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The history of Antarctic Peninsula glaciation

January 1, 2007

As Co-Chief Scientist on DSDP Leg 35 in 1974, Cam Craddock (1930-2006) produced the first useful
information on Cenozoic Antarctic Peninsula glaciation - an early middle Miocene (15-17 Ma) apparent glacial onset.
Subsequent work, onshore and offshore, has greatly extended our knowledge but that early conclusion stands today.
Cenozoic Antarctic Peninsula palaeoclimate as presently known is broadly consistent with global palaeoclimate proxies.
Initial glacial onset was within the Eocene-Oligocene boundary interval (although earlier, short-lived glaciations have
been proposed, from indirect measurements) and the peninsula probably became deglaciated in the earliest Miocene (ca.
24 Ma). The renewed middle Miocene glaciation probably continued to the present and, for the last 9 Myr at least, has
persisted through glacial (orbital) cycles, with grounded ice advance to the shelf edge during maxima. Although orbital
cyclicity affected earlier AP palaeoclimate also, the level of glaciation through a complete cycle is uncertain.