Project Information
Antarctic Peninsula Exhumation and Landscape Development Investigated by Low-temperature Detrital Thermochronometry
Start Date:
End Date:
Intellectual Merit:
The PIs propose to use the (U-Th)/He system in apatite to investigate the exhumation history, development of the present topography, and pattern of glacial erosion in the central Antarctic Peninsula. The Antarctic Peninsula has been glaciated since the Eocene and Pleistocene climate cooling is hypothesized to have suppressed, rather than enhanced, glacial erosion. To achieve these goals, the PIs will use a thermochronometric record of when and how the present glacial valley relief formed. A challenge to the proposed research is that, unlike Pleistocene glacial landscapes in temperate areas, the Peninsula is ice-covered and it is not possible to directly sample the bedrock surface. The PIs hope to learn about the timing and process of glacial valley formation through apatite (U-Th)/He and 4He/3He measurements on glacial sediment collected near the grounding lines of major glaciers draining the Peninsula. Learning how the Antarctic Peninsula landscape formed is important to discern how the mechanics of glacial erosion operate on long time scales, and to understand how glaciers mediate the interaction between climate change and orogenic mass balance. This work addresses a fundamental question in Antarctic earth science of how to infer geologic and geomorphic processes active on an ice-covered and inaccessible landscape.

Broader impacts:
This proposal will bring new researchers into the Antarctic research community. A proposed collaboration with British Antarctic Survey researchers will build an international collaboration. The outcomes of this project have ancillary importance to other fields and addresses fundamental challenges in Antarctic Earth Science.
Person Role
Shuster, David Co-Investigator
Balco, Gregory Investigator
Antarctic Earth Sciences Award # 1246484
AMD - DIF Record(s)
Data Management Plan
None in the Database
Product Level:
Not provided
Repository Title (link) Format(s) Status
PI website Data repositories for UC-Berkeley/BGC thermochronometry and thermochronology research None exist
  1. Clinger, A. E., Fox, M., Balco, G., Cuffey, K., & Shuster, D. L. (2020). Detrital thermochronometry reveals that the topography along the Antarctic Peninsula is not a Pleistocene landscape. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 125, e2019JF005447. (doi:10.1029/2019JF005447)
  2. Clinger, A., Fox, M., Balco, G., Cuffey, K. and Shuster, D., 2022. Tectonic controls on the timing of fjord incision at the Antarctic Peninsula. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 585, p.117528. (doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2022.117528)
Platforms and Instruments

This project has been viewed 14 times since May 2019 (based on unique date-IP combinations)