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

Project Title

Thwaites Interdisciplinary Margin Evolution (TIME): the role of shear margin dynamics in the future evolution of the Thwaites Drainage Basin

Photo by Rebecca Charles, courtesy of the USAP Photo Library.
C-446-M Research Location(s): Thwaites Glacier, Eastern Shear Margin


Event Number:

Program Director:
Dr. Kelly Brunt

ASC POC/Implementer:
Judy Shiple / Jenny Cunningham / Chad Naughton

Principal Investigator(s)

Dr. Slawek M Tulaczyk
University of California Santa Cruz
Earth Sciences

Dr. Poul Christoffersen
Cambridge University
Scott Polar Research Institute
Cambridge, United Kingdom

Project Web Site:


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: Thwaites Glacier, Eastern Shear Margin


The Thwaites Interdisciplinary Margin Evolution (TIME) project is a part of the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration (ITGC), a multi-disciplinary effort led by the U.S. and U.K. Antarctic programs. The project will test the overarching hypothesis that shear-margin dynamics may exert powerful control over the evolution of ice flow in the Thwaites Drainage Basin. The work will combine geophysical data collection on the Eastern Shear Margin (ESM) of Thwaites Glacier with shear margin modeling and basin-scale numerical investigations of future sea-level contributions. Fieldwork includes data collection from passive seismic instrument arrays, active seismic experiments, and radar surveys.

Field Season Overview

A team of eleven, will carry out extensive active-source seismic experiments at site TIME 2 (T2). Seismic recording systems will include 980 passive seismic nodes, two 24-channel Geode seismic systems, and one distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) recording system. Sources will include drilled explosives in a line layout and surface explosives in a grid layout. Researchers will establish safe travel routes by GPR (ground penetrating radar), then will perform RTK (real-time kinematic) GPS survey and stake-out of drilling, blasting, and seismic node locations. They will drill shot holes with a hot water drill, then have a blaster load holes with explosives to generate the seismic source. Passive seismic nodes will be deployed in shallow surface holes.

Deploying Team Members

  • Ronan Agnew
  • Robin Bolsey
  • Anna Broome
  • Lucia Gonzalez Rodriguez
  • Madeline Hunt
  • Marianne Karplus (Team Leader)
  • Manuel Moncada Gutierrez
  • Emma Pearce
  • Andrew Pretorius
  • Christopher Simmons
  • Kirah Solomon
  • Tara Sweeney
  • Tun Jan Young