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Late Quaternary variations in relative sea level due to glacial cycle polar wander

Geophysical Research Letters

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Abstract

Growth and decay of continental ice sheets can excite significant motion of the Earth's rotation pole and cause a complex spatio-temporal pattern of changes in relative sea level. These two effects have generally been considered separately, but may interact in important ways. In particular, a simple model of the melting of the Laurentide ice sheet causes a uniform eustatic sea level rise of 55 m, and also induces a motion of the rotation pole by 0.1 to 1 degree, depending on viscosity structure in the mantle. This motion produces a secular pole tide, which is a spherical harmonic degree 2, order 1 component of the relative sea level pattern, with peak-to-peak amplitude of 20 to 40 m. The maximum effect is along the great circle passing through the path of the pole and at latitudes of ??45??. This secular pole tide has been ignored in most previous attempts to estimate ice sheet loading history and mantle viscosity from global patterns of relative sea level change. It has a large influence along the East coast of North America and the West coast of South America, and significantly contributes to present day rates of relative sea level change.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Late Quaternary variations in relative sea level due to glacial cycle polar wander
Series title:
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume
23
Issue:
21
Year Published:
1996
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Geophysical Research Letters
First page:
3023
Last page:
3026
Number of Pages:
4