Glacial morphology and sediment formation in the Mertz Trough, East Antarctica

Katherine McMullen, Eugene Domack, Amy Leventer, Caroline Olson, Robert Dunbar, Stefanie Brachfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Nathaniel B. Palmer 01-01 cruise produced a SeaBeam map showing unprecedented detail of the bathymetry in the Mertz Trough of East Antarctica. In addition, seismic reflection surveys and sediment core collection were completed in the region. The morphology of the Mertz Trough is combined with core data to interpret the sequence of events that occurred in this area since the Last Glacial Maximum. These complementary data indicate that an ice sheet once covered the Mertz Trough, which deposited diamicton and formed mega-scale glacial lineations during glacial maximal conditions and grounding-line wedges during recession. An erosional feature caused by subglacial meltwater breaching at least one of the grounding-line deposits is also recognized, along with a fan of sediment deposited seaward of the breach. Sediment cores from the Mertz Trough consist of two distinct units, the diamicton deposited subglacially and a diatom mud and ooze, deposited after the ice retreated. The latter unit has been preferentially deposited in deeper areas of the trough as a hemipelagic drape and shows that a change in the nature of the diatom unit occurred about 3300 14C yr BP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-180
Number of pages12
JournalPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Volume231
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - 9 Feb 2006

Fingerprint

trough
grounding line
diamicton
sediment
sediment core
diatom
ooze
lineation
Last Glacial Maximum
meltwater
bathymetry
seismic reflection
ice sheet
mud
Antarctica
ice

Keywords

  • Antarctica
  • Bathymetry
  • Deglaciation
  • Glacial geology
  • Glaciomarine sedimentation
  • Ice streams

Cite this

McMullen, Katherine ; Domack, Eugene ; Leventer, Amy ; Olson, Caroline ; Dunbar, Robert ; Brachfeld, Stefanie. / Glacial morphology and sediment formation in the Mertz Trough, East Antarctica. In: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 2006 ; Vol. 231, No. 1-2. pp. 169-180.
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Glacial morphology and sediment formation in the Mertz Trough, East Antarctica. / McMullen, Katherine; Domack, Eugene; Leventer, Amy; Olson, Caroline; Dunbar, Robert; Brachfeld, Stefanie.

In: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, Vol. 231, No. 1-2, 09.02.2006, p. 169-180.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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