Modeling Paleobathymetry in the Southern Ocean



About 200 million years ago, the landmass that would eventually become Antarctica was temperate and was a part of the Gondwana supercontinent. Shifting plates gradually brought the proto-Antarctic continent to a near-polar latitude roughly 100 million years ago. However, the present-day ice sheet that blankets the continent did not begin to form until about 35 million years ago. Although a polar position was presumed necessary to support continental glaciation, it clearly was not a sufficient one.