Antarctic subglacial topography and ice-sheet evolution

Martin Siegert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although ice-sheet flow and form in Antarctica is controlled to a large degree by topography, the continent's landscape evolution and therefore its influence on ice-sheet development is poorly understood. The oscillation of ice sheets throughout the last 34 million years will have affected topography through glacial erosion and deposition. Consequently, the macro bedforms on which the modern ice sheet flows originate from previous, and probably dissimilar, ice sheets. This problem is both obvious and difficult to resolve given the lack of bed exposure and paucity of data concerning sedimentary deposits. Nonetheless, several attempts have been made, using numerical modelling, to comprehend the interrelation between topography and ice sheets in Antarctica. In this review, the subglacial topography of Antarctica is inspected with reference to both contemporary ice-flow processes and ice-sheet history. Examples of how landscape evolution have been estimated are discussed, which provides a means by which the continental scale link between topography and ice-sheet development can be investigated in future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)646-660
Number of pages15
JournalEarth Surface Processes and Landforms
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2008


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