Paper No. 13
Presentation Time: 11:30 AM
Interdisciplinary Investigation of the LARsen Ice Shelf System, Antarctica (LARISSA): A New IPY Program
A new interdisciplinary program to investigate environmental change in the LARsen Ice Shelf System, Antarctica (LARISSA) will provide a comprehensive approach to questions concerning the past, present and future of this rapidly changing region. Catastrophic ice shelf loss associated with rapid regional warming has resulted in large scale changes in the physical and biologic environment. While observations of modern glacial, oceanic and biological dynamics will address the response of this polar system to global change, marine and terrestrial geologic data in combination with ice core data will provide the context of a paleo-perspective from which to address a suite of questions over a variety of time scales. Existing geologic data indicate the likely existence of a stratigraphic record from prior to the Last Glacial Maximum; this record will further our understanding of the Larsen System under climatic conditions of the penultimate interglacial, when globally, sea level was higher and average climate warmer, than today. Sea floor mapping and strategic marine sediment coring combined with land-based geomorphologic work will be used to reconstruct the configuration of the northern Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet during the Last Glacial Maximum and the subsequent retreat. Sediment coring coupled to field observations and satellite imagery will be used to evaluate the controls on the dynamics of ice-shelf grounding-line systems.