Association of Polar Early Career Scientists


We are pleased to present newly combined high-resolution reconstructions of Antarctic palaeotopography and Southern Ocean palaeobathymetry for five time intervals between the Eocene–Oligocene boundary (ca. 34 Ma) and the present-day. The grids were produced by merging separately published reconstructions of palaeotopography and palaeobathymetry from two recent studies (Paxman et al., 2019; Hochmuth et al., 2020), and are a key output of the Past Antarctic Ice Sheet dynamics (PAIS) Antarctic palaeotopography and palaeobathymetry working group of SCAR. The grids are freely available to download here.

Combined palaeotopography/bathymetry grids are available for five key time slices in the Cenozoic development of the Antarctic continent and the Southern Ocean:

1. Eocene–Oligocene boundary (ca. 34 Ma)
2. Oligocene–Miocene boundary (ca. 23 Ma)
3. mid-Miocene climate transition (ca. 14 Ma)
4. Miocene–Pliocene boundary (ca. 5 Ma)
5. Pliocene–Pleistocene boundary (ca. 2.6 Ma)
These specific time slices were chosen because they (i) represent the time of important climatic and/or tectonic changes in Antarctica, the Southern Ocean and the global climate system and cryosphere, and (ii) correspond to the age of well-constrained stratigraphic horizons that have been verified by drilling missions at multiple locations in the Southern Ocean. These time intervals are also the focus of palaeo-climate, -ice sheet and -ocean modelling studies.
These high-resolution palaeotopographic and -bathymetric models have been newly reconstructed based on all available geophysical and geological data and merged together to form complete grids of the Southern Ocean and the Antarctic continent. They will facilitate detailed investigation of past ice sheet and ocean circulation development from land to sea, which is essential for robust reconstructions of palaeoclimate and past ice sheet and ocean dynamics. For detailed information on the reconstructions, please refer to Paxman et al. (2019; Palaeo-Cubed) and Hochmuth et al. (2020; G-Cubed) for the palaeotopography and the palaeobathymetry, respectively.
Please let us know if you have any queries.
Best wishes,
Katharina Hochmuth (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Guy Paxman (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

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