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Subglacial lakes and hydrology across the Ellsworth Subglacial Highlands, West Antarctica, 1977-2017
A new subglacial bed Digital Elevation Model (DEM) from Ellsworth Subglacial Highlands (ESH) was created from previously gridded bed elevation data and new unpublished radar data. The new DEM includes the upper reaches of Pine Island Glacier, Rutford and Institute Ice Streams and reveals new topographical features. The main findings on this new DEM are two linear deep throughs with a perpendicular transection valley near Subglacial Lake Ellsworth. Additionally, using the new DEM and ice surface elevation data from CryoSat2 ice surface DEM, a hydropotential model was built and used to create a detailed hydropotential model of ESH to simulate the subglacial hydrological network. This approach allowed us to characterize basal hydrology, subglacial water catchments and connections between them. In this characterization we noticed the mismatch between subglacial hydrological catchment and ice surfaces catchment of Rutford Ice Stream, Pine Island Glacier and Thwaites Glacier. Funding was provided by NERC Antarctic Funding Initiative (AFI) grants NE/D008751/1, NE/D009200/1, and NE/D008638/1, and NERC grant NE/G013071/1.
Ice sheet model runs based on the Glimmer thermo-mechanical ice sheet model. Glacial modelling was used to simulate former WAIS (West Antarctic Ice Sheet) dynamics (specifically grounding line and ice volume changes) in the Weddell Sea embayment, constrained by newly acquired field data (see related datasets).
Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) measurements of cosmogenic isotopes were made from erratic and bedrock samples collected in the Ellsworth Mountains, 2005-2006. Pressed AMS targets were analysed at SUERC (Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre) to yield exposure ages.
200+ erratic and bedrock samples were collected for cosmogenic isotope analysis, as well as several depth profiles of tills. Samples were collected from 11 sites along a 350km transect stretching from Pirrit Hills in the south to the ridge between Mt Bentley and Mt Hubley in the north. Most sites were on the western (West Antarctic Ice Sheet) side of the range but includes Flowers Hills on the east side of the range, adjacent to the Rutford Ice Stream. Throughout, the emphasis was on taking samples to allow dating of any changes in ice altitude/extent.
Glacial geomorphological data related to the Ellsworth Mountains, Weddell Sea embayment, collected 2005-2008
Glacial geomorphological data from the Ellsworth Mountains, Weddell Sea embayment. Satellite imagery and aerial photography, ground truthing, surveying and GPS traverses were used for geomorphological mapping. Additional photographic and weathering data were used to complement the field work. The project resulted in one of the most detailed geomorphological studies of any part of the WAIS (West Antarctic Ice Sheet), as well as the most comprehensive coverage for cosmogenic isotope analysis.
Powders, solutions and residues related to erratic and bedrock samples collected in the Ellsworth Mountains during the 2005-2006 field season. For each of the rock samples analysed in the lab, a (variable) number of laboratory stages are created, including sawing and crushing residues, pure quartz separates, chemical solutions, and AMS (Accelerator Mass Spectrometry) targets.