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A reconciled solution of Meltwater Pulse 1A sources using sea-level fingerprinting.

Lin, Yin and Hibbert, Fiona D. and Whitehouse, Pippa L. and Woodroffe, Sarah A. and Purcell, Anthony and Shennan, Ian and Bradley, Sarah L. (2021) 'A reconciled solution of Meltwater Pulse 1A sources using sea-level fingerprinting.', Nature communications., 12 . p. 2015.


The most rapid global sea-level rise event of the last deglaciation, Meltwater Pulse 1A (MWP-1A), occurred ∼14,650 years ago. Considerable uncertainty regarding the sources of meltwater limits understanding of the relationship between MWP-1A and the concurrent fast-changing climate. Here we present a data-driven inversion approach, using a glacio-isostatic adjustment model to invert for the sources of MWP-1A via sea-level constraints from six geographically distributed sites. The results suggest contributions from Antarctica, 1.3 m (0–5.9 m; 95% probability), Scandinavia, 4.6 m (3.2–6.4 m) and North America, 12.0 m (5.6–15.4 m), giving a global mean sea-level rise of 17.9 m (15.7–20.2 m) in 500 years. Only a North American dominant scenario successfully predicts the observed sea-level change across our six sites and an Antarctic dominant scenario is firmly refuted by Scottish isolation basin records. Our sea-level based results therefore reconcile with field-based ice-sheet reconstructions.

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Date accepted:22 January 2021
Date deposited:16 March 2021
Date of first online publication:01 April 2021
Date first made open access:08 April 2021

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