REFINING OUR UNDERSTANDING OF SEDIMENT RETREAT FACIES AND GEOMORPHOLOGY FOR AN ACCURATE DEGLACIAL HISTORY OF THE ROSS SEA
A recent cruise (NBP1502) to the Ross Sea provided us with high resolution multibeam and high frequency subbottom profiler data, as well as cores in targeted locations that are critical to enhancing our understanding of the nature, timing, and controls on ice retreat. We use a multi-proxy approach to characterize retreat facies including sedimentology, microfossil analysis, and geochemical properties. Our improved grain size techniques allow more holistic interpretations of marine influence and environments of deposition, along with fossils when present. In addition, we have determined that soft sediment clasts can be attributed to specific environmental processes. By refining sediment facies, we interpret meltwater, sediment gravity flows, and other processes as important controls on grounding line instability and ice retreat. Applying geomorphic context to our sedimentological analyses allows us to determine not only timing of retreat, but also rate and style of ice retreat from the Ross Sea.