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Space geodesy constrains ice age terminal deglaciation: The global ICE-6G_C (VM5a) model

Peltier, W. R. and Argus, D. F. and Drummond, R. (2015) Space geodesy constrains ice age terminal deglaciation: The global ICE-6G_C (VM5a) model. Journal of Geophysical Research. Solid Earth, 120 (1). pp. 450-487. ISSN 2169-9313.

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A new model of the last deglaciation event of the Late Quaternary ice age is here described and denoted as ICE-6G_C (VM5a). It differs from previously published models in this sequence in that it has been explicitly refined by applying all of the available Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements of vertical motion of the crust that may be brought to bear to constrain the thickness of local ice cover as well as the timing of its removal. Additional space geodetic constraints have also been applied to specify the reference frame within which the GPS data are described. The focus of the paper is upon the three main regions of Last Glacial Maximum ice cover, namely, North America, Northwestern Europe/Eurasia, and Antarctica, although Greenland and the British Isles will also be included, if peripherally, in the discussion. In each of the three major regions, the model predictions of the time rate of change of the gravitational field are also compared to that being measured by the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment satellites as an independent means of verifying the improvement of the model achieved by applying the GPS constraints. Several aspects of the global characteristics of this new model are also discussed, including the nature of relative sea level history predictions at far-field locations, in particular the Caribbean island of Barbados, from which especially high-quality records of postglacial sea level change are available but which records were not employed in the development of the model. Although ICE-6G_C (VM5a) is a significant improvement insofar as the most recently available GPS observations are concerned, comparison of model predictions with such far-field relative sea level histories enables us to identify a series of additional improvements that should follow from a further stage of model iteration.

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URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle Information
Argus, D. F.0000-0002-2770-4257
Additional Information:© 2014 American Geophysical Union. Received 4 APR 2014; Accepted 18 NOV 2014; Accepted article online 25 NOV 2014; Published online 4 JAN 2015. The component of this work at the University of Toronto has been supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada under NSERC Discovery grant A9627 to W.R.P. and by NOAA grant NA110AR4310101. The work of D. F. Argus at JPL is supported by NASA. All of the computations performed in the construction of the newICE-6G_C (VM5a) model were performed on the SciNet facility for high-performance computation at the University of Toronto which is a component of the national Compute Canada HPC platform. In conformity with the AGU Data Policy, the data on the basis of which the results described in this paper have been obtained have been provided in the form of supporting information contained in two additional files. The first of these, entitled Figures S1–S4 and Tables S1, SS1, S2, and SS2 in the supporting information paper contains the observed and model-predicted results for all of the GPS receiver locations from which data are available for both North America and Greenland (Table S1) and for Fennoscandia and Northwestern Eurasia (Table S2). The sources of the relative sea level data for these two geographical regions that have been employed to provide additional tests of the quality of the new model are provided in Tables SS1 and SS2, respectively. Finally, a summary of the model from a geodetic perspective is provided by a listing of the Stokes coefficients in terms of which present-day geoid height time dependence is described. These coefficients include all coefficients to degree and order 256 which is the full resolution at which the model has been constructed and are provided in Data Set SStokes in the supporting information. This listing includes two sets of Stokes coefficients for degree 2 and order 1. One of these sets is that appropriate for the analysis of the time-dependent gravitational field data provided by the GRACE satellites, denoted as “GRACE,” while the other is the set appropriate for the description of geoid height time dependence when the geoid is described in terms of sea level rather than the approximation to this geoid that GRACE is able to observe. This set is denoted as “Sea Level.”
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)A9627
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)NA110AR431010
Subject Keywords:glacial isostasy; space geodesy; mantle dynamics
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150326-085701775
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Official Citation:Peltier, W. R., D. F. Argus, and R. Drummond (2015), Space geodesy constrains ice age terminal deglaciation: The global ICE-6G_C (VM5a) model, J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth, 120, 450–487, doi:10.1002/2014JB011176
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:56107
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:26 Mar 2015 16:28
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

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