The stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet represents an important issue in oceanographic studies as it impacts on global sea-level rise. To better understand the mechanisms of ice-sheet changes, researches focus on the interval before the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM; the last 20ka), when the sea level rise was 120-130m. However, the timing and pattern of post-LGM ice-sheet retreat in Antarctica is ambiguous, and in many areas not well constrained. A very interesting area is the Ross Sea, in the Southern Ocean, that experienced significant variations in sea ice extent.
In this study, we investigate the ice-sheet dynamics in the Ross Sea using foraminifera, the most common proxy for the paleoenvironmental and paleoclimate reconstructions. The foraminiferal presence/absence, the assemblage variations, and the related taphonomic problems regarding size, test dissolution and transport, allow to characterize the post-LGM ice-sheet retreat in the Ross Sea.