2013-2014 Science Planning Summaries
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Deglaciation of the Ross Sea Embayment - constraints from Roosevelt Island

Program Manager:
Dr. Julie Palais

Event Number: I-209-M

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:
Last season the New Zealand partners completed drilling a 763-meter ice core to the bed. After drilling was complete, efforts by collaborators to get to the island to conduct borehole logging and repeat measurements of vertical position of internal layers were thwarted by bad weather. During the coming season, two field team members will make another attempt to reach the island, at which time they will: (1) remeasure internal layers using BAS phase-sensitive radar to calculate vertical velocities. These measurements will give a direct estimate of thinning; (2) log the borehole (profiles of temperature, sonic velocity and optical stratigraphy).

Deploying Team Members:

  • David Clemens-Sewall
  • Howard Conway (PI)
  • Robert Hawley (Co-PI)

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