Start date:
Early December
End date:
Mid February
Brown Pen, Heald Island, Garwood, Hidden, Marshall, Miers Valleys, The Bulwark, Walcott Glacier
Principle Investigator:
Dr Brenda Hall
The University of Maine
Field season overview:
Aspects of the project that are new this season include the development of a custom ice core drill by Ice Design and Drilling Operations (IDDO) to take a 10-inch-diameter shallow core down to 12 meters depth. This will greatly expedite the recovery of the large-volume ice samples, which, during the teams' similar research project in Greenland, were collected using electric chainsaws and excavation of three-meter-deep trenches. Researchers have worked with Ice Core and Drilling Services (ICDS) to plan this drilling operation, and ICDS will be sending an engineer to the field to assist the research team with operating the drill.
The research team’s goal is to document the glacial history of the valleys fronting the Royal Society Range and, by doing so, constrain the history of the Ross Sea ice sheets over the last two glacial/interglacial cycles. This knowledge is key for assessing the relationship between the Antarctic ice sheets and global climate and sea-level changes. To reach this goal, researchers will produce a detailed chronology from radiocarbon and uranium-thorium dating of the last two advances of Ross Sea ice lobes into valleys adjacent to the Royal Society Range.