Submitted as: model description paper
17 Mar 2023
Submitted as: model description paper |  | 17 Mar 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Quantitative Sub-Ice and Marine Tracing of Antarctic Sediment Provenance (TASP v0.1)

James W. Marschalek, Edward Gasson, Tina van de Flierdt, Claus-Dieter Hillenbrand, Martin J. Siegert, and Liam Holder

Abstract. Ice sheet models must be able to accurately simulate palaeo ice sheets to have confidence in their predictions of future Antarctic ice mass loss and resulting global sea-level rise, particularly over longer timescales. This requires accurate reconstructions of the extent and flow patterns of palaeo ice sheets using real-world data. Such reconstructions can be achieved by tracing the detrital components of offshore sedimentary records back to their source areas on land. However, sediment provenance data and ice sheet model results have not been directly linked, despite the complimentary information each can provide the other. Here, we present a computational framework (Tracing Antarctic Sediment Provenance, TASP) that predicts marine geochemical sediment provenance data using the output of numerical ice sheet modelling. The ice sheet model is used to estimate the spatial pattern of erosion rates and to trace ice flow pathways. Beyond the ice sheet margin, simple approximations of modern detrital particle transport mechanisms using ocean reanalysis data produce a good agreement between our predictions for the modern ice sheet/ocean system and marine surface sediments. Comparing results for the modern system to seafloor surface sediment measurements will allow application of the method to past ice sheet configurations. TASP currently predicts neodymium isotope compositions using the PSUICE3D ice sheet model, but it has been designed so that it could be adapted to predict other provenance indicators or use outputs of other ice sheet models.

James W. Marschalek et al.

Status: open (until 12 May 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse

James W. Marschalek et al.

Data sets

Surface sediment Nd isotope compositions from the Ross Sea, Antarctica Liam Holder and James Marschalek

Model code and software

Tracing Antarctic Sediment Provenance (TASP) James Marschalek

James W. Marschalek et al.


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Short summary
Ice sheet models can help predict how Antarctica’s ice sheets respond to environmental change; such models benefit from comparison to geological data. Here, we use ice sheet model results, plus other data, to predict the erosion of Antarctic debris and trace its transport to where it is deposited on the ocean floor. This allows the results of ice sheet modelling to be directly and quantitively compared to real-world data, helping to reduce uncertainty regarding Antarctic sea level contribution.