2022-2023 Science Planning Summary
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2022-2023 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

Geological History Constraints on the magnitude of grounding line retreat in the Thwaites Glacier system (GHC)

Photo by Rebecca Charles, courtesy of the USAP Photo Library. Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
C-443-M Research Location(s): Hudson Mountains


Event Number:

Program Director:
Dr. Paul Cutler

ASC POC/Implementer:
Samina Ouda / Jenny Cunningham

Principal Investigator(s)

Dr. Ryan Anne Venturelli
Tulane University
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Dr. Brent Goehring
Tulane University
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
New Orleans, Louisiana

Project Web Site:


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: Hudson Mountains


The Geological History Constraints (GHC) project is a part of ITGC (International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration), a multi-disciplinary effort led by the U.S. and U.K. Antarctic programs. Researchers on this project aim to obtain geological evidence from the Thwaites Glacier system that will show whether glaciers were less extensive than they are at present, and, if so, when. The science goals are to: 1) determine whether previous grounding-line retreat-advance cycles occurred in the late Holocene; 2) establish under what climate and sea-level boundary conditions the cycles took place. Determining the conditions under which the Thwaites Glacier grounding lines have retreated and re-advanced in the past is critically relevant to determining whether or not present-day grounding-line retreat is irreversible.

Field Season Overview

Field operations for this group are supported by the British Antarctic Survey, with USAP supporting some cargo movements. A field group of 6 with a tent camp, drill system, and multiple snowmobiles will: 1) put in by Twin Otter to a landing approximately 9 km west of Webber Nunatak, 2) move equipment several kilometers from the landing site to the drill site by snowmobile; and 3) drill and recover subglacial bedrock in the Hudson Mountains at the informally named peak P460, immediately to the east of Pine Island Glacier. Following completion of drilling, all camp and drilling equipment will be removed from the site.

Deploying Team Members

  • Scott Braddock
  • Elliot Moravec
  • Keir Nichols
  • Ryan Venturelli (PI)
  • Dominic Winski