL) data from North America and rate of vertical land motion ((Formula presented.)) and gravity rate of change ((Formula presented.)) from GNSS and GRACE data, respectively. Spatially, the size of the RSL uncertainties varies across North America with the largest from Hudson Bay and near previous ice margins along the northern Atlantic and Pacific coasts, which suggests 3D viscosity structure in the lower mantle and laterally varying lithospheric thickness. Temporally, RSL uncertainties decrease from the Last Glacial Maximum to present except for west of Hudson Bay and the northeastern Pacific coast. The uncertainties of both these regions increase from 30 to 45 m between 15 and 11 ka BP, which may be due to the rapid decrease of surface loading at that time. Present-day (Formula presented.) and (Formula presented.) uncertainties are largest in southwestern Hudson Bay with magnitudes of 2.4 mm/year and 0.4 μGal/year, mainly due to the 3D viscosity structure in the lower mantle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2020GL087944
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 28 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


  • 3D structure
  • Glacial Isostatic Adjustment
  • Lateral heterogeneity
  • North America
  • Sea level change
  • Uncertainties


Dive into the research topics of 'Uncertainties of Glacial Isostatic Adjustment Model Predictions in North America Associated With 3D Structure'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this