Glacial retreat patterns and processes determined from integrated sedimentology and geomorphology records

Glacial retreat patterns and processes determined from integrated sedimentology and geomorphology records

Accepted Manuscript Glacial retreat patterns and processes determined from integrated sedimentology and geomorphology records Lindsay O. Prothro, Lau...

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Accepted Manuscript Glacial retreat patterns and processes determined from integrated sedimentology and geomorphology records

Lindsay O. Prothro, Lauren M. Simkins, Wojciech Majewski, John B. Anderson PII: DOI: Reference:

S0025-3227(17)30277-3 doi:10.1016/j.margeo.2017.09.012 MARGO 5694

To appear in:

Marine Geology

Received date: Revised date: Accepted date:

2 June 2017 8 September 2017 24 September 2017

Please cite this article as: Lindsay O. Prothro, Lauren M. Simkins, Wojciech Majewski, John B. Anderson , Glacial retreat patterns and processes determined from integrated sedimentology and geomorphology records. The address for the corresponding author was captured as affiliation for all authors. Please check if appropriate. Margo(2017), doi:10.1016/j.margeo.2017.09.012

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ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT Glacial retreat patterns and processes determined from integrated sedimentology and geomorphology records Lindsay O. Prothro1, Lauren M. Simkins1, Wojciech Majewski2, and John B. Anderson1 1

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Corresponding author: Lindsay O. Prothro ([email protected])

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Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Science, Rice University, 6100 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77005, USA; 2 Institute of Paleobiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Twarda 51/55, 00-818 Warszawa, Poland

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Abstract

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Although hundreds of cores have been collected on the

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Antarctic continental shelf over the past five decades, definitive interpretations of depositional environments associated with

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marine-based ice advance and retreat are hindered by similarities

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in sediment facies and a lack of geomorphic context. The recent use of an advanced multibeam bathymetry system allows for more

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detailed ice sheet reconstructions from glacial landforms that were previously not resolved with older generation systems. Here we present results from a recent cruise to the Ross Sea, Antarctica that focuses on integrating sediment facies analyses into a geomorphic framework to confidently determine depositional environments and sedimentological processes since the Last Glacial Maximum. Grain-size analysis, geotechnical properties, and 1

ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT micropaleontology from targeted sediment cores are used to develop improved criteria for making the distinction between subglacial diamictons and ice-proximal diamictons, which can be applied to geomorphically blind sediment cores. Our consideration

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of geomorphic context while interpreting sediment facies has also

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allowed us to determine that most debris melted out of the base of

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paleo-ice shelves in the Ross Sea only 1.2 km seaward of the grounded ice margin. Additionally, we find that agglutinated

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foraminifera specimens are characteristic of sluggish marine

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currents and a resulting accumulation of siliceous detritus rich in organic matter; however, calcareous specimens dominate in

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higher-energy current settings and in ice-proximal environments

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with lesser amounts of siliceous detritus and associated organic material. Overall, sedimentary successions record contrasting

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behaviors of the West Antarctic and East Antarctic ice sheets that

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extended onto the continental shelf during the Last Glacial Maximum. Not only is this coupled geomorphic and

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sedimentologic approach useful for understanding glacimarine processes and ice sheet retreat patterns, but it is essential for selecting appropriate facies transitions for chronological constraints of past ice sheet behavior. Keywords

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ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT Antarctica, Grounding line, Sediments, Glacial landforms, Deglaciation

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1. Introduction

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Ice sheets grounded below sea level are particularly

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sensitive to climate change due to their direct contact with the changing ocean, prompting a rigorous effort by the scientific

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community to understand the behavior of retreating ice sheets and

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identify processes that destabilize them. The grounding line, the most seaward position at which the ice is coupled to the bed, is

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understood to be a potential tipping point of ice sheet stability.

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However, much of what is known about grounding lines is theoretical (e.g., Alley et al., 1987; Dupont and Alley, 2005;

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Schoof, 2007; Vieli and Nick, 2011) or based on satellite and

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airborne remote sensing (e.g., De Angelis and Skvarca, 2003; Rignot et al., 2011; Le Brocq et al., 2013) and ice-penetrating

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radar surveys (e.g., Anandakrishnan et al., 2007; MacGregor et al., 2011; Christianson et al., 2016). Direct observations of modern grounding lines and the processes that control their behavior are limited. The geological record provides an opportunity to study the factors that influence ice sheet behavior over longer timescales and at higher spatial resolutions than is possible with observations of contemporary ice sheets. 3

ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT During the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), an expanded Antarctic Ice Sheet covered the continental shelf (Fig. 1; Bentley et al., 2014). Subsequent deglaciation left a record of ice sheet retreat in the form of ice-marginal landforms (i.e., recessional

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moraines and grounding zone wedges) that mark the locations of

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paleo-grounding lines and record the nature of grounding-line

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retreat across the continental shelf. Recessional moraines form either by deformational push processes of existing sediment at the

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grounded line (Boulton, 1986; Ottesen and Dowdeswell, 2006) or

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through subglacial sediment transport to the grounding line (Ottesen et al., 2005; Todd et al., 2007), and are characteristically

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symmetric and often roughly linear (e.g., Batchelor and

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Dowdeswell, 2016; Simkins et al., 2016). Grounding-zone wedges (Fig. 2a) are asymmetric features that, if large enough to be

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resolved in seismic profiles, occasionally display seaward-dipping

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foresets, indicating landform progradation and growth in the direction of ice flow through subglacial sediment delivery to the

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grounding line (Larter and Vanneste, 1995; Anderson, 1999; Dowdeswell and Fugelli, 2012). The asymmetry of the features and downlapping over existing surfaces are indicative of progradation even when internal foreset reflections are not resolved in seismic data, which is likely due to a lack of variability in lithology and, thus, no difference in acoustic properties between

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ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT beds (Fig. 3). Studying the morphology and distribution of icemarginal landforms provides constraints on grounding line sediment flux (e.g., Nygård et al., 2007; Jakobsson et al., 2012; Batchelor and Dowdeswell, 2015), ice-sheet retreat styles (e.g.,

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Dowdeswell et al., 2008; Ó Cofaigh et al., 2008; Graham et al.,

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2010; Halberstadt et al., 2016), and processes active at the

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grounding line, such as subglacial meltwater expulsion (e.g.,

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McMullen et al., 2006; Horgan et al., 2013; Simkins et al., 2017). Sediment cores can complement and transcend the

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functionality of landform analyses by providing more detailed

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records of glacial, biological, and oceanographic processes, as well as potential chronostratigraphic control on past marine-based ice

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sheet retreat. Glacial and glacimarine sediment facies

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interpretations and lithofacies descriptions have improved through time as a result of technological advances in subsurface imaging,

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bathymetric mapping, and sedimentological analyses (e.g.,

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Anderson et al., 1980; Domack et al., 1999; Anderson, 1999; Evans and Pudsey, 2002; McKay et al., 2009; Passchier et al., 2011, Hillenbrand et al., 2013). To date, most published facies models have been created based on cores for which geomorphic setting is not explicitly known; however, integrating core data with precise geomorphic context is necessary for confidently determining depositional environments, as well as processes acting

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ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT at former grounding line positions. Furthermore, proper sediment facies identification is imperative for glacial reconstructions in selecting transitions that constrain the timing of ice retreat from the continental shelf during the last glacial cycle and previous cycles.

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We present results from a detailed multibeam bathymetric survey and targeted coring mission in the Ross Sea, Antarctica

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(Fig. 1), during which core sites were selected primarily from

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longitudinal transects across grounding-zone wedges deposited during and following the LGM (Fig. 3). We use sedimentological

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and micropaleontological analyses to define glacial retreat

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sediment facies within a geomorphic framework and gather information about grounding line processes, enabling the

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development of a standardized facies model that can be

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extrapolated to cores, including drill cores, for which precise

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context is unknown.

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2. Regional setting The Ross Sea Embayment (Fig. 1) receives drainage from

approximately 25% of the continent’s ice, making it the largest single drainage basin in Antarctica. Multiple ice streams from the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) and West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) flow into the embayment to form the extensive (~400,000

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ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT km2) Ross Ice Shelf. Subglacial geomorphic features, in particular, glacial lineations (King et al., 2009), provide a record of ice stream paleodrainage on the continental shelf (Greenwood et al., 2012; Anderson et al., 2014; Halberstadt et al., 2016). Geochemical and

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provenance studies indicate the the EAIS filled the western Ross

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Sea and the WAIS dominated the eastern Ross Sea (Anderson et

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al., 1984; Licht et al., 2005; Farmer et al., 2006). Lineations extend to the continental shelf margin in many places, marking the

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maximum extent of grounded ice, beyond which shelf-edge gullies

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represent the immediate proglacial environment during the LGM (Gales et al., 2013). However, more isolated patches of glacial

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lineations, some of which are confined to the topsets of grounding

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zone wedges, record changes in ice flow during the post-LGM retreat phase (e.g., Greenwood et al., 2012; Simkins et al., 2016).

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Recessional moraines and grounding-zone wedges overprint the

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lineations, and mark the path of retreating ice as well as providing information about retreat behavior (Halberstadt et al., 2016).

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Large grounding-zone wedges have been identified in the Ross Sea using seismic data (Shipp et al., 1999; Howat and Domack, 2003; Mosola and Anderson, 2006; Bart and Cone, 2012), but many smaller (<10 m in height) grounding-zone wedges and recessional moraines—once only resolvable in high-frequency acoustic (i.e. CHIRP) data or side-scan sonar—are now identified using the

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ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT latest generation multibeam swath bathymetry system to collect large datasets that resolve sub-meter-scale features (Halberstadt et al., 2016). Types of retreat features and their configurations clearly

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differ aross the seafloor, with large grounding-zone wedges widely separated by pristine glacial lineations in the eastern Ross Sea

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(formerly occupied by the WAIS), in contrast to the western Ross

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Sea (formerly occupied by the EAIS) which is characterized by numerous, typically closely spaced, small grounding-zone wedges

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and recessional moraines (Shipp et al., 2002; Mosola and

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Anderson, 2006; Halberstadt et al., 2016). The exception is isolated composite grounding-zone wedges on the outer

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continental shelf, which suggest extended pauses in grounding line

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retreat (Howat and Domack, 2003; Bart et al., 2017), likely during glacial maxima. By the association of grounding-zone wedge

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sediment volume with duration of pause in retreat (Howat and

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Domack, 2003), the distribution of landforms in the eastern Ross Sea indicates the grounding line migrated landward 10s to 100s of kilometers, punctuated by long pauses of grounding line position stability (Mosola and Anderson, 2006). However, in the western Ross Sea, retreat occurred through numerous smaller events of generally less than several kilometers of retreat with shorter periods of stability. Though western Ross Sea grounding-zone

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ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT wedges are relatively small, there remains considerable variability in their morphologies and distribution, indicating a dynamic range of grounding line behavior during deglaciation. Thus, we largely focus our sediment facies work on the western Ross Sea where the

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abundance of grounding line features formed by EAIS retreat

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processes based on sediment properties.

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provides greater opportunity for understanding retreat patterns and

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3. Materials and Methods

During the austral summer of 2015, we conducted a

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multibeam survey in the western Ross Sea aboard the RV/IB

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Nathaniel B. Palmer using a Kongsberg EM-122 system on cruise NBP1502A. In conjunction with Knudsen CHIRP 3260 high-

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frequency acoustic data, the multibeam data was used to target a

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variety of glacial geomorphic features for coring. In total, fortynine Kasten cores (abbreviated as KC in core names) and two

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jumbo piston cores (JPC) were acquired (Fig. 1), primarily from the topsets, foresets, and toes of grounding zone wedges (Fig. 3). Kasten cores were cleaned, photographed, and described before sampling onboard. TorVane shear strength measurements were obtained at intervals of 5-10 cm. Samples were taken every 5 cm for water content measurements and for grain-size analysis, and every 10 cm for foraminifera assemblage investigation. Remaining 9

ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT material was archived and shipped to Florida State University’s Antarctic Research Facility (ARF), where the cores were x-rayed and analyzed using a Geotek multi-sensor core logger (MSCL) which conducted linescan imaging, magnetic susceptibility, and

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gamma density measurements. Grain-size samples were treated with a sodium

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hexametaphosphate solution to disaggregate grains. A 500-μm

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sieve was used to remove larger grains, and the finer fraction composed of sediment matrix material was analyzed using a

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Malvern Mastersizer Hydro 2000G laser particle size analyzer.

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Outputs of mode, cumulative volume percent, and frequency volume percent are generated by the Malvern software, and

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graphical percentiles of cumulative grain-size distributions were

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used to calculate grain-size mean, sorting, and skewness statistics according to Folk and Ward (1957). Samples for foraminifera

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analysis were wet-sieved through a 63-μm sieve and dried.

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Foraminifera were picked from the >125 μm fraction. The finer fraction was not investigated because of strong dilution of foraminifera with abundant terrigenous material. In samples with abundant microfossils, dried samples were divided using a microsplitter prior to picking. Specimens exhibiting strong discoloration, clear signs of abrasion, and/or representing species not found in present day Ross Sea were considered to be reworked. Translucent

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ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT specimens showing smooth non-etched tests were considered as potentially being in situ, and they were identified and quantified as separate species. The investigated material is housed at the Institute of Paleobiology of the Polish Academy of Sciences

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(Warszawa) under the catalog number ZPAL F.65.

4. Results

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Because glacial source material and continental shelf

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physiography vary significantly in the Ross Sea, differences in the composition and texture of seafloor sediment should be evident

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across various paleo-ice stream troughs (Anderson et al., 1984;

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Licht et al., 2005). In addition to source control, oceanographic processes, which are partly controlled by continental shelf margin

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physiography and bank/trough configuration, affect biological

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productivity and reworking of sediments by marine and biological processes (Dunbar et al., 1985). The potential for iceberg keels to

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disturb and rework sediments is also controlled by water depth and oceanography (Barnes and Lien, 1988). While such variability is recognized in this study, areas with high potential for iceberg reworking, such as bank tops and the shelf margin, were avoided when coring to obtain undisturbed sedimentary sections. However, sediments that have been reworked by marine currents are present over a large portion of the continental shelf and provide 11

ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT oceanographic information, and so are included in this analysis largely based on previous studies (Dunbar et al., 1985; Anderson, 1999). Including these marine-influenced deposits, six primary facies are identified in the Ross Sea, each representing a major

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glacial environment or process. Distinctions based on physical

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description, grain size, geotechnical properties, biogenic

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brief description of each facies to follow.

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properties, and geomorphic setting are detailed in Table 1, with a

4.1. Facies 1: Diamicton

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Cores taken from paleo-subglacial geomorphic settings,

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such as from fields of glacial lineations and topsets of grounding-

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zone wedges, typically sample very poorly-sorted (defined as SD=2–4φ), matrix-supported diamicton. X-radiographs indicate

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the diamicton is massive and relatively homogeneous (Fig. 4a).

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This is reflected by exceptional downcore uniformity in grain-size character and mineralogic composition (inferred from magnetic

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susceptibility) of the matrix material (e.g., bottom unit of KC19 in Fig. 5a), which distinguishes it from other lithofacies. Grain-size distributions consistently display very poor-sorting in all samples, but a ~10 μm mode is always dominant. Water content directly correlates with grain-size sorting and inversely with gamma density. There is a general absence of pristine biogenic material.

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ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT Foraminifera are sparse and dominated by specimens that are clearly reworked (e.g., bottom unit of KC19 in Fig. 6a). 4.2. Facies 2: Foraminifera-bearing diamicton

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Diamicton was also recovered in cores taken from the

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foresets and toes of grounding-zone wedges. Generally, x-

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radiographs of this lithofacies are indistinguishable from Facies 1, showing a massive character with pebbles scattered throughout the

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diamicton. Additionally, the grain-size distributions of the matrix material show very poor-sorting (defined as SD=2–4φ) with a ~10

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μm mode. Unlike Facies 1, degree of sorting and grain-size mode

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tends to vary downcore and between different cores, as does

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magnetic susceptibility (e.g., bottom unit of KC48, Fig. 5b). This variability can be very minor (SD range 2–2.3φ), as demonstrated

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in Fig. 4b and 6a, or more extreme, displaying inconsistent sorting

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(SD range 1.5–3φ), varying pebble content, and containing multiple grain-size modes as large as medium sand (Fig. 7b).

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Though downcore grain size may be variable, we do not observe grading. Regardless of grain-size character, an assemblage of pristine calcareous benthic foraminifera (bottom unit of Fig. 6b) dominated by Globocassidulina subglobosa is present. Seemingly reworked foraminifera are also present, but in minor (<5 specimens per gram of dry sediment) amounts. In some cores, planktonic Neogloboquadrina pachyderma are present in moderate (up to 13

ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT 30% of assemblage) amounts. We term this diamicton ―foraminifera-bearing‖ because the majority of foraminifera present are in good condition compared to the specimens found in Facies 1 and the benthic foraminifera appear to be in situ.

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4.3. Facies 3: Foraminifera-bearing pelletized diamicton

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A third type of diamicton occurs in several cores taken from grounding-zone wedge foresets and toes. The composition of

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this diamicton is similar to the facies discussed in Section 4.2, in that no difference is evident in grain-size distributions (212–225

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cm of KC48 in Fig. 5b) or foraminifera assemblages (212–225 cm

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of KC48 in Fig. 6b) from Facies 2. Like Facies 1 and 2, x-

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radiographs of Facies 3 show a primarily massive structure, but differ by displaying a somewhat mottled appearance (Fig. 4b, 4d).

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This is due to the presence of abundant granule- to pebble-sized

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soft sediment pellets. The pellets, which are round or prolate semiconsolidated clots of sediment, are referred to as soft-sediment

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clasts in the Mertz Trough of East Antarctica (McMullen et al., 2006), polymicts (Licht et al., 2009) and mud grains (Bonaccorsi et al., 2000) in the Ross Sea, and till pellets in the Ross Sea (Domack et al., 1999; Howat and Domack, 2003), McMurdo Sound (Cowan et al., 2012; 2014), and the Larsen continental shelf of NE Antarctic Peninsula (Evans et al., 2005). Grain-size analysis was first conducted separately on matrix material and chemically 14

ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT disaggregated isolated pellets to identify any differences between internal pellet grain size and matrix material. Within single intervals, no clear grain-size variability was identified between the pellets and the matrix; thus, the soft sediment clasts are derived

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from the same material as the hosting matrix. Water content is

Facies 1 and Facies 2 (Table 1).

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4.4. Facies 4: Relatively well-sorted silt

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higher and shear strength is markedly lower in this unit than in

Cores containing relatively well-sorted fine silt with a ~10

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μm dominant mode (e.g., 47–217 cm in KC17, Fig. 5c) were

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recovered across portions of the western Ross Sea. This similarity

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of this mode to that of Facies 1–3 implies a common source. This lithofacies is classified as ―poorly-sorted‖ (defined as SD=1–2φ)

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according to Folk and Ward (1957), but we refer to it as ―relatively

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well-sorted‖ as it is better sorted than any other lithofacies. Its split core surface has a distinctively smooth and waxy appearance.

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Facies 4 texture is massive (Fig 4c) to weakly laminated (Fig 4d) in character. Deposits range from 1 to 170 cm in thickness. Stratigraphically, these deposits generally occur within Facies 2, 3, or 5 (discussed below) or at transitions from Facies 2 to Facies 5. When found within Facies 2 and 3 in cores on grounding-zone wedge foresets and toes, this lithofacies typically contains a foraminiferal assemblage of primarily minute (~150 μm) 15

ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT calcareous benthic foraminifera (e.g., 47–217 cm in KC17 in Fig. 6c) including Globocassidulina. The thickest occurrence of this lithofacies (47–217 cm in KC17) contains a second dominant species, Cassidulina neoteretis, which is not found in great

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abundance in other cores. The fine silts are distributed across large

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portions of the continental shelf, in most cases within tens of

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kilometers seaward of subglacial meltwater channels (Simkins et al., 2017), but they have also been recovered as far 75 km seaward

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channel (NBP9801 PC55 in Fig. 8).

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of the continental shelf margin and 250 km from an observed

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4.5. Facies 5: Diatomaceous sandy silt

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Diatomaceous sandy silt is a common surface sediment across the Ross Sea, found at the top of every NBP1502A core.

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Our CHIRP data show that this lithofacies drapes the seafloor,

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similar to previous observations (Shipp et al., 1999). Regionally, the lithofacies thickens to the west and the north (Fig. 9), based on

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cores from cruises DF80, NBP9401, NBP9407, NBP9501, NBP9801, NBP9902, and NBP1502A. Unlike the other facies discussed, this unit is olive in color and characterized by a ~40 μm grain-size mode (topmost unit in each core, Fig. 5a–c). Occasionally the unit displays an additional mode at ~10 μm (e.g., KC19 and KC48, Fig. 5a, 5b). The 40 μm silt mode is composed of diatoms and minor amounts of sponge spicules and radiolarians; 16

ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT whereas, the 10 μm silt mode is dominated by terrigenous silt with diatom fragments (Fig. 10). Sand content is typically <15% unless concentrated within distinct lenses of gravel and sand (e.g., KC48, Fig. 5b), which are interpreted as ice-rafted debris layers. Grain-

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size distributions tend to be fine-skewed, unlike the normal

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distributions of Facies 1–4, and sorting is significantly better than

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in Facies 1–3 but not as strong as Facies 4. Water content is twice as high as in Facies 1–3, directly correlating with grain-size

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sorting. Ash is located near the base of this lithofacies in nine

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cores in the southwestern sector of the Ross Sea (Fig. 8), identified visually and in X-rays as thin millimeter-scale laminations (Fig.

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4e) and by a magnetic susceptibility signature that is an order of

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magnitude higher than in other facies (c.f. Licht et al., 1999). This lithofacies is heavily bioturbated, indicated by lack of sedimentary

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structure (with the exception of disturbed ash laminations; Fig 4e)

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and the presence of burrows that penetrate into underlying units and interrupt the otherwise sharp lower contact. Agglutinated

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foraminifera (e.g., Miliammina arenacea) usually greatly outnumber calcareous forms, which are rarely found in this unit. Sponge spicules are common, often giving the unit a somewhat fibrous appearance and spongy texture. 4.6. Facies 6: Winnowed sand, gravel, bioclastics

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ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT Grab samples and the tops of sediment cores from bank tops and the outer continental shelf, collected on previous cruises (DF80 and DF84), contain coarse-skewed sediments with a clear truncation of material smaller than fine sand (Fig. 9; Anderson et

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al., 1980; 1984, Dunbar et al., 1985; Anderson, 1999). Kasten

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coring attempts during cruise NBP1502A of banktops were

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unsuccessful, suspected to be due to contact with a coarse,

impenetrable substrate. This lithofacies is in contrast to the finer

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sediments of Facies 5 that blanket much of the inner continental

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shelf. Calcareous material is present in the form of bioclastics and foraminifera, including some LGM-aged carbonates (Taviani et al.,

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5. Discussion

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1993).

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5.1. Distinguishing till from proximal glacimarine sediments

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We recognize three diamicton facies (Facies 1-3), each

with subtle but important differences that reflect depositional processes. Facies 1 occurs in sediment cores from glacial lineations and grounding-zone wedge topsets, which are known subglacial features. The diamicton has pebbles throughout and displays downcore homogeneity in the matrix material, both textural (from grain-size measurements) and compositional

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ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT (inferred from magnetic susceptibility) (Fig. 5a), which is consistent with traditional sedimentological descriptions of till (e.g., Anderson et al., 1980; Anderson, 1999). Facies 2 was recovered in cores from foresets and toes of

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grounding-zone wedges. Though it may display some grain-size variability (Fig. 7b), it is most often similar to Facies 1 with

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respect to grain sorting (Fig. 7a) and downcore textural and

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mineralogic homogeneity (Fig. 5b). Such similarities with till and the occurrence of these deposits on the foreset slope leads us to the

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interpretation that these are debris flow deposits that were

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transported from the grounding-zone wedge crest down the lee slope, building the foresets (Fig. 2c); thus, we interpret Facies 2 as

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a grounding-line proximal glacimarine facies. Sedimentological

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similarities between this lithofacies and till are precisely why distinguishing the two is difficult in the absence of geomorphic

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context (Kurtz and Anderson, 1979). However, grounding-zone

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proximal settings are thought to be hospitable to foraminifera, resulting in the presence of pristine, presumably in-situ calcareous benthic foraminifera (Globocassidulina, Trifarina, and Cibicides) found in NBP1502A cores (Fig. 6b) and other identified grounding-zone proximal facies (Anderson, 1972; Majewski and Anderson, 2009; Bart and Cone, 2011; Bart et al., 2016). These foraminifera are assumed to inhabit the environment just seaward

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ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT of the grounding line along grounding-zone wedge foresets and toes, and locally incorporated into the debris flows along with noticeably reworked specimens. We find that planktonic Neogloboquadrina pachyderma and seemingly reworked

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foraminifera are also present in minor amounts; however, the

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largely pristine foraminiferal assemblage sets this lithofacies apart

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from till, which is instead dominated by reworked specimens (Fig.

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6a).

Facies 3 is also recovered in cores from foresets and toes of

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grounding-zone wedges. Abundant pebbles, a very poorly-sorted

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(SD=2–4φ) matrix grain-size distribution, and dominance of pristine, seemingly in-situ Globocassidulina subglobosa in the

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foraminiferal assemblage leads us to interpret this facies as a

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grounding-zone proximal glacimarine facies. However, the presence of pellets suggests deposition via a different process from

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Facies 2. Given the similarity of their internal grain-size

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distributions to that of till (Facies 1), we refer to the pellets as ―till pellets.‖ They are thought to form when sediment pore water temperature within tills drops below the pressure-melting point and subglacial water within the till is extracted upward, bringing aggregates of sediment with it to accrete on the ice base (Fig. 2b; Christoffersen and Tulaczyk, 2003; Cowan et al., 2012). As accretion of basal debris continues, till pellets can migrate several

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ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT meters above the ice-bed interface, evidenced by the ―mud clots‖ recognized as high as 4.83 m above the bed in the 1968 Byrd Station ice core (Gow et al., 1979). The till pellets are transported within the basal debris layer of flowing ice to the grounding line

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and some distance beyond, at which point the sediment-laden ice

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base is exposed to seawater and basal melting causes rain-out of

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till pellets and other basal debris (Fig. 2c; Domack et al., 1999; Cowan et al., 2012). Therefore, Facies 3 is interpreted to represent

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deposition directly from melting of sediment-laden basal ice. The

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distribution of this facies is constrained to within 1.2 km (0.8 km on average) of the nearest grounding-zone wedge (Fig. 11),

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providing an upper limit on the extent of paleo-basal debris

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meltout extent from the grounding line. This estimate is similar to the observed sediment rain-out from the contemporary Mackay

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Glacier that extends no further than 1.5 km past the grounding line

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(Powell et al., 1996) and a basal melt-out zone of ~500 m from the

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Whillans Ice Stream grounding line (Christianson et al., 2016). We find that extent of Facies 3 beyond the grounding line

is independent of corresponding grounding-zone wedge geometries (e.g., width and height), but there is a rough correlation between the thickness of the facies and grounding-zone wedge height (Fig. 12). This suggests that landform height may partially manifest in the accumulation of the basal debris meltout deposits. Furthermore,

21

ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT grounding-zone wedge sediment volume, which is a function of sediment supply to the grounding line (Batchelor and Dowdeswell, 2015), has been suggested to correlate with the duration of the pause in retreat (Howat and Domack, 2003; Ó Cofaigh et al.,

T

2008; Jakobsson et al., 2012). Thereby, the relationship between

IP

the thickness of Facies 3 and grounding-zone wedge size (here

CR

expressed as height) should provide some relative indication of grounding-line position stability, where larger, longer-lived

US

grounding-zone wedges are associated with thicker units of Facies

AN

3 than smaller grounding-zone wedges that likely formed over shorter periods of time. However, we acknowledge that other

M

controls on the thickness of Facies 3 might include basal melt rates

ED

seaward of the grounding line, as well as thermal conditions at the base of the grounded ice which control the amount of debris

CE

PT

entrained within the flowing ice.

AC

5.2. Evidence of subglacial meltwater delivery to paleogrounding lines Multibeam data has revealed anastomosing channels cut into bedrock on the Antarctic continental shelf in, for example, Marguerite Bay (Anderson and Oakes-Fretwell, 2008) and Pine Island Bay (Lowe and Anderson, 2003; Nitsche et al., 2013). In both these regions, conspicuous terrigenous silts have been 22

ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT observed within glacimarine sediments (Kennedy and Anderson, 1989; Kilfeather et al., 2011; Hillenbrand et al., 2013; Witus et al., 2014). In Pine Island Bay, these silt deposits are relatively wellsorted with a ~10 μm mode and are widely dispersed as a seafloor

T

draping unit. This led to the interpretation that they originate from

IP

buoyant plumes sourced from subglacial meltwater discharge at the

CR

grounding line (Witus et al., 2014), consistent with the observation of suspended sediments (Jacobs et al., 2011) and similar deposits

US

(Smith et al., 2017) beneath the modern ice shelf. Seaward of

AN

subglacial meltwater channels that are incised into sedimentary substrate in the western Ross Sea (Fig. 7; Wellner et al., 2006;

M

Greenwood et al., 2012; Simkins et al., 2017), we observe the same

ED

distinct fine silt deposits (Facies 4; Fig. 5c) bounded by or within grounding-zone proximal (Facies 2-3) and open marine deposits

PT

(Facies 5; discussed in Section 5.3.1). These combined

CE

observations support the interpretation of Facies 4 as meltwater plume deposits, and their discovery within or directly above Facies

AC

2 or 3 suggests meltwater systems were active during groundingline retreat. The prevalent ~10 μm mode we identify in this lithofacies is also conspicuous within the till, supporting a subglacial source for Facies 4. Improved sorting likely occurs due to channelized and/or distributed subglacial meltwater transport and proglacial sediment suspension in buoyant meltwater plumes.

23

ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT Meltwater deposits recovered near grounding zone wedges reflect proximal glacimarine foraminifera assemblages, dominated by Globocassidulina subglobosa and other calcareous benthics such as Cassidulina neoteritis. However, all foraminifera appear to be

T

small and juvenile. In some cores, this lithofacies is barren of

IP

foraminifera (e.g., 47–110 cm in Fig. 6c), likely due to periods of

CR

intense meltwater activity resulting in rapid sedimentation (Ó

US

Cofaigh and Dowdeswell, 2001).

AN

5.3. Open marine sedimentation reflects oceanographic

M

conditions

ED

5.3.1. Low-energy open marine depositional environments

PT

Facies 5 is composed of primarily terrigenous silt that settled from suspension, with <15% sand interpreted as ice-rafted

CE

debris and a significant (10-30%) diatom component. Equivalent

AC

facies have been referred to as ―compound glacial marine‖ to reflect a blend of both fine, current-derived sediments and coarser, ice-rafted sediments (Anderson et al., 1980); however, we use the term ―open marine‖ to describe this facies from a glacial retreat perspective rather than by composition. In the Ross Sea, pebbles and sand are rare in diatomaceous open marine sediments. Some cores contain discrete lenses of gravel and sand at the base of the

24

ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT lithofacies (Fig. 5b), which we interpret as rare but intense episodes of ice-rafting during ice-shelf collapse which has been shown to occur at least twice during post-LGM ice sheet retreat in the Ross Sea (i.e., Yokoyama et al., 2016).

T

The majority of Facies 5 has a grain-size distribution that

IP

tends to be fine-skewed with a ~40 μm mode that is composed of

CR

primarily intact diatoms (Fig. 10b). The fine tail of the grain-size

US

distribution is composed of terrigenous silt and diatom fragments (Fig. 10a) and is likely delivered to the area by marine currents.

AN

Modern year-averaged marine currents in the southwestern Ross

M

Sea generally flow to the south and west at 5-9 cm/s (Pillsbury and Jacobs, 1985; Picco et al., 1999). Dunbar et al. (1985) suggested

ED

currents are strong enough to transport fine sediments from the

PT

outer continental shelf and bank tops to the deep troughs and basins of the western Ross Sea. However, Jaeger et al. (1996)

CE

argued that these currents are variable in direction and speed and,

AC

therefore, incapable of significant lateral transport, suggesting much of the siliceous material is locally derived. Westward thickening of Facies 5 (Fig. 9) reflects a

combination of greater primary productivity and regional circulation patterns. An association between the location of open water and high percentages of organic carbon and biogenic silica led Dunbar et al. (1985) to conclude that the persistent Terra Nova 25

ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT Bay polynya in the western Ross Sea (Kurtz and Bromwich, 1985) drives relatively high primary productivity due to more sunlight exposure and potentially warmer surface waters. Arrigo and van Dijken (2003) observed a significant relationship between polynya

T

size and rate of annual primary production, with larger polynyas

IP

being more productive than smaller polynyas, thus leading to

CR

enhanced biogenic sedimentation. Facies 5 also thickens to the north (Fig. 9), which reflects greater longevity of open marine

US

conditions following the LGM on the outer shelf in western Ross

AN

Sea.

M

The exact source of terrigenous silt in Facies 5 is uncertain. Anderson et al. (1984) favor reworking and winnowing of glacial

ED

sediments on the outer continental shelf and banks and transport by

PT

impinging geostrophic currents as an important source of terrigenous silt on the shelf. While we recognize this may be a

CE

contributor, we also consider delivery by subglacial meltwater in

AC

light of the recent discovery of meltwater channels and distinct meltwater facies (Facies 4). Grain-size distributions of the open marine facies occasionally display an additional dominant mode at ~10 μm (Fig. 5b), analogous to the ~10 μm mode found in subglacial tills and meltwater deposits. We interpret specific intervals of dominance of this mode within the open marine facies (Fig. 5b) to represent episodes of meltwater delivery to the

26

ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT grounding line during which sediment-laden plumes propagate seaward to open water. The shallow (≤430 m) calcite compensation depth (CCD)

IP

calcareous benthic foraminifera and high proportion of

T

in the Ross Sea today (Kennett, 1968) is reflected in the lack of

agglutinated species in the open marine facies. Sluggish current

CR

conditions and associated accumulations of siliceous detritus on

US

the seafloor facilitates organic decay, which produces CO2 that inhibits CaCO3 stability, thereby elevating the CCD and preventing

AN

preservation of calcareous foraminifera (Kennett, 1968). A similar

M

relationship is found in the Weddell Sea (Anderson, 1975) and the George V-Adelie continental margin (Milam and Anderson, 1981).

ED

These combined observations of fine sediments, abundance of

PT

siliceous biogenic material, and lack of calcareous foraminifera are all reflective of the sluggish current conditions that exist on much

AC

CE

of the Ross Sea continental shelf.

5.3.2. Marine current influence on marine sedimentation Facies 6 occupies a significant portion of the outer continental shelf, slope, and banks (RGM, Fig. 9). Due to the coarse and often impenetrable nature of these sediments, we avoided coring these regions. However, these sediments are

27

ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT important oceanographic indicators, and so we rely on published work to assess their relationship with other surface sediments discussed above. Coarse-skewed grain-size distributions indicate winnowing of sediments finer than ~125 μm (Anderson et al.,

T

1984; Dunbar et al., 1985). The source material was likely glacial

IP

or glacimarine sediments that were exposed to vigorous marine

CR

currents following ice-sheet retreat, and so we recognize the final product as ―open marine.‖ However, these sediments have clearly

US

been subjected to marine current reworking, leading us to instead

AN

refer to the winnowed sediments as ―residual glacimarine (RGM),‖

M

following Anderson et al. (1980).

Currents on the shelf break have mean velocities between

ED

17 and 18 cm/s (Jacobs et al., 1974). These conditions are

PT

reflected in bottom photographs, where current ripples indicate bedload transport of sorted sands (Anderson et al., 1984). Singer

CE

and Anderson (1984) performed laboratory flume experiments in

AC

which a maximum sustained current velocity of ~18 cm/s generated RGM-like sediments from till-like beds that were continuously mixed. Mixing of the sediments results in a reduction in cohesion, otherwise only a thin armored surface is created. This mixing on the Ross Sea floor is likely achieved primarily through bioturbation; bottom photographs show abundant benthic life and bioturbation in these areas. An abundance of randomly-oriented

28

ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT iceberg furrows atop banks (Fig. 9) indicates that iceberg turbation may also play a role in mixing sediments at shallow water depths. Similar associations between surface sediments and marine currents are recognized in the Weddell Sea and on the Wilkes Land

T

and Pennell Coast continental shelves, where size grading has been

IP

related to variations in measured current velocities (Anderson,

CR

1999). Offshore of the Pennell Coast, volcaniclastic sands derived from Cape Adare have been distributed westward along and onto a

US

wide portion of the continental shelf by strong currents associated

AN

with impinging boundary currents (Rodriguez and Anderson, 2004). The wide spatial and bathymetric distribution of RGM and

M

associated sands suggests that similar deposits may be present, and

ED

perhaps even more pervasive in the pre-LGM stratigraphic record.

PT

Today, Modified Circumpolar Deep Water (MCDW), an extension of Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW), is a relatively warm

CE

water mass that impinges onto the Ross Sea continental shelf at

AC

intermediate and surface levels within the water column (Jacobs et al., 1985; Anderson, 1999). It impinges at high velocities (Jacobs et al., 1974) along the eastern sides of troughs and adjacent bank edges (Orsi and Wiederwohl, 2009; Dinniman et al. 2003, 2011) while colder, denser water is directed offshore along the western sides of troughs (Gordon et al., 2004; Orsi and Wiederwohl, 2009). While some of the winnowed fine material from the

29

ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT banktops and outer shelf is swept seaward by outflow, we believe that much of the fine material is driven by high current velocities associated with the inflow of MCDW along the eastern sides of troughs into the middle and inner continental shelf where lower

T

current velocities allow it to settle (Pillsbury and Jacobs, 1985;

IP

Picco et al., 1999). This fine material is represented by the fine

CR

silt and diatom fragment component of Facies 5 (Fig. 10a).

US

By sweeping away diatoms and preventing the

accumulation of corrosive siliceous detritus, the strong currents

AN

leave the outer shelf and banks more conducive for calcite

M

preservation than the inner shelf. As a result, calcareous foraminifera are stable in regions of MCDW incursion (Osterman

ED

and Kellogg, 1979; Milam and Anderson, 1981). Additionally, the

PT

nutrients delivered by impinging MCDW allows other carbonate organisms to thrive (Taviani et al., 1993; Elverhoi and Roaldset,

CE

1983; Anderson, 1999). In the northwestern Ross Sea, cold-water

AC

bioclastic carbonates, including bryozoans, barnacles, pelecypods, and corals (Fig. 9) occur on the outer shelf and on banks. Radiocarbon ages for these deposits range back to the LGM, so these banks were refugia for carbonate organisms during more extreme glacial conditions (Reid, 1989; Taviani et al., 1993). In summary, the presence of RGM facies indicates impinging MCDW on the outer shelf, whereas Facies 5 reflects little

30

ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT influence of marine currents on the inner/middle continental shelf. Because impinging warm currents have been shown to affect modern grounding line stability (Shepherd et al., 2004; Thoma et al., 2008; Jacobs et al., 2011), it is important to be able to

CR

IP

T

recognize signs of their influence in the paleo-record as well.

5.4. Sedimentary record of ice sheet retreat

US

Geomorphic features indicate the ice streams originating

AN

from the WAIS in the eastern Ross Sea experienced large grounding line retreat events of 10s to 100s of kilometers that were

M

punctuated by relatively long periods of stability, while ice streams

ED

of the EAIS in the western Ross Sea generally experienced numerous smaller (100s of meters to several kilometers) grounding

PT

line retreat events, with the exception of larger grounding line

CE

retreat events from LGM positions in Northern Drygalski Trough and Joides Trough (Halberstadt et al., 2016). One of the

AC

objectives of this study was to determine if these differences are manifest in the sedimentary record, to be used for interpreting retreat patterns from cores that lack geomorphic context. The vast majority of the cores collected in Ross Sea have sampled till (Anderson et al, 1980, 1984; Domack et al, 1999; Mosola and Anderson, 2006; McGlannan et al., 2017), according

31

ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT to the criteria outlined by Anderson (1999). These data were used to argue for expansion of the ice sheet across the continental shelf, an argument that is now substantiated by multibeam data showing shelf-wide occurrence of subglacial features (Anderson et al.,

T

2014). While we initially expected the sedimentological properties

IP

of till to reflect differences in subglacial processes and past ice-

CR

stream behavior across the Ross Sea (e.g., soft and stiff tills of Dowdeswell et al., 2004), distinct patterns do not appear to exist.

US

Ongoing research focuses on variability in till properties, such as

AN

shear strength and water content, in relation to geomorphic features and substrate beneath the till. Classical evidence of structural

M

deformation (shear planes, aligned clasts) is not clear in our core x-

ED

rays as it is in previous studies elsewhere in Antarctica (e.g., Ó Cofaigh et al., 2005, 2007); however, others suggest that

PT

homogenization, a result of thorough deformation, eliminates

CE

macroscopic evidence of deformation (Evans et al., 2006; Reinardy et al., 2011). There has been some success with analysis of

AC

microfabrics in distinguishing different types of diamictons (e.g., Menzies, 2000; Van der Meer et al., 2003; Menzies et al., 2006; Reinardy et al., 2011), and in the future this method may show the best evidence of subglacial transport processes by indicating the nature and magnitude of subglacial stresses.

32

ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT Within a single-phase grounding line retreat scenario, facies successions are represented by increasingly ice-distal facies upcore. In the Ross Sea, typical grounding-zone wedge topset and glacial lineation facies successions are represented by till sharply

T

overlain by open marine sediments (Fig4f, 5a). Previous studies

IP

have suggested that this is the most common succession across the

CR

Ross Sea (Anderson et al., 1984, 1991), especially in the eastern Ross Sea (Mosola and Anderson, 2006). However, we find that

US

cores collected on grounding-zone wedge foresets and toes contain

AN

grounding-zone proximal sediments sharply overlain by draping

M

open marine deposits (Fig. 5b).

We consider grounding-zone proximal sediments the most

ED

important sediment facies for indicating retreat style. They contain

PT

evidence of multiple sedimentary processes acting at paleogrounding lines. Non-pelletized grounding-zone proximal

CE

sediment (Facies 2) is interpreted to represent debris flows that

AC

construct grounding-zone wedge foresets; therefore, the facies extent should be roughly equal to foreset length (Fig. 2a). Because the foreset length varies amongst grounding-zone wedges, precise proximity to a paleo-grounding line cannot be determined in geomorphically-blind cores that contain this unit. However, the pelletized grounding-zone proximal facies (Facies 3) is interpreted to represent melt-out of basal debris (Fig. 2a, c). Because basal

33

ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT debris is deposited within ~1.2 km of the grounding line (Fig. 11), the majority of any extensive ice shelf would have been debrisfree, with the exception of englacial eolian material and material entrained along the margins of nunataks, volcanoes, and other

T

bedrock features. This is reflected in the minimal coarse, ice-rafted

IP

material observed in Facies 5, which suggests that calving icebergs

CR

from the ice shelf did not contain significant englacial material.

US

Traditionally, facies models recognize a sub-ice shelf facies usually described as either muddy gravel or pebble-free muds

AN

(Kennedy and Anderson, 1989; Domack et al., 1999, Anderson et

M

al., 1991, McKay et al., 2009). The muddy gravel facies is equivalent to our grounding line proximal facies (Facies 2, and

ED

perhaps Facies 3), whereas pebble-free muds could represent

PT

meltwater deposits (Facies 4; Kennedy and Anderson, 1989; Anderson et al., 1991; McKay et al., 2009) or transport of material

CE

from the grounding line by ocean currents (Domack et al., 1999).

AC

Because basal debris melts out near the grounding line and we see very little evidence of IRD in open marine deposits, we argue that the only significant sedimentation that occurred beneath paleoRoss Sea ice shelves was via meltwater plumite deposition (Fig. 2a), though advection of biogenic material and fine sediments beneath the ice shelf may also occur to a minor degree. Over 50 sediment cores collected through access holes in the modern Ross

34

ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT Ice Shelf were found to contain only overcompacted till, providing an example of a sub-ice shelf setting where no modern terrigenous sedimentation or advection of diatoms occurs beneath the ice shelf (Kellogg and Kellogg, 1986; 1988). Thus, we do not recognize an

T

exclusive ―sub-ice shelf‖ facies, as it is essentially a zone of non-

IP

deposition in the absence of meltwater or marine current influence,

CR

which are not unique to sub-ice shelf environments. Although a distint facies is not observed (or expected), Yokoyama et al. (2016)

US

demonstrate that coupled analysis of diatom and beryllium-10

M

presence of past ice shelves.

AN

concentrations in sediment cores is useful for identifying the

Sedimentary successions are clearly highly dependent on

ED

geomorphic context. However, the question remains whether these

PT

successions contain information about retreat patterns. The seascape in the western Ross Sea is dominated by many closely

CE

spaced recessional features that record frequent but short-lived

AC

periods of grounding line position stability (Fig. 13a–c; Halberstadt et al., 2016; Simkins et al., 2017). Associated cores display a variety of successions, dependent on proximity to the grounding line, meltwater channels, and volcanic provinces. Therefore, a single core is not useful for determining retreat patterns where geomorphic context is unknown. However, examination of the sedimentary successions in a transect or

35

ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT network of cores in such a region is more telling. A wide spatial distribution of thin pelletized units (Facies 3) below the open marine facies (Fig. 13d) in cores suggests a western Ross Sea-style retreat. Conversely, the seascape in the eastern Ross Sea is

T

characterized by widely spaced GZWs separated by tens of

IP

kilometer stretches of seafloor with pristine glacial lineations (Fig.

CR

13e–g). This is reflected in the majority of sediment cores from the eastern Ross Sea being composed of till that is directly overlain

US

by open marine sediments (Mosola and Anderson, 2006). Even

AN

though the pelletized facies (Facies 3) can be thick where there are

localized (Fig 13h).

M

large composite wedges in the eastern Ross Sea, it is highly

ED

Strategic coring of specific geomorphic features provides

PT

context for accurate facies interpretations, which in turn has allowed us to match certain facies successions to particular

CE

geomorphic environments. Single cores cannot reveal overall

AC

retreat patterns, but the presence of Facies 3 in a core is indicative of a nearby grounding line. Only the observation of this facies (or lack thereof) in several cores may be used to determine the relative amount (and possibly size, Fig. 12) of grounding-zone wedges, and thus retreat patterns.

5.5. Applications to pre-LGM glacial history 36

ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT Another motivation of this study is to extrapolate what has been learned from facies analysis in geomorphic context to preLGM sediments. The seismic data that is used to select drill sites for upcoming projects such as IODP Expedition 374: Ross Sea

T

West Antarctic Ice Sheet History (McKay et al., 2017) is not of

IP

sufficient resolution to capture small-scale grounding-zone wedges

CR

and channels. Therefore, facies interpretations of ancient sediments are often done without clear context. The limitations involved with

US

obtaining and studying ancient, pre-LGM glacial deposits almost

AN

necessitates a Lyellian approach of using recent deposits to interpret older sediments and speculate geomorphic settings.

M

Combined seismic data and drill cores indicate marine ice sheet

ED

expansion in the Ross Sea as early as late Oligocene time (see Anderson et al., in press for recent review). Prior results also

PT

indicate that glacial conditions were very different prior to the

CE

Pliocene; diatomaceous sediments were not prevalent and diamictons interpreted as till occurred less frequently (Barrett,

AC

1975; Balshaw, 1981). However, closer inspection of late Oligocene and Miocene stratigraphy reveals some similarities to the post-LGM sediments discussed in this study. Within the late Oligocene-early Miocene section sampled in Site 270, there are diverse calcareous foraminiferal assemblages present and two intervals of soft sediment clasts (Hayes and Frakes, 1975; Leckie

37

ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT et al., 1983). The clasts are also found within a similar interval in Site 272 (Hayes and Frakes, 1975). Previous researchers speculated the sediment clasts form by slumping of semi-lithified muds (Hayes and Frakes, 1975; Leckie and Webb, 1983);

T

however, Hayes and Frakes (1975) note that the units themselves

IP

are undeformed. Additionally, Leckie and Webb (1983)

CR

discovered recycled Late Cretaceous and Paleogene foraminifera within the soft sediment clasts. These observations are consistent

US

with the Cowan et al. (2012) model of basal freeze-on of till

AN

material which rains out as pellets at the grounding line, and with our descriptions of pelletized grounding-zone proximal

M

glacimarine facies. Therefore, we interpret the sediment clasts as

ED

evidence of nearby marine-based grounded ice, and perhaps no more than ~1.2 kilometers from the grounding line if the ice shelf

PT

basal temperature regime and volume of entrained debris were

CE

similar to the post-LGM deglaciation.

AC

During the Miocene, foraminifera underwent a distinct shift

from diverse calcareous benthic assemblages dominated by Globocassidulina spp. to a 60% agglutinated assemblage (Leckie and Webb, 1983). This change could reflect gradual cooling and more saline waters or increased diatom concentrations, leading to an elevated CCD and poor calcite preservation (Leckie and Webb, 1983). Grain-size distributions (Barrett, 1975) show no evidence

38

ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT of winnowing, indicating currents were sluggish during this time, facilitating organic decay and further inhibiting calcite preservation (Milam and Anderson, 1981; Dunbar et al., 1985). The presence of Globocassidulina is consistent with the post-LGM

T

grounding-zone proximal facies, whereas diatom abundance and a

IP

shift from calcareous to agglutinated foraminifera assemblages is

CR

consistent with the post-LGM open marine facies, suggesting largely quiescent marine currents. Furthermore, some samples

US

within the agglutinated zone even show bimodality with strong

AN

coarse silt and fine silt components (Barrett, 1975), similar to the open marine facies in this study. If the same processes control

M

these modes as in the post-LGM record, diatoms and meltwater

ED

processes may both have been significant contributors to deposition during the early Miocene, though large outwash

PT

channels are not seen in seismic records until the middle Miocene

CE

(Anderson and Bartek, 1992). These similarities to post-LGM sediments suggest that the post-LGM record may be our best

AC

resource for interpreting more ancient stratigraphic records.

6. Conclusions 1. The Ross Sea is dominated by six primary sediment facies, though variations may be present due to localized processes. Till (Facies 1) is characterized by downcore homogeneity in 39

ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT mineralogy and texture, is very poorly-sorted and may contain reworked foraminifera, if any. Two primary grounding-zone proximal processes create unique glacimarine facies. Debris flow deposits (Facies 2) consist of very poorly-sorted diamicton and

T

basal debris meltout deposits (Facies 3) consist of very poorly-

IP

sorted pelletized diamicton. Both deposits may exhibit downcore

CR

variability and, along with some clearly reworked specimens, primarily contain a diverse in-situ calcareous foraminifera

US

assemblage that distinguishes them from till. Subglacial meltwater

AN

deposits (Facies 4) are relatively well-sorted fine silts with a dominant ~10 μm mode. This facies is widespread and occurs

M

within grounding-zone proximal and open marine deposits. In

ED

grounding-zone proximal cores it typically marks the transition from grounding-zone proximal to open marine. Thus, meltwater

PT

discharge was active during grounding line retreat. Open marine

CE

deposits (Facies 5) are diatomaceous and have an agglutinated foraminifera assemblage due to an elevated CCD and sluggish

AC

marine currents. They are often fine-skewed, demonstrating partial origin as the winnowed product of other sediments. The residual glacimarine sediments (Facies 6) from which they are partially derived are located on the outer continental shelf and banks and are coarse-skewed with truncations that exclude the finer sediments

40

ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT that have been swept away by strong currents. They contain calcareous foraminifera and macrofossils. 2. The basal debris meltout zone (Facies 3) extends no further than ~1.2 km from the grounding line, and averages ~750 m. Thus, the

IP

T

presence of this facies in a geomorphically-blind core indicates a nearby grounding zone. 3. Foraminifera data integrated with

CR

sedimentology reveals that calcareous foraminifera occur in

US

grounding-zone proximal glacimarine deposits and residual glacimarine sediments. The latter represent high energy open

AN

marine settings where currents deliver nutrients and sweep away

M

siliceous material.

ED

4. Small scale grounding line events characterize the western Ross Sea, and are reflected in sediment cores by the prevalence of the

PT

pelletized grounding-zone proximal glacimarine facies, which is

CE

the best-constrained indication of nearby grounding-zones. In contrast, the pelletized facies is rarely found in the eastern Ross

AC

Sea, where retreat episodes are marked by widely separated grounding zone wedges indicative of episodic retreat and longlived pauses of the grounding line, and sedimentary successions are dominated by till overlain by open marine facies with rare proximal glacimarine facies. Thus, a single core is not indicative of overall retreat patterns, but a transect or network of cores may be useful. 41

ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT 5. The results presented here are applicable through the PlioPleistocene, much of the Miocene, and perhaps portions of the late Oligocene. Miocene sediments appear to demonstrate the same relationships between foraminifera composition and diatom

T

presence that we observe in post-LGM sediments. Grain-size

IP

analyses for pre-LGM sediments are limited but those that have

CR

been performed suggest sediment facies that are similar to those of the post-LGM. Soft sediment clasts that appear to have been

US

created in the same manner as our grounding-zone proximal

AN

pelletized facies may be useful in identifying paleo-grounding line locations. A coarse-skewed grain-size distribution with clear

M

evidence of winnowing (RGM) is indicative of strong currents,

ED

such as those associated with MCDW today. Its presence in cores

CE

PT

from earlier glacial cycles may be indicative of similar phenomena.

AC

Acknowledgments We thank the crew of the RV/IB Nathaniel B. Palmer and

the Antarctic Support Contract personnel for their efforts toward a successful expedition. We are grateful to Philip Bart and LSU students for shipboard assistance, Sarah Greenwood for help with shipboard data acquisition and post-cruise discussions, Adlai Fonseca for laboratory assistance, and Charlotte Sjunneskog and Steven Petrushak of the FSU Antarctic Research Facility for 42

ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT geotechnical assistance. This work was funded by the National Science Foundation [NSF-PLR 1246353 to JBA].

7. References

IP

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Alley, R.B., Blankenship, D.D., Bentley, C.R., Rooney, S.T., 1987.

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Till beneath Ice Stream B: 3. Till deformation: Evidence and implications. Journal of Geophysical Research 92,

US

8921-8929.

AN

Anandakrishnan, S., Catania, G.A., Alley, R.B., Horgan, H.J., 2007. Discovery of till deposition at the grounding line of

M

Whillans Ice Stream. Science, 315(5820), 1835-1838.

ED

Anderson, J. B., 1972. Nearshore glacial-marine deposition from modern sediments of the Weddell Sea. Nature, 240(104),

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189-192.

CE

Anderson, J. B., 1975. Ecology and distribution of foraminifera in

AC

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Wellner, J.S., Heroy, D.C. and Anderson, J.B., 2006. The death mask of the Antarctic ice sheet: comparison of glacial geomorphic features across the continental shelf. Geomorphology, 75(1), 157-171. Witus, A.E. Branecky, C.M., Anderson, J.B., Szczucinski, W., Schroeder, D.M., Blankenship, D.D., Jakobsson, M., 2014. Meltwater intensive glacial retreat in polar environments 63

ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT and investigation of associated sediments: example from Pine Island Bay, West Antarctica. Quaternary Science Reviews 85, 99-118. Yokoyama, Y., Anderson, J.B., Yamane, M., Simkins, L.M.,

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Miyairi, Y., Yamazaki, T., Koizumi, M., Suga, H.,

Kusahara, K., Prothro, L., Hasumi, H., Southon, F.R.,

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Ohkouchi, N., 2016. Widespread collapse of the Ross Ice

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Shelf during the late Holocene. Proceedings of the

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National Academy of Sciences 113, 2354-2359.

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ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT Figure captions: Figure 1: Location map of the Ross Sea, Antarctica with Last Glacial Maximum flow lines and grounded ice extent (modified from Halberstadt et al., 2016). Cores from cruise NBP1502A are

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shown, as well as selected DSDP Leg 28 sites and all legacy cores

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stored at NSF’s Antarctic Research Facility. Cores discussed in

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Figures , 5, 6, and 7 are labeled.

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Figure 2: (a) Conceptual diagram of a grounding-zone wedge (GZW) and proglacial environment, with associated glacial and

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sedimentary processes. Definitions of terms for buoyancy

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equation: Hi = ice thickness, Hw = water depth, ρi = density of ice

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(917 kg m-3), ρw = density of seawater (~1025 kg m-3—may vary). Terrigenous input from meltwater plumes (level in water column

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unknown) is observed as far as 250 km from subglacial meltwater

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channels in the Ross Sea. (b) Formation of till pellets. (c) Deposition of basal meltout debris (limited to within 1.2 km of the

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grounding line) and debris flows (restricted to foreset length). (d) Open marine sedimentation dominated by rainout of organic detritus. (e) Reworking of glacial and glacimarine sediments by marine currents on banktops and the shelf margin, facilitated by bioturbation or iceberg turbation. Figure 3: Example of coring transect demonstrating targeted coring along a grounding-zone wedge using both (a) multibeam 65

ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT swath bathymetry and (b) CHIRP data. Core locations are shown in multibeam context in Figure 3a, seismic context in Figure 3b, and regional context in Figure 1. Figure 4: X-radiographs of key facies and features. (a) Facies 1,

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displaying massive texture and large scattered pebbles (dark/dense masses) within a fine-grained matrix. (b) Facies 3, showing

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massive texture and scattered pebbles, with some large, prominent

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till pellets outlined. Overall mottled texture is a result of smaller pellets comprising much of the matrix material. (c) Facies 4 with

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massive structure and no visible coarse material. (d) Facies 4 as a

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laminated lens within Facies 3. (e) Ash laminations just above the Facies 1/5 contact. Burrows within Facies 5 are marked where they

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disrupt the laminations. (f) Sharp contact between Facies 1 and 5,

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most evident in x-rays as a change in granule/pebble abundance. Note: Air pockets are a consequence of the Kasten core archiving

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process but have no effect on surrounding structures.

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Figure 5: Representive downcore sedimentary successions for (a) GZW topset, (b) GZW foreset/toe, and (c) core with meltwater deposits, showing grain-size mode, shear strength, water content, and magnetic susceptibility, as well as representative grain-size frequency distributions for each sample grouped according to facies (Wentworth grain-size classifications are denoted above). Multibeam bathymetry for each core location are displayed to the 66

ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT right of grain-size distributions for geomorphic context. 100 kPa=1 kg cm-2. Figure 6: Representive downcore foraminiferal successions for (a) GZW topset, (b) GZW foreset/toe, and (c) core with meltwater

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deposits. Note different scales for graphs showing numbers of

specimens per gram of dry sediment. Abundances of planktonic

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(black), benthic (light gray), and seemingly reworked (line pattern)

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foraminifera.

Figure 7: Core photographs and whole-unit particle size

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distributions demonstrating (a) typical homogenous Facies 2

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(debris flow deposits), and (b) more variable example of Facies 2

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with a discrete layer of meltwater deposits (Facies 4). Contacts are typically sharp, as shown in Figure 7b. The particle size

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distributions represent samples from every 5 cm within the entire

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Facies 2 unit, a sufficient interval to capture much of the variability (if any) in grain size which is evident even in a 5-cm photograph.

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VPS=very poorly sorted, PS=poorly sorted, according to graphical standard deviation calculations set forth by Folk and Ward, 1957. Figure 8: Map showing distribution of cores that sampled meltwater deposits and channel locations. Locations of ash recovery are superimposed and offshore volcanic islands and seamounts are denoted, as well as currently active Mount Erebus on Ross Island. 67

ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT Figure 9: Surface processes on the deglaciated Ross Sea continental shelf and slope. Areas with potential coarse residual glacial marine (RGM) sediments that might inhibit coring were avoided on NBP1502A. Locations for LGM grounding line extent

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and shelf-edge gullies are from Halberstadt et al., 2016.

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Sedimentary zones from Taviani et al., 1993, Dunbar et al., 1985,

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Anderson, 1999, and this study. Diatomaceous mud thickness is interpreted from cruise reports of DF80, NBP9401, NBP9407,

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NBP9501, NBP9801, NBP9902, and NBP1502A cores. Exact

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values for diatomaceous open marine mud thickness should be regarded with caution, as many of the reported values are from

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trends are still valid.

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piston cores which tend to lose some surface material, but general

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Fig. 10: Example of modal components of open marine grain-size distribution. Photomicrographs of smear slides show (a) the fine

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mode is dominated by terrigenous silt and diatom fragments, and

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(b) the coarse mode is dominated by intact diatoms. Qtz=quartz, PPL=plane polarized light, XPL=cross polarized light. Plane polarized light best displays opaline diatom tests. Diatoms are not detectable in cross polarized light, which therefore allows an uninhibited view of sediment grains. Figure 11: Distance of cores with and without pellets from nearest landward GZW-crest. Stippled pattern represents cores that 68

ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT contain the pelletized grounding-zone proximal sediments representative of pure basal melt, and hatched pattern represents cores that do not. The maximum extent of the basal debris meltout occurs within 1.2 km from the grounding line, and is compared to

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other constraints on basal debris extent. Figure 12: Correlation between Facies 3 thickness and GZW

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height suggests that the pelletized unit thickness can be used to

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estimate the relative stability of a paleo-grounding line. Figure 13: Western Ross Sea (EAIS) retreat scenario (a)

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Grounded ice extends out to mid-shelf at the LGM; (b) Ice shelf

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collapses during initial retreat, forming deep iceberg furrows. Ice

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begins to retreat in small steps in the upstream direction and onto prominent banks (Yokoyama et al., 2016); (c) Continuous retreat,

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forming small GZWs and moraines during short pauses. Ice shelf

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may reform during brief periods of stability; (d) Present-day deglaciated continental shelf, with hypothetical core locations.

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Eastern Ross Sea (WAIS) retreat scenario (e) Grounded ice extends to the outer continental shelf at the LGM creating shelfedge gullies; (f) Ice remains stable for long periods of time, forming large composite GZWs wedges; (g) Ice lifts off the bed and retreats hundreds of kilometers upstream, leaving pristine MSGLs; (h) Present-day deglaciated continental shelf, with hypothetical core locations; (i) Expected sedimentary succession 69

ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT for a core obtained near a paleo-grounding line, represented in (d) and (h); (j) Expected sedimentary succession for a core obtained on the topset of a GZW or within an MSGL field, represented in (d)

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and (h).

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ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT Table 1: Ross Sea sediment facies characteristics. Diatom and biogenic silica data is from Cunningham et al. (1999) using core NBP9501 KC39 (same location as core NBP1502A KC48). Open marine and residual glacimarine (RGM) facies descriptions are from Anderson et al. (1980, 1984). Physical description

Geotechnical properties

Biogenic properties

Facies 1

Diamicton with sandy silt matrix. Very dark gray [5Y 3/1]; massive; occasional till pellets; pebbles common, very poor matrix grain size sorting [SD >2]

Homogeneous magnetic susceptibility downcore; water content ~15–30%; shear strength ~10–60 kPa

Calcareous benthic forams, some planktic, abundant reworked, altered foraminifera; 0–4% biogenic silica

Subglacial, on topset of grounding-zone wedge or in lineation field

Till

Facies 2

Diamicton with sandy silt matrix. Very dark gray [5Y 3/1]; massive; occasional till pellets; pebbles common, very poor matrix grain size sorting [SD >2]

Homogeneous magnetic susceptibility downcore; water content ~15–30%; shear strength ~5–40 kPa

Calcareous benthic forams, few planktic, some reworked; 10– 30% biogenic silica

Proglacial, on foreset of grounding-zone wedge

Grounding zone proximal, debris flow

Facies 3

Pelletized diamicton with sandy silt matrix. Dark olive gray [5Y 3/2]; massive or weakly stratified, occasional bioturbation; abundant till pellets; pebbles common, very poor matrix grain size sorting [SD 2–2.5]

Variable magnetic susceptibility downcore; water content ~30–40%; shear strength ~0–20 kPa

Calcareous benthic forams, some planktic; 15–30% biogenic silica, few clearly reworked, altered foraminifera

Proglacial, near grounding line

Grounding zone proximal, basal debris meltout

Facies 4

Dark gray [5Y 4/1] silt with ~10 μm mode; massive or weakly laminated; sparse to no pebbles; poor grain size sorting [SD 1.2– 1.8]

Homogeneous magnetic susceptibility downcore; water content ~40–50%; shear strength ~0–10 kPa

If present, minute calcareous benthic forams and few planktic

Proglacial, seaward of known subglacial meltwater channels

Meltwater deposit

Facies 5

Sandy silt. Olive [5Y 4/3]; massive, bioturbated structure; sparse to no pebbles; occasional sandy, gravelly lenses; matrix with poor grain size sorting [SD 1.5–2]. Fine-skewed distribution

Variable magnetic susceptibility downcore; water content ~30–70%; shear strength ~0–10 kPa

Agglutinated benthic forams, low diversity; ≥25% biogenic silica. 10-30% pristine diatoms and abundant fragments

Draping upper unit, ubiquitous

Open marine

Facies 6

Coarse-skewed grain-size distribution with truncation at ~125 μm indicating winnowing of fine material. Coarse material is primarily ice-rafted lithics but may also be bioclastic carbonates. Crudely to well-stratified

Not measured—Coring not successful.

Primarily calcareous benthic foraminifera; few, if any, diatoms

Continental shelf edge, banktop

Residual Glacimarine (RGM)

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Geomorphic context

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Interpretation

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Multi-proxy approach distinguishes subglacial and iceproximal facies Meltout of ice shelf basal debris is highly restricted in extent Foraminifera composition demonstrates ice proximity and marine current energy Sedimentary successions reflect ice-sheet retreat style

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