Timing and Duration of the LGM and Post-LGM Grounding Events in Whales Deep Paleo Ice Stream, Eastern Ross Sea Middle Continental Shelf
NBP1502B: Whales Deep Basin, Ross Sea continental shelf
Intellectual Merit: Evidence from the eastern Ross Sea continental shelf indicates that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet advanced and retreated during the last glacial cycle, but it is unclear whether the ice sheet advanced to the shelf edge or just to the middle shelf. These two end-member scenarios offer different interpretations as to why, how, and when the West Antarctic Ice Sheet oscillated. The PI proposes to acquire seismic, multibeam, and core data from Whales Deep, to evaluate the timing and duration of two advances of grounded ice to the outer and middle shelf of the Whales Deep Basin, a West Antarctic Ice Sheet paleo ice stream trough in eastern Ross Sea. Grounding events are represented by seismically resolvable Grounding Zone Wedges. The PI will collect radiocarbon dates on in situ benthic foraminifera from the grounding zone diamict as well as ramped pyrolysis radiocarbon dates on acid insoluble organics from open-marine mud overlying the grounding zone diamict. Using these data the PI will calculate the duration of the two grounding events. Furthermore, the PI will test a numerical model prediction that West Antarctic Ice Sheet retreat must have involved melting at the marine terminus of the ice sheet. Pore-water from the grounding zone diamict will be extracted from piston cores to determine salinity and δ18O values that should indicate if significant melting occurred at the grounding line. Broader impacts: The data collected will provide constraints on the timing and pattern of Last Glacial Maximum advance and retreat that can be incorporated into interpretations of ice-surface elevation changes. The proposed activities will provide valuable field and research training to undergraduate/graduate students and a Louisiana high-school science teacher. The research will be interactively shared with middle- and high-school science students and with visitors to the LSU Museum of Natural Science Weekend-Science Program.
Data Management Plan
None in the Database
Platforms and Instruments
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