Ice Age Paleotopography

W. Richard Peltier

A gravitationally self-consistent theory of postglacial relative sea level change is used to infer the variation of surface ice and water cover since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). The results show that LGM ice volume was approximately 35 percent lower than suggested by the CLIMAP reconstruction and the maximum heights of the main Laurentian and Fennoscandian ice complexes are inferred to have been commensurately lower with respect to sea level. Use of these Ice Age boundary conditions in atmospheric general circulation models will yield climates than differ significantly from those previously inferred on the basis of the CLIMAP data set.

The data provided here include topography/bathymetry and ice flags.


In some areas, the ice-cover data indicates that there is ice while the topographic height is negative indicating that the region is below sealevel. In these cases, it should be assumed that the area is ice-covered. Either the region is not inundated or the ice is floating.


Peltier, W. R., Ice Age Paleotopography, 1994, Science, v. 265, pp. 195-201