CE01 - Terre solide et enveloppes fluides

DELTA: Long term Glacier Dynamics in East Antarctica & impact on sea level rise – DELTA

Submission summary

The question of sea-level upraise in relationship to East Antarctica Ice Sheet (EAIS) dynamics is a major question in the context of climate change. The presumed stability of the EAIS and thus of little impact from this zone for the Sea Level Rise (SLR) actually stands on little data on the coast, and on under-constrained numerical models. For now, these models, for the coming centuries, take little account of the long-term evolution of the ice sheet in the coastal domain, since the LGM (Last Glacial Maximum, 20 ka). These models are mainly based on satellital and on distal glacial (EPICA), or marine, data. However, the critical scale of processes acting on the ice sheet evolution (like the evolution of the grounding line or the isostatic rebound) stand on much longer temporal scales (from multi-centennial to multi-millennial scales), and are essentially acting along the coast.
In this project, we propose to document the post-LGM deglaciation dynamics of Terre Adélie (TA), with both data from Solid Earth and marine compartments to bring stronger constraints and validations into numerical models of the EAIS on the last 20 ka. The validated models will be used in a forward mode to investigate the future behaviour of the the EAIS until 2300.
-In the 'Solid Earth' investigation, we will apply a multi-geochronological investigation of moraine records (based on Cosmogenic Radionuclide dating of Be, Al, C and OSL (Optically Simulated Luminescence) of moraine boulders along the Terre Adélie coast to document the EAIS retreat following the LGM. OSL dating of marine sediments will allow to date former grounding lines that have been uplifted, which will allow quantify the (still undefined) isostatic rebound.
- The new marine data will comprise the acquisition of new geochemical data on available sediment cores off the TA coast, at high resolution until 11.5 ka. These data will allow to recalculate the paleo-temperatures both at the sea surface and around -500 m (that is at the level of the grounding line of the EAIS in TA). These data will notably allow for the first time to document the MWP-1B warming phase, which will be used as a proxi of current climate change.
- These Solid Earth and marine data will be combined with the other, more distal, ice sheet and marine records to provide a precise frame for glacial fluctuations and IAES thickness since 20 ka. These data will be used to further constrain and validate interactive 3D numerical modellings of the EAIS in TA to evaluate the regression of the glaciers in relation to the various forcings on a 20 ka scale. The best-fit models will be used in forward mode for evaluating the future response of EAIS until 2300.

Project coordination

Yann Rolland (EDYTEM)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


IGE Institut des Géosciences de l'Environnement
EPOC Université de Bordeaux / EPOC
LSCE Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives
CNRS DR12 - CEREGE Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Centre Européen de Recherche et d'Enseignement en Géosciences de l'Environnement

Help of the ANR 536,894 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: March 2023 - 48 Months

Useful links

Explorez notre base de projets financés



ANR makes available its datasets on funded projects, click here to find more.

Sign up for the latest news:
Subscribe to our newsletter