A large part of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) is on the West Antarctic rift system. The base of the ice sheet is currently below sea level, which has lead some researchers to suggest that its size, volume, and flow characteristics are particularly sensitive to climate change. Much of the ice is transported from the interior to the coast via fast-flowing glaciers and ice streams whose flow dynamics are strongly controlled by conditions at the bed. Variations in basal temperature, water content, and the distribution and lithology of sedimentary basins and crystalline basement contribute to the complexity of the observed flow environments in West Antarctica. Determining those parameters will contribute to an improved ability to model the ice sheet accurately. We report on the characteristics of sedimentary layers beneath the Antarctic using broadband seismic techniques and their association with flow of the ice sheet.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Global and Planetary Change