Antarctic Peninsula Exhumation and Landscape Development Investigated by Low-temperature Detrital Thermochronometry
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.
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.
AMD - DIF Record(s)
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