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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2019-105
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2019-105
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 13 Jun 2019

Research article | 13 Jun 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Solid Earth (SE).

GRACE constraints on Earth rheology of the Barents Sea and Fennoscandia

Marc Rovira-Navarro1,2, Wouter van der Wal1,3, Valentina R. Barletta4, Bart C. Root1, and Louise Sandberg Sørensen4 Marc Rovira-Navarro et al.
  • 1TU Delft, Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Building 62 Kluyverweg 1, 2629 HS Delft, The Netherlands
  • 2NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, Department of Estuarine and Delta Systems EDS, and Utrecht University, P.O. Box 140, 4400 AC Yerseke, the Netherlands
  • 3TU Delft, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Stevinweg 1, 2628 CN Delft, The Netherlands
  • 4National Space Institute, DTU Space, Technical University of Denmark, Elektrovej Bygning 327, 2800 Kongens Lyngby, Denmark

Abstract. The Barents Sea is situated on a continental margin and was home to a large ice sheet at the Last Glacial Maximum. Studying the solid Earth response to the removal of this ice sheet (Glacial Isostatic Adjustment, GIA) can give insight in the sub-surface structure in this region. However, because the region is currently covered by ocean, uplift measurements from the center of the former ice sheet are not available, but GRACE data has been shown to be able to constrain GIA. Here we analyze GRACE data for the period 2003–2015 in the Barents Sea and use it to constrain a GIA models for the region. We study the effect of uncertainty in non-tidal ocean mass models that are used to correct GRACE data and find that it is not negligible and should be taken into account when studying solid Earth signals in oceanic areas from GRACE. We compare the obtained gravity rates with GIA model predictions for different ice deglaciation chronologies and infer a lower bound for the Earth's upper mantle viscosity of 2·1020 Pa·s. Following a similar procedure for Fennoscandia we find that the preferred upper mantle viscosity there is a factor 2 larger than in the Barents Sea for a range of lithospheric thickness values. This factor is shown to be consistent with the ratio of viscosities derived for both regions from global seismic models. The viscosity difference can serve as constraint for geodynamic models of the area.

Marc Rovira-Navarro et al.
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Data underlying the research on GRACE constraints on Earth rheology of the Barents Sea and Fennoscandia M. Rovira-Navarro, W. van der Wal, V. R. Barletta, B. C. Root, and L. Sandberg Sørensen https://doi.org/10.4121/uuid:424126e6-b5d3-4ac9-b5cd-f495c8ad6939

Marc Rovira-Navarro et al.
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Short summary
The Barents Sea and Fennoscandia were home to large ice sheets around 20,000 years ago. After the melting of these ice sheets the land slowly rebounded. The rebound speed is determined by the viscosity of the deep Earth. The rebound is ongoing and causes small changes in the Earth’s gravity field which can be measured by the GRACE satellite mission. We use these measurements to obtain the viscosity of the upper mantle and find that it is two times higher in Fennoscandia than in the Barents Sea.
The Barents Sea and Fennoscandia were home to large ice sheets around 20,000 years ago. After...
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