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Submarine glacial landforms on the cold East Antarctic margin

Authors: O’Brien, P.E., Beaman, R.J., De Santis, L., Domack, E., Escutia, C., Harris, P.T., Leventer, A., McMullen, K., Post, A., Quilty, P.G., Shevennell, A., Batchelor, C.L.

Year: 2016

Publication: Dowdeswell, J.A., Canals, M., Jakobsson, M., Todd, B.J., Dowdeswell, E.K., Hogan, K. (Eds.), Atlas of Submarine Glacial Landforms: Modern, Quaternary and Ancient, Memoirs 46: Bath, U.K., The Geological Society of London, pp. 501-508.

Abstract

The East Antarctic continental margin, which extends from the Weddell Sea to the Ross Sea (Fig. 1h), surrounds the largest and oldest ice mass on Earth but has only been studied in a few locations because of remoteness and persistent sea ice.

The shelf is 100-150 km wide over most of its length but broadens where major crustal structures intersect it, such as in Prydz Bay (Fig. 1a) where the shelf is 200-300 km wide.

This paper reviews what is known presently about the geomorphology of the best studied sectors of the East Antarctic margin - the deep re-entrant of Prydz Bay and the narrower shelves of George V Land-Terre Adélie and Mac.Robertson Land (Fig. 1h).

Only a small proportion of the East Antarctica shelf has been surveyed with multibeam bathymetry so this review is also dependent on compilations of singlebeam bathymetry, seismic-reflection profiles and side-scan sonar data: in particular, we use the George V Digital Elevation Model (GVDEM, Beaman et al. 2011) and International Bathymetric Chart of the Southern Ocean (IBCSO; Arndt at al. 2013).

The slope has been more widely studied, with large amounts of seismic-reflection data available (e.g. Kuvaas & Leitchenkov 1991; Escutia et al. 2005; Solli et al. 2007; Close et al. 2010).

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