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Position and variability of complex structures in the central East Antarctic Ice Sheet

By
Thilo Wrona
Thilo Wrona
Department of Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College, Prince Consort Road, London, SW7 2BP, UKPresent address: Department of Earth Science, University of Bergen, Allégaten 41, N-5007 Bergen, Norway
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Michael J. Wolovick
Michael J. Wolovick
The Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Program (AOS), Princeton University, New Jersey, USA
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Fausto Ferraccioli
Fausto Ferraccioli
British Antarctic Survey, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0ET, UK
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Hugh Corr
Hugh Corr
British Antarctic Survey, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0ET, UK
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Tom Jordan
Tom Jordan
British Antarctic Survey, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0ET, UK
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Martin J. Siegert
Martin J. Siegert
Department of Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College, Prince Consort Road, London, SW7 2BP, UKGrantham Institute, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK
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Published:
January 01, 2018

Abstract

Although the flow of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet is well constrained from surface measurements and altimetry, our knowledge of the dynamic processes within the ice sheet remains limited. Recent high-resolution radar data from the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains in central East Antarctica reveal a series of anomalous englacial reflectors in the lower half of the ice column that cannot be explained by conventional ice flow. Expanding on previous analyses, we describe the geometrical and morphological features of 12 of these anomalous reflectors. Our description reveals a previously unacknowledged diversity in size, geometry and internal structure of these reflectors. We are able to identify four distinct morphological features: (1) fingers; (2) inclusions; (3) sheets; and (4) folds. The ‘fingers’ and ‘inclusions’ probably form by shear instabilities at the boundary between the reflectors and the surrounding meteoric ice. The ‘sheets’ highlight that basal ice can be uplifted off of the bed and above surrounding meteoric ice, and the ‘folds’ may have formed in local regions of converging flow associated with subglacial topography. The study provides key insights into the rheology, stress and deformational regimes deep within the central East Antarctic Ice Sheet.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Exploration of Subsurface Antarctica: Uncovering Past Changes and Modern Processes

M. J. Siegert
M. J. Siegert
Imperial College London, UK
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S. S. R. Jamieson
S. S. R. Jamieson
Durham University, UK
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D. A. White
D. A. White
University of Canberra, Australia
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The Geological Society of London
Volume
461
ISBN electronic:
9781786203427
Publication date:
January 01, 2018

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