Project Information
Evidence for Paleo Ice Stream Collapse in the Western Ross Sea since the Last Glacial Maximum.
Start Date:
End Date:
Intellectual Merit:
The PI hypothesizes that bedforms found in the Central and Joides troughs can be interpreted as having been formed by rapid retreat, and possible collapse of an ice stream that occupied this area. To test this hypothesis, the PI proposes to conduct a detailed marine geological and geophysical survey of Central and Joides Troughs in the western Ross Sea. This project will bridge gaps between the small and isolated areas previously surveyed and will acquire a detailed sedimentological record of the retreating grounding line. The PI will reconstruct the retreat history of the Central and Joides troughs to century-scale resolution using radiocarbon dating methods and by looking at geomorphic features that are formed at regular time intervals. Existing multibeam, deep tow side-scan sonar, and core data will provide a framework for this research. The western Ross Sea is an ideal study area to investigate a single ice stream and the dynamics controlling its stability, including interactions between both East and West Antarctic Ice Sheets.

Broader impacts:
This proposal includes a post-doc, a graduate and two undergraduate students. The post-doc is involved with teaching an in-service K-12 teacher development and training course at Rice University for high-need teachers with a focus on curriculum enhancement. The project fosters collaboration for the PI and students with researchers at Louisiana State University and international colleagues at the Institute for Paleobiology at the Polish Academy of Sciences. The results from this project could lead to a better understanding of ice sheet and ice stream stability. This project will yield implications for society's understanding of climate change, as this work improves understanding of the behavior of ice sheets and their links to global climate.
Person Role
Anderson, John Investigator
Antarctic Earth Sciences Award # 1246353
AMD - DIF Record(s)
Data Management Plan
None in the Database
Product Level:
1 (processed data)
Repository Title (link) Format(s) Status
R2R NBP1502 Cruise Geophysics and underway data GeoTIFF; Excel exist
USAP-DC NBP1502A Cruise Core Data GeoTIFF; Excel exist
USAP-DC Pennell Trough, Ross Sea bathymetry and glacial landforms GeoTIFF; Excel exists
USAP-DC Circum-Antarctic grounding-line sinuosity GeoTIFF; Excel exists
  1. Prothro, L.O., Simkins, L.M., Majewski, W., Anderson, J.B., 2018. Glacial retreat patterns and processes determined from integrated sedimentology and geomorphology records. Marine Geology 395, 104-119. (doi:10.1016/j.margeo.2017.09.012)
  2. Halberstadt, A.R.W., Simkins, L.M., Greenwood, S.L., Anderson, J.B., 2016. Past ice-sheet behaviour: retreat scenarios and changing controls in the Ross Sea, Antarctica. The Cryosphere 10, 1003-1020. (doi:10.5194/tc-10-1003-2016)
  3. Simkins, L. M., Greenwood, S. L., & Anderson, J. B. (2018). Diagnosing ice sheet grounding line stability from landform morphology. The Cryosphere, 12(8), 2707–2726. (doi:10.5194/tc-12-2707-2018)
  4. Simkins, L. M., Greenwood, S. L., & Anderson, J. B. (2018). Diagnosing ice sheet grounding line stability from landform morphology. (doi:10.5194/tc-2018-44)
  5. Majewski, W., Prothro, L. O., Simkins, L. M., Demianiuk, E. J., & Anderson, J. B. (2020). Foraminiferal Patterns in Deglacial Sediment in the Western Ross Sea, Antarctica: Life Near Grounding Lines. Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, 35(5). (doi:10.1029/2019pa003716)
  6. Greenwood, S. L., Simkins, L. M., Halberstadt, A. R. W., Prothro, L. O., & Anderson, J. B. (2018). Holocene reconfiguration and readvance of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. Nature Communications, 9(1). (doi:10.1038/s41467-018-05625-3)
  7. Demet, B. P., Nittrouer, J. A., Anderson, J. B., & Simkins, L. M. (2019). Sedimentary processes at ice sheet grounding‐zone wedges revealed by outcrops, Washington State (USA). Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 44(6), 1209–1220. (doi:10.1002/esp.4550)
  8. Simkins, L. M., Greenwood, S. L., Munevar Garcia, S., Eareckson, E. A., Anderson, J. B., & Prothro, L. O. (2021). Topographic Controls on Channelized Meltwater in the Subglacial Environment. Geophysical Research Letters, 48(20). (doi:10.1029/2021gl094678)
  9. Halberstadt, A. R., Simkins, L. M., Greenwood, S. L., & Anderson, J. B. (2016). Past Ice-Sheet Behaviour: Retreat Scenarios and Changing Controls in the Ross Sea, Antarctica. (doi:10.5194/tc-2016-33)

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