Collaborative Proposal: Late Cenozoic Volcanism and Glaciation at Minna Bluff, Antarctica: Implications for Antarctic Cryosphere History
This project studies glaciovolcanic deposits at Minna Bluff in the western Ross Embayment of Antarctica. Its goal is to determine the history of the Ross Ice Shelf, which is fed by the major ice sheets from both East and West Antarctica. Apart from determining how these ice sheets waxed and waned during a period of dynamic climate change, glaciovolcanic sequences may constrain ice sheet parameters that are critical to numerical models such as thickness, hydrology, and basal thermal regime. This three-year study would map, analyze, and determine the age of key units using 40Ar/39Ar dating. Pilot studies would also be conducted for 36Cl dating of glacial deposits and stable isotope evaluations of alteration. The project offers a complementary record of Ross Ice Shelf behavior to that sampled by ANDRILL. It also improves the general record of McMurdo area volcanostratigraphy, which is important to interpreting landforms, glacial deposits, and ancient ice found in the Dry Valleys.
The broader impacts of this project include improving society's understanding of global climate change, sea level rise, and graduate and undergraduate student education. Outreach efforts include educational programs for public schools and community groups, exhibits for a local science museum, and a project website.
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