▪ Abstract The 100 kyr quasiperiodic variation of continental ice cover, which has been a persistent feature of climate system evolution throughout the most recent 900 kyr of Earth history, has occurred as a consequence of changes in the seasonal insolation regime forced by the influence of gravitational n-body effects in the Solar System on the geometry of Earth's orbit around the Sun. The impacts of the changing surface ice load upon both Earth's shape and gravitational field, as well as upon sea-level history, have come to be measurable using a variety of geological and geophysical techniques. These observations are invertible to obtain useful information on both the internal viscoelastic structure of the solid Earth and on the detailed spatiotemporal characteristics of glaciation history. This review focuses upon the most recent advances that have been achieved in each of these areas, advances that have proven to be central to the construction of the refined model of the global process of glacial isostatic adjustment, denoted ICE-5G (VM2). A significant test of this new global model will be provided by the global measurement of the time dependence of the gravity field of the planet that will be delivered by the GRACE satellite system that is now in space.
Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences – Annual Reviews
Published: May 19, 2004
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