We consider the viscoelastic rheology of the solid Earth under the Antarctic Peninsula due to ice mass loss that commenced after the breakup of the Larsen-B ice shelf. We extend the previous analysis of nearby continuous GPS time series to include 5 additional years and the additional consideration of the horizontal components of deformation. They show strong uplift from ∼2002 to 2011 followed by reduced uplift rates to 2018. Modeling the GPS derived uplift as a viscoelastic response to ongoing regional ice unloading from a new ice model confirms earlier estimates of low upper-mantle viscosities of ∼0.3–3 × 1018 Pa s in this region but allows a wide range of elastic lithosphere thickness. The observed and modeled north coordinate component shows little non-linear variation due to the location of ice mass change to the east of the GPS sites. However, comparison of the observed and modeled east coordinate component constrains the upper mantle viscosity to be less than ∼9 × 1018 Pa s, consistent with the viscosity range suggested by the uplift rates alone and providing important, largely independent, confirmation of that result. Our horizontal analysis showed only marginal sensitivity to modeled lithospheric thickness. The results for the horizontal components are sensitive to the adopted plate rotation model, with the estimate based on ITRF2014 suggesting that the sum of residual plate motion and pre-2002 GIA is likely less than ∼±0.5 mm/year in the east component.
- Space geodetic surveys
- Satellite geodesy
- Dynamics of lithosphere and mantle
- Rheology: crust and lithosphere
Samrat, N. H., King, M. A., Watson, C., Hooper, A., Chen, X., Barletta, V. R., & Bordoni, A. (Accepted/In press). Reduced ice mass loss and three-dimensional viscoelastic deformation in northern Antarctic Peninsula inferred from GPS. Geophysical Journal International. https://doi.org/10.1093/gji/ggaa229