2012-2013 Science Planning Summaries
U.S. Antarctic Program - Science Support Section United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
 
Deglaciation of the Ross Sea Embayment - constraints from Roosevelt Island
 

Program Manager:
Dr. Julie Palais

I-209-M
NSF/PLR Award 0944307

ASC POC/Implementer:
John Rand / Elizabeth Kauffman

Dr. Howard Conway (Principal Investigator)
conway@ess.washington.edu
Project LinkExternal Non U.S. Government Site

University of Washington
Earth and Space Sciences
Seattle, Washington

Supporting Stations:  McMurdo Station
Research Locations:  Roosevelt Island

Project Description:
This international ice core drilling project on Roosevelt Island is a partnership with New Zealand, UK, Denmark, Germany and China. Researchers seek to understand past, present and future environmental changes in the Ross Sea sector of West Antarctica. The scientific objectives are to determine histories of climate and ice thickness for Roosevelt Island, and to develop an updated model of the configuration and thickness of the ice in the Ross Sea Embayment during the last glacial maximum. The project’s New Zealand partners have started drilling a 750-meter ice core using their new intermediate-depth drill. They expect to complete the drilling in early January 2013. After drilling is complete, researchers will conduct borehole logging measurements and geophysical measurements to characterize spatial variations in ice thickness and surface velocities across the island.

Field Season Overview:
Good progress was made last season and they plan to complete drilling to the bed by the end of this coming season. This season, five USAP participants will deploy to (1) complete a final resurvey of the network of poles installed across the island in order to calculate surface motion; (2) complete deep radar surveys along the pole lines to measure ice thickness and internal stratigraphy; (3) remeasure internal layers using BAS phase-sensitive radar to calculate vertical velocities. These measurements will give a direct estimate of thinning; (4) drill a 20-meter hole in the firn to measure the temperature profile; (5) after drilling of the main core is finished, collaborators from Dartmouth will log the borehole (profiles of temperature, sonic velocity and optical stratigraphy).

Deploying Team Members:

  • Howard Conway (PI)
  • Alexandra Giese
  • Robert Hawley (Co-PI)
  • Richard Hindmarsh

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Curator: Esther L. Hill PhD, Antarctic Support Contract   |   NSF Official: Alexandra Isern, Division of Polar Programs