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Uncovering terra incognita: new insights into the evolution of Antarctica and constraints for ice sheet models


Halpin, J and Whittaker, J and Daczko, N and Fitzsimons, I and Reading, A and Maritati, A and Staal, T and Watson, S and Mulder, J and Noble, T and Chase, Z and Tooze, S and Sauermilch, I, Uncovering terra incognita: new insights into the evolution of Antarctica and constraints for ice sheet models, Biennial Meeting of the Specialist Group in Tectonics and Structural Geology, 08-12 November 2017, Denmark, WA, pp. 104. (2017) [Keynote Presentation]

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An understanding of the evolution of the Antarctic plate has contributed to incredible insights into the Earth-system as a whole, including supercontinent cycles in deep time, as well as global cryosphere, ocean and climate evolution. Antarctica contains some of the oldest known crust on Earth, built over billions of years, and the breakup of Gondwana shaped the modern continent, leading to the opening of the Tasman and Drake gateways, development of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, paving the way for the Cenozoic modern ice sheet.

Today, the Antarctic plate continues to impart significant forcings on the ice sheet and ocean circulation, which are not well captured in models that seek to describe ice sheet behaviour and forecast ice mass discharge and sea level change. Antarctic geology also records past ice sheet changes that can inform on future scenarios in a warming world. Yet there is much to learn, as the Antarctic continent reveals less than 1% of its rugged subglacial topography and its submarine margins remain poorly explored.

Here we review recent progress in uncovering Antarctica we focus on the Wilkes, Queen Mary and Wilhelm II regions of East Antarctica, that represent part of the Australian and Indian conjugate margins, where multiple datasets including seismic tomography, aerogeophysical data, and rock- and sediment-based geological analysis provide new insights into the tectonic evolution and geological architecture of the Antarctic plate. These datasets also provide opportunities to address solid Earth-cryosphere interactions, such as the magnitude and spatial variability of geothermal heat flux to the base of the ice sheet, and ice sheet extent during past glacial cycles, with the aim of reducing uncertainties in models of the past and future evolution of the Antarctic ice sheet.

Item Details

Item Type:Keynote Presentation
Keywords:Antarctica, supercontinents, solid Earth-cryosphere interactions
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Geology
Research Field:Geochronology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences
UTAS Author:Halpin, J (Dr Jacqueline Halpin)
UTAS Author:Whittaker, J (Associate Professor Jo Whittaker)
UTAS Author:Reading, A (Professor Anya Reading)
UTAS Author:Maritati, A (Mr Alessandro Maritati)
UTAS Author:Staal, T (Mr Tobias Staal)
UTAS Author:Watson, S (Ms Sally Watson)
UTAS Author:Mulder, J (Mr Jacob Mulder)
UTAS Author:Noble, T (Dr Taryn Noble)
UTAS Author:Chase, Z (Professor Zanna Chase)
UTAS Author:Tooze, S (Miss Sian Tooze)
UTAS Author:Sauermilch, I (Miss Isabel Sauermilch)
ID Code:131216
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:Oceans and Cryosphere
Deposited On:2019-03-06
Last Modified:2019-03-07
Downloads:1 View Download Statistics

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