Collaborative Research: History and Evolution of the Siple Coast Ice Stream System as Recorded by Former Shear-Margin Scars
This award provides support for three years of funding to study the scar-like features that are well-known from the Siple Coast ice stream system in West Antarctica. The objective of the proposed field work is to identify the nature of several as yet unvisited scars, and to further characterize previously-identified margin scars that are poorly dated. Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) and Radarsat image data will be used to locate and map the features, and place them in a regional context. The study seeks to describe the recent history of the Siple Coast glaciers and investigate the causes of their changes in configuration. The main investigative tools will be low-frequency RES and high-frequency ground penetrating radar (GPR) profiles to image internal layers and measure depths to buried crevasses or disrupted layering. This, coupled with accumulation rates determined from shallow ice cores, will provide "shutdown" ages for the margin features. The field data will provide input parameters for simple models of ice flow for margins and inter-ice stream ridges during active shearing and after shutdown. This modeling will estimate the initial elevation of a scar at the time of shut down and the corresponding ice stream elevation at that time.
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