Observed rapid bedrock uplift in amundsen sea embayment promotes ice-sheet stability

Valentina R. Barletta, Michael Bevis, Benjamin E. Smith, Terry Wilson, Abel Brown, Andrea Bordoni, Michael Willis, Shfaqat Abbas Khan, Marc Rovira-Navarro, Ian Dalziel, Robert Smalley, Eric Kendrick, Stephanie Konfal, Dana J. Caccamise, Richard C. Aster, Andy Nyblade, Douglas A. Wiens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

147 Scopus citations


The marine portion of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) in the Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) accounts for one-fourth of the cryospheric contribution to global sea-level rise and is vulnerable to catastrophic collapse. The bedrock response to ice mass loss, glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA), was thought to occur on a time scale of 10,000 years. We used new GPS measurements, which show a rapid (41 millimeters per year) uplift of the ASE, to estimate the viscosity of the mantle underneath. We found a much lower viscosity (4 × 1018 pascal-second) than global average, and this shortens the GIA response time scale to decades up to a century. Our finding requires an upward revision of ice mass loss from gravity data of 10% and increases the potential stability of the WAIS against catastrophic collapse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1335-1339
Number of pages5
Issue number6395
StatePublished - Jun 22 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Observed rapid bedrock uplift in amundsen sea embayment promotes ice-sheet stability'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this