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Earth Surface Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-2018-6
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Review article
02 Feb 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Earth Surface Dynamics (ESurf).
Glacial Isostatic Adjustment modelling: historical perspectives, recent advances, and future directions
Pippa L. Whitehouse Department of Geography, Durham University, Durham, DH1 3LE, UK
Abstract. Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA) describes the response of the solid Earth, the gravitational field, and consequently the oceans to the growth and decay of the global ice sheets. It is a process that takes place relatively rapidly, triggering 100 m-scale changes in sea level and solid Earth deformation over just a few tens of thousands of years. Indeed, the first-order effects of GIA could already be quantified several hundred years ago without reliance on precise measurement techniques and scientists have been developing a unifying theory for the observations for over 200 years. Progress towards this goal required a number of significant breakthroughs to be made, including the recognition that ice sheets were once more extensive, the solid Earth changes shape over time, and gravity plays a central role in determining the pattern of sea-level change. This article describes in detail the historical development of the field of GIA and an overview of the processes involved. Significant recent progress has been made as concepts associated with GIA have begun to be incorporated into parallel fields of research; these advances are discussed, along with the role that GIA is likely to play in addressing outstanding research questions within the field of Earth system modelling.

Citation: Whitehouse, P. L.: Glacial Isostatic Adjustment modelling: historical perspectives, recent advances, and future directions, Earth Surf. Dynam. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-2018-6, in review, 2018.
Pippa L. Whitehouse
Pippa L. Whitehouse
Pippa L. Whitehouse

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Short summary
This article is a contribution to a special issue on “Two centuries of modelling across scales”. It describes the historical observations, evolving hypotheses, and early calculations that led to the development of the field known as Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA) modelling, which seeks to understand feedbacks between ice-sheet change, sea-level change, and solid Earth deformation. Recent advances are discussed. Future research in the field is likely to involve an interdisciplinary approach.
This article is a contribution to a special issue on “Two centuries of modelling across...
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