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The datasets provide neodymium and strontium isotope composition of Pliocene detrital sediments and additional regional core top samples, diatom species counts and biogenic opal content. These data related to Pliocene marine sediments recovered offshore of Adelie Land, East Antarctica from IODP (International Ocean Discovery Program) Site 318-U1361. The data reveal dynamic behaviour of the East Antarctic ice sheet in the vicinity of the low-lying Wilkes Subglacial Basin during times of past climatic warmth. Sedimentary sequences deposited between 5.3 and 3.3 million years ago indicate increases in Southern Ocean surface water productivity, associated with elevated circum Antarctic temperatures. The geochemical provenance of detrital material deposited during these warm intervals suggests active erosion of continental bedrock from within the Wilkes Subglacial Basin, an area today buried beneath the East Antarctic ice sheet. This erosion is interpreted to be associated with retreat of the ice sheet margin several hundreds of kilometres inland and concludes that the East Antarctic ice sheet was sensitive to climatic warmth during the Pliocene.