2013-2014 Science Planning Summaries
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Totten Glacier System and the marine record of cryosphere-ocean dynamics

Program Manager:
Dr. Lisa Clough

Event Number: C-527-N

ASC POC/Implementer:
Adam Jenkins

Dr. Amy Ruth Leventer (Principal Investigator)

Colgate University
Department of Geology
Hamilton, New York

Supporting Stations:  RV/IB Nathaniel B. Palmer
Research Locations:  Wilkes Land Shelf

Project Description:
The overall objective is a reconnaissance survey of the Totten Glacier System region, including the Moscow University Ice Shelf to: (1) evaluate the recent behavior of the glacial system, based on seafloor morphology, sub-bottom profiling, high-resolution seismic imaging and marine sediment core evaluation; (2) to elucidate the longer-term role of the Totten Glacier as it responded to late Quaternary changes in climate and sea level; and (3) assess present-day physical oceanographic and particulate dynamic processes associated with the Totten Glacier tongue and the deep basins surrounding it. If time and conditions allow, researchers will sample alternate work areas such as secondary targets along the Wilkes Land Margin and Oates Coast, including the nearby Mertz Trough, and Frost, George V and Cook Glacier systems, potentially reaching the Shackleton Ice Shelf system (Denman Glacier) to complement the over-arching objectives of this project by providing concrete west-east transit targets that will contribute to the knowledge of the sedimentary record of subglacial melt water outflow and the time of ice retreat from the Wilkes Land Margin.

Field Season Overview:
The field team will depart from Hobart, Tasmania on the RV/IB Nathaniel B. Palmer (NBP). This is an interdisciplinary project with marine geology and geophysics, and physical oceanographic objectives planned. Researchers will obtain sea floor samples using a Smith-McIntyre Grab Sampler, Megacorer, Kasten core, a Jumbo piston corer, and a box dredge. They will use a YoYo camera, and towed benthic camera "Mud Scud" to obtain sea floor images.

Geophysical data will be collected using the NBP’s sub-bottom profiler (3.5 kHz/8.3 kw), Bathy 2000W (12 kHz) and EM 120 Multibeam systems (12 kHz). The systems will collect geophysical, stratigraphic, and bathymetric data. They will also collect multichannel seismic data using generator inductor (GI) seismic sound sources and a 100 meter long, 24-channel streamer.

Physical oceanographic data will be collected using a conductivity temperature depth (CTD) rosette, and the use of a lowered acoustic doppler current profiler (ADCP).

Deploying Team Members:

  • Glenn Clark
  • Paul Clark
  • Eugene Domack (Co-PI)
  • Rodrigo Fernandez
  • Bruce Frederick
  • Jamin Greenbaum
  • Michelle Guitard
  • Sean Gulick (Co-PI)
  • Bruce Huber (Co-PI)
  • Amy Leventer (PI)
  • Alejandro Orsi (Co-PI)
  • Alix Post
  • Steffen Saustrup
  • Amelia Shevenell
  • Catherine Smith
  • Tasha Snow
  • Krista Soderlund
  • Kara Vadman
  • Christina Wiederwohl

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