The research is giving us an understanding of the entrainment, transfer and deposition of sediment by ice shelves. The investigation of the structure, composition and motion of the Southern McMurdo Ice shelf will develop a model for the accretion and transfer of ice and debris in ice shelves and a glaciological basis for palaeoclimatic reconstructions derived from ice shelf moraines. Defining the ... glaciological basis of ice shelf moraine formation is essential to understanding the age and chronology of ice shelf moraines, which are widely used to reconstruct the timing and magnitude of Late Pleistocene ice advances. To gain an understanding of the age and chronology of ice shelf moraines, ice cores will be taken from the McMurdo ice shelf to look at the composition of the ice (isotopes and solute chemistry). To achieve these objectives we are using surface mapping from aerial photographs and satellite imagery together with a ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey of the subsurface geometry of the ice shelf. This research will give us a good understanding of the entrainment, transfer, deposition and deformation of sediment adjacent to the margin of a thin, partly grounded ice shelf (the McMurdo Ice Shelf). The motion of the ice shelf is being monitored by GPS surveying of stakes drilled into the surface of the ice shelf and analysed each year for displacement.
During the 2012/2013 season we carried out further reaserch on the Southern McMurdo Ice Shelf and Blue Glacier. At these locations ice and water samples were taken and GPR surveying.
Department of Geography
University of Otago
PO BOX 59
Fitzsimons, S.J. and Lorrain, R. Subglacial Processes.In Singh, V. P.; Singh, P.; Haritashya, U.K. (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Snow, Ice and Glaciers, Springer ISBN: 978-90-481-2643-9 (2011)
Lorrain, R. and Fitzsimons, S.J. Cold-based glaciers. In Singh, V. P.; Singh, P.; Haritashya, U.K. (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Snow, Ice and Glaciers, Springer ISBN: 978-90-481-2643-9 (2011)
Pautler, B.G., Simpson, A. J., Simpson, M. J., Tseng, Li-H., Spraul, M., Dubnick, A. Sharp, M.J. and Fitzsimons, S.J. (2011) Detection and Structural Identification of Dissolved Organic Matter in Antarctic Glacial Ice at Natural Abundance by SPR-W5-WATERGATE 1H NMR Spectroscopy’, Environmental Science and Technology DOI: 10.1021/es200697c