This study presents a high-resolution multi-proxy investigation of sediment core MD03-2601 and documents major glacier oscillations and deep water activity during the Holocene in the Adélie Land region, East Antarctica. A comparison with surface ocean conditions reveals synchronous changes of glaciers, sea ice and deep water formation at Milankovitch and sub-Milankovitch time scales. We report (1) a deglaciation of the Adélie Land continental shelf from 11 to 8.5 cal ka BP, which occurred in two phases of effective glacier grounding-line retreat at 10.6 and 9 cal ka BP, associated with active deep water formation; (2) a rapid glacier and sea ice readvance centred around 7.7 cal ka BP; and (3) five rapid expansions of the glacier-sea ice systems, during the Mid to Late Holocene, associated to a long-term increase of deep water formation. At Milankovich time scales, we show that the precessionnal component of insolation at high and low latitudes explains the major trend of the glacier-sea ice-ocean system throughout the Holocene, in the Adélie Land region. In addition, the orbitally-forced seasonality seems to control the coastal deep water formation via the sea ice-ocean coupling, which could lead to opposite patterns between north and south high latitudes during the Mid to Late Holocene. At sub-Milankovitch time scales, there are eight events of glacier-sea ice retreat and expansion that occurred during atmospheric cooling events over East Antarctica. Comparisons of our results with other peri-Antarctic records and model simulations from high southern latitudes may suggest that our interpretation on glacier-sea ice-ocean interactions and their Holocene evolutions reflect a more global Antarctic Holocene pattern. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.