Collaborative Research: The Connection Between Mid-Cenozoic Seafloor Spreading and the Western Ross Sea Embayment
This work will perform a marine geophysical survey of sea floor spreading off Cape Adare, Antarctica. Magnetic, gravity, swath bathymetry and multi-channel seismic data will be acquired from the southern end of the Adare Basin to the northern parts of the Northern Basin and Central Trough in the Ross Embayment. Previous surveys documented 170 km of regional extension between forty-three and twenty-six million years ago, which resulted in some seafloor spreading in the Adare Basin. However, the relationship of Adare Basin spreading to the overall extension and the southward continental basins of the Ross Embayment has not been established. This relationship is critical to understanding the tectonic evolution of East and West Antarctica and linking Pacific plate motions to the rest of the world. The study will also offer unique insight into rifting processes by studying the transition of rifting between oceanic and continental lithosphere. In terms of broader impacts, this project will support two graduate students and field research experience for undergraduates. The project also involves cooperation between scientists from the US, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.
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