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doi:10.5194/se-2017-18
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
28 Feb 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Solid Earth (SE).
Sediment loading in Fennoscandia during the last glacial cycle
Wouter van der Wal1 and Thijs IJpelaar2 1Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Delft, 2613 DH, Netherlands
2’s Hertogenbosch, 5211 TL, Netherlands
Abstract. Models for postglacial rebound, or Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA) routinely include the effects of meltwater redistribution and changes in topography and coastlines. Since the sediment transport related to the dynamics of ice sheets may be comparable to that of sea level rise in terms of surface pressure, the loading effect of sediment deposition could cause measurable ongoing viscous readjustment. Here we study the loading effect of glacial induced sediment redistribution (GISR) related to the Weichselian ice sheet in Fennoscandia and the Barents Sea. The surface loading effect and its effect on the gravitational potential is modelled by including changes in sediment thickness in the sea level equation following the method of Dalca et al. (2013). Sediment displacement estimates are estimated in two different ways: (i) from a compilation of studies on smaller features: through mouth fans, large scale failure and basin flux and (ii) from output of a coupled ice-sediment model. To account for uncertainty in Earth’s rheology three viscosity profiles are used. It is found that sediment transport can lead to changes in relative sea level of at most several meters with the largest effect occurring earlier in the deglaciation. This magnitude is below the error level of most of the relative sea level data because data are sparse and errors are larger for older data. The maximum effect on present-day uplift rates is a few tenths of mm yr−1, which is around the measurement error of long-term GPS monitoring networks. The maximum effect on present-day gravity rates as measured by the GRACE satellite mission is up to tenths of μGal yr−1, which is larger than the measurement error. Since GISR causes systematic uplift in most mainland Scandinavia, including GISR in GIA models would improve interpretation of GPS and GRACE observations there.

Citation: van der Wal, W. and IJpelaar, T.: Sediment loading in Fennoscandia during the last glacial cycle, Solid Earth Discuss., doi:10.5194/se-2017-18, in review, 2017.
Wouter van der Wal and Thijs IJpelaar
Wouter van der Wal and Thijs IJpelaar
Wouter van der Wal and Thijs IJpelaar

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Short summary
As ice sheets grow and shrink, they move rock around. In Scandinavia the movement took place mostly from inland to off-shore areas, resulting in ongoing uplift in Scandinavia and subsidence in off-shore areas. This study calculated the changes in height and gravity and found that they are significant. Thus, effects of past sediment loading have to be taken into account when interpreting measurements of height and gravity change in areas close to former ice sheets with large sediment transport.
As ice sheets grow and shrink, they move rock around. In Scandinavia the movement took place...
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