Project Information
Integrating petrologic records and geodynamics: Quantifying the effects of glaciation on crustal stress and eruptive patterns at Mt. Waesche, Executive Committee Range, Antarctica
Short Title:
Quantifying the effects of glaciation on crustal stress and eruptive patterns at Mt. Waesche
Start Date:
End Date:
Isotopic and sedimentary datasets reveal that volcanic activity typically increases during interglacial periods. However, the physical mechanisms through which changes in the surface loading affect volcanic magmatic plumbing systems remain unconstrained. Recently generated 40Ar/39Ar eruption ages indicate that 86% of the dated samples from Mt. Waesche, a late Quaternary volcano in Marie Byrd land, correlate with interglacial periods, suggesting this volcano uniquely responds to changes in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. We propose to combine the petrology of Mount Waesche’s volcanic record, constraints on changing ice loads through time, and geodynamic modelling to: (1) Determine how pre-eruptive storage conditions change during glacial and interglacial periods using whole rock and mineral compositions of volcanic rocks; (2) Conduct geodynamic modeling to elucidate the relationship between lithospheric structure, temporal variations in ice sheet thickness, and subsequent changes in crustal stresses and magmatic transport and, therefore, the mechanism(s) by which deglaciation impacts magmatic plumbing systems; (3) Use the outcomes of objectives (1) and (2) to provide new constraints on the changes in ice sheet thickness through time that could plausibly trigger future volcanic and magmatic activity in West Antarctica. This collaborative approach will provide a novel methodology to determine prior magnitudes and rates of ice load changes within the Marie Byrd Land region of Antarctica. Lastly, estimates of WAIS elevation changes from this study will be compared to ongoing studies at Mount Waesche focused on constraining last interglacial ice sheet draw down using cosmogenic exposure ages obtained from shallow drilling. The scope of work also includes a partnership with Mentoring Kids Works to develop several Polar and Earth Science Educational Modules aimed at improving reading skills in third grade students in New Mexico. The proposed Polar and Earth Science program consists of modules that include readings of books introducing students to Earth and Polar science themes, paired with Earth and Polar Science activities, followed by simple experiments, where students make predictions and collect data. Information required to implement our Polar and Earth Science curriculum will be made available online.
Person Role
Waters, Laura Investigator and contact
Naliboff, John Co-Investigator
Zimmerer, Matthew Co-Investigator
Antarctic Earth Sciences Award # 2122248
AMD - DIF Record(s)
Data Management Plan
None in the Database
Product Level:
0 (raw data)
Platforms and Instruments

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