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

Project Title

Constraining West Antarctic Ice Sheet elevation during the last interglacial

Aerial photo of WAIS Divide Field Camp. Photo by Anna Prozorov, courtesy of the NSF/USAP Photo Library.  Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
G-065-M Research Location(s): Mount Waesche


Event Number:

Program Director:
Dr. Michael Jackson

ASC POC/Implementer:
Judy Shiple / Jenny Cunningham

Principal Investigator(s)

Dr. Jerry X Mitrovica
Harvard University


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: Mount Waesche


This project aims to place constraints on West Antarctic Ice Sheet elevations at Mt. Waesche, a young volcano in Marie Byrd Land, near the dome of the ice sheet during the last interglacial period. The project team will use cosmogenic nuclide inventories and 40Ar/39Ar dating of lava flows near and below the present ice level, and subglacial bedrock morphology, to identify and date lower than present ice levels. This season, the project also incorporates Seth Campbell's EAGER award, NSF/OPP Award 2210092, Collaborative Research: EAGER: Dating glacier retreat and readvance near Mt. Waesche, West Antarctica.

Field Season Overview

A team of seven participants will focus on drilling two transects of four bedrock cores in the vicinity of Mt. Waesche, drilling through up to 120 m of ice and firn to reach bedrock. They will also re-measure stakes set from the previous season to determine ice ablation and movement over the past four years, and will conduct additional mapping of exposed lava flows and glacial moraines. In addition to bedrock cores, they will collect ice samples using the Eclipse drill and a horizontal trencher, with the goal of dating unconformities in the ice that indicate lower ice levels. Ice samples will be melted and bottled for transport out of the field. All activities will take place within five miles of the camp site.

Deploying Team Members

  • Robert Ackert
  • Seth Campbell (Co-PI)
  • Nelia Dunbar
  • Etienne Gros
  • Jay Johnson
  • Ingalise Kindstedt
  • Mikaila Mannello
  • William McIntosh
  • Matthew Zimmerer (Co-PI)