2012-2013 Science Planning Summaries
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A geochemical study of the nature and evolution of mantle upwelling beneath Ross Island and its relationship to tectonics in the West Antarctic Rift System
Conceptual diagram of the Erebus mantle plume. Graphic courtesy of Ken Sims. 

Program Manager:
Dr. Lisa Clough


ASC POC/Implementer:
John Rand / Jessica Jenkins

Dr. Kenneth W Sims (Principal Investigator)

University of Wyoming
Department of Geology and Geophysics
Laramie, Wyoming

Supporting Stations:  McMurdo Station
Research Locations:  Capes Bird and Crozier / Mounts Bird and Terror

Project Description:
This project will conduct a detailed field- and laboratory-based geochemical study focused on understanding the genesis, evolution, and tectonic context of alkaline magmatism on Ross Island. The fieldwork focuses on the collection of volcanic rocks from numerous locations on Ross Island, with emphasis on the Lewis Bay area, Mount Terror, Mount Bird, and Hut Point Peninsula.

Field Season Overview:
Participants will be based at McMurdo Station to undertake sampling of volcanic rocks around the coast of Ross Island especially in Lewis Bay. They will use helicopter support to collect samples on the sea ice close to the shore and near cliff sections. They will use snow machines and tracked vehicles to collect samples along Hut Pont Peninsula. In the November timeframe, the group will occupy the New Zealand Antarctic Program’s hut at Cape Bird and later the Fang Glacier camp. Helicopter close support will enable them to sample Mount Bird’s summit and along the coast in addition to the small volcanic cones between Cape Crozier and Mounts Terror and Terra Nova.

Deploying Team Members:

  • Glenn Gaetani
  • Philip Kyle (Co-PI)
  • Daniel Rasmussen
  • Kenneth Sims (PI)
  • Paul Wallace
  • Erin Writer

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