RUSSIAN JOURNAL OF EARTH SCIENCES VOL. 7, ES5004, doi:10.2205/2005ES000180, 2005

"Back-arc" marine ice sheet in the Sea of Okhotsk

M. G. Grosswald
Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia
T. J. Hughes
Climate Change Institute and Department of Earth Sciences, University of Maine, Orono, USA


[1]  Geomorphologic, marine geological, and paleoclimatic evidence, along with modeling results, indicate that, during the Late Pleistocene, the Sea of Okhotsk was glaciated by a "back-arc" marine ice-sheet, which was a continuous spillover of glaciation from the highlands of Northeast Siberia, buttressed by a submarine ridge of the Kurile Island Arc. That marine ice sheet also impounded and deflected the Lower Amur and Uda Rivers which resulted in reorganization of their drainage systems. The Okhotsk marine ice sheet was grounded on seafloor and reached to the outer (southern) edge of the submarine Academy Sill. From that limit, the ice sheet extended farther south, across the deep Kurile Basin, as a floating ice shelf. The Okhotsk Sea and Beringian Ice Sheets were the only "back-arc" Quaternary glaciers; they were two major sources of icebergs, meltwater, and ice-rafted debris supplied to the North Pacific Ocean during the Ice Ages.

Received 15 June 2005; accepted 1 September 2005; published 14 December 2005.

Keywords: marine ice sheet, Sea of Okhotsk, Last Glacial Maximum, Kuril Islands, last deglaciation, climate change, Ice sheet buttressing, Iceberg armadas.

Index Terms: 0700 Cryosphere (4540); 0726 Cryosphere: Ice sheets; 0732 Cryosphere: Icebergs.


Citation: Grosswald, M. G., and T. J. Hughes (2005), "Back-arc" marine ice sheet in the Sea of Okhotsk, Russ. J. Earth Sci., 7, ES5004, doi:10.2205/2005ES000180.

Copyright 2005 by the Russian Journal of Earth Sciences
Powered by TeXWeb (Win32, v.2.0).