Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Formation and evolution of an extensive blue ice moraine in central Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctica

  • Christine M. Kassab (a1), Kathy J. Licht (a1), Rickard Petersson (a2), Katrin Lindbäck (a3), Joseph A. Graly (a1) (a4) and Michael R. Kaplan (a5)...

Abstract

Mount Achernar moraine is a terrestrial sediment archive that preserves a record of ice-sheet dynamics and climate over multiple glacial cycles. Similar records exist in other blue ice moraines elsewhere on the continent, but an understanding of how these moraines form is limited. We propose a model to explain the formation of extensive, coherent blue ice moraine sequences based on the integration of ground-penetrating radar (GPR) data with ice velocity and surface exposure ages. GPR transects (100 and 25 MHz) both perpendicular and parallel to moraine ridges at Mount Achernar reveal an internal structure defined by alternating relatively clean ice and steeply dipping debris bands extending to depth, and where visible, to the underlying bedrock surface. Sediment is carried to the surface from depth along these debris bands, and sublimates out of the ice, accumulating over time (>300 ka). The internal pattern of dipping reflectors, combined with increasing surface exposure ages, suggest sequential exposure of the sediment where ice and debris accretes laterally to form the moraine. Subsurface structure varies across the moraine and can be linked to changes in basal entrainment conditions. We speculate that higher concentrations of debris may have been entrained in the ice during colder glacial periods or entrained more proximal to the moraine sequence.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Formation and evolution of an extensive blue ice moraine in central Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctica
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Formation and evolution of an extensive blue ice moraine in central Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctica
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Formation and evolution of an extensive blue ice moraine in central Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctica
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Christine M. Kassab, E-mail: ckassab@iupui.edu

References

Hide All
Ackert, RP Jr and 5 others (2011) West Antarctic Ice Sheet elevations in the Ohio Range: geologic constraints and ice sheet modeling prior to the last highstand. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 307(1–2), 8393. doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2011.04.015.
Ackert, RP Jr and 6 others (2013) Controls on interior West Antarctic Ice Sheet Elevations: inferences from geologic constraints and ice sheet modeling. Quaternary Science Reviews 65, 2638. doi: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2012.12.017.
Altmaier, M, Herpers, U, Delisle, G, Merchel, S and Ott, U (2010) Glaciation history of Queen Maud Land (Antarctica) reconstructed from in-situ produced cosmogenic 10Be, 26Al and 21Ne. Polar Science 4, 4261. doi: 10.1016/j.polar.2010.01.001.
Bader, NA, Licht, KJ, Kaplan, MR, Kassab, C and Winckler, G (2017) East Antarctic ice sheet stability recorded in a high-elevation ice-cored moraine. Quaternary Science Reviews 159, 88102. doi: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2016.12.005.
Bintanja, R (1999) On the glaciological, meteorological, and climatological significance of Antarctic blue ice areas. Reviews of Geophysics 37(3), 337359. doi: 10.1029/1999RG900007.
Blankenship, DD and 12 others (2012, updated 2017) IceBridge HiCARS 2 L2 Geolocated Ice Thickness, Version 1. [IRMCR2_20131119_04]. Boulder, Colorado USA. NASA National Snow and Ice Data Center Distributed Active Archive Center. doi: 10.5067/9EBR2T0VXUDG (Accessed 1 November 2017).
Bliss, AK, Cuffey, KM and Kavanaugh, JL (2011) Sublimation and surface energy budget of Taylor Glacier, Antarctica. Journal of Glaciology 57(204), 684696. doi: 10.3189/002214311797409767.
Bromley, GRM, Hall, BL, Stone, JO, Conway, H and Todd, CE (2010) Late Cenozoic deposits at Reddy Glacier, Transantarctic Mountains: implications for former thickness of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Quaternary Science Reviews 29, 384398. doi: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2009.07.001.
Campbell, S and 6 others (2013) Radar-detected englacial stratigraphy in the Pensacola Mountains, Antarctica: implications for recent changes in ice flow and accumulation. Annals of Glaciology 54(63), 91100. doi: 10.3189/2013AoG63A371.
Cassidy, W, Harvey, R, Schutt, J, Delisle, G and Yanai, K (1992) The meteorite collection sites of Antarctica. Meteoritics 27, 490525.
Chinn, TJ (1994) Polar glacier margin and debris features. Memorie della Società Geologica Italiana 46, 2544.
Corti, G, Zeoli, A, Belmaggio, P and Folco, L (2008) Physical modeling of the influence of bedrock topography and ablation on ice flow and meteorite concentration in Antarctica. Journal of Geophysical Research 113(F1). doi: 10.1029/2006JF000708.
Daniels, DJ (2004) Ground Penetrating Radar, 2nd Edn., London: The Institute of Engineering and Technology.
Denton, GH, Bockheim, JG, Wilson, SC, Leide, JE and Andersen, BG (1989) Late quaternary ice-surface fluctuations of Beardmore Glacier, Transantarctic Mountains. Quaternary Research 31, 183209. doi: 10.1016/0033-5894(89)90005-7.
Fogwill, CJ, Hein, AS, Bentley, M and Sugden, DE (2011) Do blue-ice moraines in the Heritage Range show the West Antarctic ice sheet survived the last interglacial? Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 335-336, 6170. doi: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2011.01.027.
Fukui, K, Sone, T, Strelin, JA, Torielli, CA and Mori, J (2008) Dynamics and GPR stratigraphy of a polar rock glacier on James Ross Island, Antarctic Peninsula. Journal of Glaciology 54(186), 445451. doi: 10.3189/002214308785836940.
Glasser, NF, Hambrey, MJ, Etienne, JL, Jansson, P and Pettersson, R (2003) The origin and significance of debris-charged ridges at the surface of Storglaciären, Northern Sweden. Geografiska Annaler. Series A, Physical Geography 85(2), 127147. doi: 10.1111/1468-0459.00194.
Golledge, NR and and 12 others (2013) Glaciology and geological signature of the Last Glacial Maximum Antarctic ice sheet. Quaternary Science Reviews 78, 225247. doi: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2013.08.011.
Graly, JA, Licht, KJ, Druschel, GK and Kaplan, MR (2018 a) Polar desert chronologies through quantitative measurements of salt accumulation. Geology 46(4), 351354. doi: 10.1130/G39650.1.
Graly, JA, Licht, KJ, Kassab, CM, Bird, BW and Kaplan, MR (2018 b) Warm-based basal sediment entrainment and far-field Pleistocene origin evidenced in central Transantarctic blue ice through stable isotopes and internal structures. Journal of Glaciology 64(244), 185196. doi: 10.1017/jog.2018.4.
Hagen, EH (1995) A Geochemical and Petrological Investigation of Meteorite Ablation Products in Till and Ice of Antarctica (Dissertation). The Ohio State University, 525 p.
Hambrey, MJ and Glasser, NF (2011) Sediment entrainment, transport, and deposition. In Singh, VPSingh, P and Haritashya, UM ed. Encyclopedia of Snow, Ice and Glaciers. Springer Nature, The Netherlands, 9841003.
Hambrey, MJ and Müller, F (1978) Structures and ice deformation in the White Glacier, Axel Heiberg Island, Northwest Territories, Canada. Journal of Glaciology 20(82), 4166. doi: 10.3189/S0022143000021213.
Harvey, R (2003) The origin and significance of Antarctic Meteorites. Chemie der Erde Geochemistry 63, 93147. doi: 10.1078/0009-2819-00031.
Hein, AS and 9 others (2016) Evidence for the stability of the West Antarctic ice Sheet divide for 1.4 million years. Nature Communications 7. doi: 10.1038/ncomms10325.
Higgins, JA and 8 others (2015) Atmospheric composition 1 million years ago from blue ice in the Allan Hills, Antarctica. PNAS 112(22), 68876891. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1420232112.
Huddart, D and Hambrey, MJ (1996) Sedimentary and tectonic development of a high-arctic, thrust-moraine complex: Comfortlessbreen, Svalbard. Boreas 25, 227243. doi: 10.1111/j.1502-3885.1996.tb00639.x.
Hui, G and 12 others (2014) Mapping blue-ice areas in Antarctica using ETM+ and MODIS data. Annals of Glaciology 55(66), 129137. doi: 10.3189/2014AoG66A069.
Jamieson, SSR, Sugden, DE and Hulton, NRJ (2010) The evolution of the subglacial landscape of Antarctica. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 293, 127. doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2010.02.012.
Jol, H (2009) Ground Penetrating Radar Theory and Applications. Elsevier Science, New York.
Joy, K, Fink, D, Storey, B and Atkins, C (2014) A 2 million year glacial chronology of the Hatherton Glacier, Antarctica and implications for the size of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet at the Last Glacial Maximum. Quaternary Science Reviews 83, 4657. doi: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2013.10.028.
Kaplan, MR and 9 others (2017) Middle to Late Pleistocene stability of the central East Antarctic Ice Sheet at the head of Law Glacier. Geology 45(11), 963966. doi: 10.1130/G39189.1.
Korotikikh, EV and 7 others (2011) The last interglacial as represented in the glaciochemical record from Mount Moulton Blue Ice Area, West Antarctica. Quaternary Science Reviews 30(15-16), 19401947. doi: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2011.04.020.
Krissek, L and 9 others and ANDRILL-MIS Science Team (2007) Sedimentology and Stratigraphy of the AND-1B Core, ANDRILL McMurdo Ice Shelf Project, Antarctica. Terra Antarctica 14(3), 185222.
Mackay, SL, Marchant, DR, Lamp, JL and Head, JW (2014) Cold-based debris-covered glaciers: evaluating their potential as climate archives through studies of ground-penetrating radar and surface morphology. Journal of Geophysical Research Earth Surface 119, 25052540. doi: 10.1002/2014JF003178.
McKay, R and 10 others (2009) The stratigraphic signature of the late Cenozoic Antarctic Ice Sheets in the Ross Embayment. GSA Bulletin 121(11-12), 15371561. doi: 10.1130/B26540.1.
Moore, JS and 7 others (2006) Interpreting ancient ice in a shallow ice core from the South Yamato (Antarctica) blue ice area using flow modeling and compositional matching to deep ice cores. Journal of Geophysical Research 111(D16). doi: 10.1029/2005JD006343.
Neal, A (2004) Ground-penetrating radar and its use in sedimentology: principles, problems and progress. Earth-Science Reviews 66, 261330. doi: 10.1016/j.earscirev.2004.01.004.
Ng, F, Hallet, B, Sletten, RS and Stone, JO (2005) Fast-growing till over ancient ice in Beacon Valley, Antarctica. Geology 33(2), 121124. doi: 10.1130/G21064.1.
Palmer, EF, Licht, KJ, Swope, RJ and Hemming, SR (2012) Nunatak moraines as a repository of what lies beneath the East Antarctic ice sheet. In Rasbury, ETHemming, SR and Riggs, NR ed. Mineralogical and Geochemical Approaches to Provenance. Geological Society of America Special Paper, Boulder, CO, 97104 (doi: 10.1130/2012.2487(05) 487)
Pattyn, R (2010) Antarctic subglacial conditions inferred from a hybrid ice sheet/ice stream model. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 295(3-4), 451461. doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2010.04.025.
Rignot, E, Mouginot, J and Scheuchl, B (2011) Ice flow of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. Science 333, 14271430. doi: 10.1126/science.1208336.
Robin, G (1975) Radio-echo sounding: glaciological interpretations and applications. Journal of Glaciology 15(73), 4964. doi: 10:3189/S0022143000034262.
Scarrow, JW, Balks, MR and Almond, PC (2014) Three soil chronosequences in recessional glacial deposits near the polar plateau, in the Central Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctica. Antarctic Science 26(5), 573583. doi: 10.1017/S0954102014000078.
Schäfer, JM and 6 others (2000) The oldest ice on Earth in Beacon Valley, Antarctica: new evidence from surface exposure dating. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 179(1), 9199. doi: 10.1016/S0012-821X(00)00095-9.
Schueler, T (2000) The Compaction of Urban Soil: The Practice of Watershed Protection. Ellicott City, MD: Center for Watershed Protection, pp. 210214.
Shean, DE and Marchant, DR (2010) Seismic and GPR surveys of Mullins Glacier, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica: ice thickness, internal structure and implications for surface ridge formation. Journal of Glaciology 56(195), 4864. doi: 10.3189/002214310791190901.
Sinisalo, A and 5 others (2007) Inferences from stable water isotopes on the Holocene evolution of Scharffenbergbotnen blue-ice area, East Antarctica. Journal of Glaciology 53(182), 427434. doi: 10.3189/002214307783258495.
Sinisalo, A and Moore, JC (2010) Antarctic blue ice areas (BIAs) – towards extracting paleoclimate information. Antarctic Science 22(2), 99115. doi: 10.1017/S0954102009990691.
Spaulding, NE and 9 others (2013) Climate archives from 90 to 250 ka in horizontal and vertical ice cores from the Allan hills Blue Ice Area, Antarctica. Quaternary Research 80(3), 562574. doi: 10.1016/j.yqres.2013.07.004.
Staiger, JW and 6 others (2006) Plio-Pleistocene history of Ferrar Glacier, Antarctica: implications for climate and ice sheet stability. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 243(3–4), 489503. doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2006.01.037.
Sun, T and 7 others (2015) Lost cold Antarctic deserts inferred from unusual sulfate formation and isotope signatures. Nature Communications 6, 7579. doi: 10.1038/ncomms8579.
Todd, C, Stone, J, Conway, H, Hall, B and Bromley, G (2010) Late Quaternary evolution of Reedy Glacier, Antarctica. Quaternary Science Reviews 29, 13281341. doi: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2010.02.001.
Toner, JD, Sletten, RS and Prentice, ML (2003) Soluble salt accumulations in Taylor Valley, Antarctica: implications for paleolakes and Ross Sea Ice Sheet dynamics. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface 118, 198215. doi: 10.1029/2012JF002467.
Whillans, IM and Cassidy, WA (1983) Catch a falling star: meteorites and old ice. Science 222(4619), 5557. doi: 10.1126/science.222.4619.55.
Whitehouse, PL, Bentley, MJ and Le Brocq, AM (2012) A deglacial model for Antarctica: geological constraints and glaciological modelling as a basis for a new model of Antarctic glacial isostatic adjustment. Quaternary Science Reviews 32, 124. doi: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2011.11.016.
Winter, K and 10 others (2016) Assessing the continuity of the blue ice climate record at Patriot Hills, Horseshoe Valley, West Antarctica. Geophysical Research Letters 43(5), 20192026. doi: 10.1002/2015GL066476.
Winther, J, Jespersen, MN and Liston, GE (2001) Blue-ice areas in Antarctica derived from NOAA AVHRR satellite data. Journal of Glaciology 47(157), 325334. doi: 10.3189/172756501781832386.
Zekollari, H, Goderis, S, Debaille, V, van Ginneken, M and Gattacceca, J and ASTER Team (2019) Unravelling the high-altitude Nansen blue ice field meteorite trap (East Antarctica) and implications for regional palaeo-conditions. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 248, 289310. doi: 10.1016/j.gca.2018.12.035.

Keywords

Type Description Title
PDF
Supplementary materials

Kassab et al. supplementary material
Kassab et al. supplementary material 1

 PDF (230 KB)
230 KB
PDF
Supplementary materials

Kassab et al. supplementary material
Kassab et al. supplementary material 2

 PDF (199 KB)
199 KB
PDF
Supplementary materials

Kassab et al. supplementary material
Kassab et al. supplementary material 3

 PDF (285 KB)
285 KB

Formation and evolution of an extensive blue ice moraine in central Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctica

  • Christine M. Kassab (a1), Kathy J. Licht (a1), Rickard Petersson (a2), Katrin Lindbäck (a3), Joseph A. Graly (a1) (a4) and Michael R. Kaplan (a5)...

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed