Marine Science Faculty Publications

Submarine Landform Assemblage Produced Beneath the Dotson–Getz Palaeo-ice Stream, West Antarctica

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Within Earth's ice sheets, fast-flowing ice streams are the principal components through which ice and sediment are discharged, accounting for c. 90% of the ice lost from the Antarctic today (Bamber et al. 2000). The processes occurring at ice-stream beds, therefore, lie at the heart of resolving how and why major ice-stream systems may change in the future. Although drill-cores and ice-surface seismic methods have been employed to survey the beds of some of West Antarctica's ice streams, studies are still hampered by the logistical and technological challenges associated with understanding a dynamic and spatially extensive interface buried beneath kilometre-thick continental ice (Larter et al. 2009). Here, a multibeam swath-bathymetric dataset acquired from the Dotson–Getz palaeo-ice-stream bed, offshore of West Antarctica, is described (Fig. 1a). In contrast to the modern ice-sheet base, the spatial coverage and quality of the marine data allow us to analyse landform evolution along an entire ice-stream bed that is both completely exposed and well preserved.

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Geological Society, London, Memoirs, v. 46, p. 345-348