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


ASC POC/Implementer:
John Rand / Elizabeth Kauffman

Dr. Howard Conway (Principal Investigator)
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 Antarctica New Zealand (ANZ), the 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. Results from this work will provide ground truth for new-generation ice-sheet models that incorporate ice streams and fast-flow dynamics. Realistic ice-sheet models are needed not only for predicting the response to future possible environments but also for investigating past behaviors of ice sheets. This research also contributes to understanding spatial and temporal patterns of climate change and climate dynamics over the past 40 thousand years, one of the primary goals of the International Partnerships in Ice Core Sciences (IPICS).

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)

Return to Science Planning Summary Indexes Return to top of page Print this Page

Project Indexes
Find information about current USAP projects using the principal investigator, event number station, and other indexes.
Project Search
Looking for a particular project? Search by project title, or project team member here.
2012-2013 Field Season other information: Station Schedules Air Operations Staffed Field Camps Event Numbering System
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google Plus Share This Site on Pinterest Subscribe to USAP RSS Feeds Share Via Email
Curator: Esther L. Hill PhD, Antarctic Support Contract   |   NSF Official: Alexandra Isern, Office of Polar Programs