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Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci. 2006 Apr 15;364(1841):931-48.

Modelling the glacial isostatic adjustment of the UK region.

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  • 1University of Durham Department of Earth Sciences Durham DH1 3LE, UK.


The glacial isostatic adjustment of the UK region has been considered in a number of recent studies. We have revisited this problem in order to: (i) highlight some key issues with regard to limitations in the ice modelling approach adopted in these studies and (ii) consider the constraints provided from observations of crustal motion available via continuous global positioning system monitoring. With regard to the first aim, we have found that: (i) previous studies have significantly overestimated ice thicknesses in regions where trim line field constraints were adopted and (ii) the duration of the glaciation phase of the UK ice sheet is a critical aspect of the model and that discrepancies in this model component have led to inconsistent inferences of Earth model parameters. With regard to the second aim, we have found that predictions of horizontal velocities (relative to a chosen site) based on a UK ice model calibrated to fit the regional sea-level database capture the geometry of the signal well but only account for 10% of the magnitude (for a range of Earth models).

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