Project Information
Collaborative Research: Southern Plateau Ice-sheet Characterization and Evolution of the Central Antarctic Plate (SPICECAP)
Short Title:
Start Date:
End Date:
Dome C Ice Core
This study focuses on processing and interpretation of internationally collected aerogeophysical data from the Southern Plateau of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. The data include ice penetrating radar data, laser altimetry, gravity and magnetics. The project will provide information on geological trends under the ice, the topography and character of the ice/rock interface, and the stratigraphy of the ice. The project will also provide baseline site characterization for future drilling. Future drilling sites and deep ice cores for old ice require that the base of the ice sheet be frozen to the bed (i.e. no free water at the interface between rock and ice) and the assessment will map the extent of frozen vs. thawed areas. Specifically, three main outcomes are anticipated for this project. First, the study will provide an assessment of the viability of Titan Dome, a subglacial highland region located near South Pole, as a potential old ice drilling prospect. The assessment will include determining the hydraulic context of the bed by processing and interpreting the radar data, ice sheet mass balance through time by mapping englacial reflectors in the ice and connecting them to ice stratigraphy in the recent South Pole, and ice sheet geometry using laser altimetry. Second, the study will provide an assessment of the geological context of the Titan Dome region with respect to understanding regional geologic boundaries and the potential for bedrock sampling. For these two goals, we will use data opportunistically collected by China, and the recent PolarGAP dataset. Third, the study will provide an assessment of the risk posture for RAID site targeting in the Titan Dome region, and the Dome C region. This will use a high-resolution dataset the team collected previously at Dome C, an area similar to the coarser resolution data collected at Titan Dome, and will enable an understanding of what is missed by the wide lines spacing at Titan Dome. Specifically, we will model subglacial hydrology with and without the high resolution data, and statistically examine the detection of subglacial mountains (which could preserve old ice) and subglacial lakes (which could destroy old ice), as a function of line spacing.
Person Role
Young, Duncan A. Investigator and contact
Blankenship, Donald D. Co-Investigator
Beem, Lucas H. Researcher
Greenbaum, Jamin Researcher
Roberts, Jason Co-Investigator
Bo, Sun Co-Investigator
Antarctic Earth Sciences Award # 1443690
AMD - DIF Record(s)
Deployment Type
CHA1 (2015/2016 ICECAP2) airborne survey
CHA2 (2016/2017 ICECAP2) airborne survey
ICP7 (2015/2016 ICECAPII) airborne survey
Data Management Plan
None in the Database
Product Level:
1 (processed data)
  1. Young, D. A., Roberts, J. L., Ritz, C., Frezzotti, M., Quartini, E., Cavitte, M. G. P., Tozer, C. R., Steinhage, D., Urbini, S., Corr, H. F. J., Van Ommen, T., and Blankenship, D. D.,2017, High resolution boundary conditions of an old ice target near Dome C, Antarctica, The Cryosphere, 11, 1--15 (doi:10.5194/tc-11-1897-2017)
  2. Beem, L. H., Cavitte, M. G. P., Blankenship, D. D., Carter, S. P., Young, D. A., Muldoon, G. R., Jackson, C. S., and Siegert, M. J.,2017, Ice-flow reorganization within the East Antarctic Ice Sheet deep interior, Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 461, (doi:10.1144/SP461.14)
  3. Passalacqua, O., Cavitte, M. G. P., Gagliardini, O., Gillet-Chaulet, F., Parrenin, F., Ritz, C., and Young, D. A.,2018, Brief communication: "Oldest Ice" patches diagnosed 37 km southwest of Dome C, East Antarctica, The Cryosphere, 12, 2167-2174 (doi:10.5194/tc-12-2167-2018)
  4. Liefferinge, B. V., Pattyn, F., Cavitte, M. G. P., Karlsson, N. B., Young, D. A., Sutter, J., and and Olaf Eisen,2018, Promising Oldest Ice sites in East Antarctica based on thermodynamical modelling, The Cryosphere, 12, 2773-2787 (doi:10.5194/tc-2017-276)
  5. Cavitte, M. G. P., Parrenin, F., Ritz, C., Young, D. A., Blankenship, D. D., Frezzotti, M., and Roberts, J. L.,2018, Stable accumulation patterns around Dome C, East Antarctica, over the last glacial cycle, The Cryosphere, 12, 1401--1414 (doi:10.5194/tc-12-1401-2018)
  6. Muldoon, G. R., Jackson, C. S., Young, D. A., and Blankenship, D. D.,2018, Bayesian estimation of englacial radar chronology in Central West Antarctica, Dynamics And Statistics Of The Climate System, 3, 1, dzy004 (doi:10.1093/climatesystem/dzy004)
  7. Beem, L. H., Young, D. A., Greenbaum, J. S., Blankenship, D. D., Guo, J., & Bo, S. (2020). Characterization of Titan Dome, East Antarctica, and potential as an ice core target. The Cryosphere Discuss. [preprint] (doi:10.5194/tc-2020-210)
  8. Beem, L. H., Young, D. A., Greenbaum, J. S., Blankenship, D. D., Cavitte, M. G. P., Guo, J., & Bo, S. (2021). Aerogeophysical characterization of Titan Dome, East Antarctica, and potential as an ice core target. The Cryosphere, 15(4), 1719–1730. (doi:10.5194/tc-15-1719-2021)
  9. Cavitte, M. G. P., Young, D. A., Mulvaney, R., Ritz, C., Greenbaum, J. S., Ng, G., Kempf, S. D., Quartini, E., Muldoon, G. R., Paden, J., Frezzotti, M., Roberts, J. L., Tozer, C. R., Schroeder, D. M., and Blankenship, D. D.,in review, A detailed radiostratigraphic data set for the central East Antarctic Plateau spanning the last half million years, Earth System Science Data Discussions, 2020, 1--27 (doi:10.5194/essd-2020-393)
  10. Liu-Schiaffini, M., Ng, G., Grima, C., & Young, D. (2022). Ice Thickness from Deep Learning and Conditional Random Fields: Application to Ice Penetrating Radar Data with Radiometric Validation. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 1–1. (doi:10.1109/tgrs.2022.3214147)

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