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

Project Title

COLDEX - Surface Geophysics Surveys (Allan Hills, Elephant Moraine, EAP Site 3)

Allan Hills. Photo by Peter Rejcek. Image courtesy of NSF/USAP Photo Library.
I-188-M Research Location(s): Allan Hills, Elephant Moraine


Event Number:
NSF / OPP Award 2019719

Program Director:
Dr. Paul Cutler

ASC POC/Implementer:
Judy Shiple / Jenny Cunningham / Matthew Kippenhan

Principal Investigator(s)

Dr. Edward Jeremy Brook
Oregon State University
College of Oceanic & Atmospheric Sciences

Project Web Site:


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: Allan Hills, Elephant Moraine


The Center for OLDest Ice EXploration (COLDEX) will address fundamental questions critical to understanding past and future climate change, including sensitivity to higher levels of greenhouse gases, the role of greenhouse gases in the evolution of ice age cycles, and the behavior of the Antarctic ice sheet in warmer climates. This element of COLDEX provides for radar (7MHz, 200MHz, ApRES) and GPS surveys at Allan Hills and Elephant Moraine. The surveys will identify the optimum location for future COLDEX drilling of a1200-m ice core at Allan Hills and potential sites for future COLDEX short cores (<200m) at both Allan Hills and Elephant Moraine. Previous surveys and modeling suggest that the future 1200-m core will contain a continuous climate record extending >1myr. Previous work at both Allan Hills and Elephant Moraine has resulted in the retrieval of discontinuous samples of ice in the 1-2.5myr age range that have given snapshots into climates of the past.

Field Season Overview

Five participants (four science and one Antarctic Support Contract-hired field safety coordinator) will spend six weeks total at two consecutive remote camps in the vicinity of Allan Hills and Elephant Moraine. The team will conduct snowmobile-towed radar and GPS surveys at Allan Hills for about three weeks, including in four focus areas to determine the future 1200-m ice core optimal location, as well as in the general area to identify sites for future COLDEX shallow coring. The team will move by snowmobile traverse approximately 70 km from Allan Hills to Elephant Moraine to conduct similar surveys for the identification of future COLDEX shallow coring sites and to collect several short cores (~10-15m). A member of the I-165 team working at Allan Hills will join this COLDEX radar team to lead the shallow coring at Elephant Moraine. Coring will be done by hand auger equipped with a power drive. The team will be at Elephant Moraine for two to three weeks. Put-in to Allan Hills and take-out from Elephant Moraine will be supported by Twin Otter.

Deploying Team Members

  • Howard Conway
  • Annika Horlings
  • John-Morgan Manos
  • Michael Roberts
  • Marguerite Shaya