Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Shallow seismic surveys and ice thickness estimates of the Mullins Valley debris-covered glacier, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

  • David E. Shean (a1), James W. Head (a1) and David R. Marchant (a2)
Abstract
Abstract

Several debris-covered glaciers occupy tributaries of upper Beacon Valley, Antarctica. Understanding their flow dynamics and ice thickness is important for palaeoclimate studies and for understanding the origins of ancient ice elsewhere in the McMurdo Dry Valleys region. We present the results of several shallow seismic surveys in Mullins Valley, where the largest of these debris-covered glaciers is located. Our results suggest that beneath a thin sublimation till and near-surface horizon of dirty glacier ice, lies relatively pure glacier ice (P-wave velocity ~3700–3800 m s-1), with total thickness estimates of ~90–95 m towards the valley head, and ~40–65 m near the entrance to Beacon Valley, ~2.5 km downglacier. P-wave velocities decrease downvalley, suggesting that the material properties of the ice change with increasing distance from the ice-accumulation zone. These new data are used to calibrate an ice thickness profile for the active portion of the Mullins Valley debris-covered glacier (upper ~3.5 km) and to shed light on the origin and spatial distribution of enclosed debris.

  • 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.

      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.

      Shallow seismic surveys and ice thickness estimates of the Mullins Valley debris-covered glacier, McMurdo Dry Valleys, 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 Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Shallow seismic surveys and ice thickness estimates of the Mullins Valley debris-covered glacier, McMurdo Dry Valleys, 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 Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Shallow seismic surveys and ice thickness estimates of the Mullins Valley debris-covered glacier, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
*dshean@bu.edu, David_Shean@alumni.brown.edu
References
Hide All
Baker G.S., Pyke K., Strasser J.C., Evenson E.B., Lawson D.E. & Bigl R.A. 2003. Near-surface seismic reflection profiling of the Matanuska Glacier, Alaska. Geophysics, 68, 147156.
Burger H.R. 1992. Exploration geophysics of the shallow subsurface. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 489 pp.
Clark D.H., Steig E.J., Potter N. Jr, Fitzpatrick J., Updike A.B. & Clark G.M. 1996. Old ice in rock glaciers may provide long-term climate records. Eos, 77, 217, 221222.
Doran P.T., McKay C.P., Clow G.D., Dana G.L., Fountain A., Nylen T. & Lyons W.B. 2002. Valley floor climate observations from the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, 1986–2000. Journal of Geophysical Research, 107, doi: 10.1029/2001JD002045.
Goldsby D.L. & Kohlstedt D.L. 2001. Superplastic deformation of ice: experimental observations. Journal of Geophysical Research B, 106, doi: 10.1029/2000JB900336.
Head J.W., Hiesinger H., Kreslavsky M., Milkovich S., Neukum G., Werner S., Van Gasse S., Jaumann R., Hauber E., Hoffmann H., Carr M., Masson P. & Foing B. 2005. Tropical to mid-latitude snow and ice accumulation, flow and glaciation on Mars. Nature, 434, 346351.
Head J.W. & Marchant D.R. 2003. Cold-based mountain glaciers on Mars: western Arsia Mons. Geology, 31, 641644.
Kaab A. & Weber M. 2004. Development of transverse ridges on rock glaciers: field measurements and laboratory experiments. Permafrost and Periglacial Processes, 15, 379391.
Kohnen H. 1974. The temperature dependence of seismic waves in ice. Journal of Glaciology, 13, 144147.
Konrad S.K., Humphrey N.F., Steig E.J., Clark D.H., Potter N. Jr & Pfeffer W.T. 1999. Rock glacier dynamics and paleoclimatic implications. Geology, 27, 11311134.
Kowalewski D., Marchant D.R., Levy J. & Head J.W. 2006. Quantifying low summertime sublimation rates for buried glacier ice in Beacon Valley, Antarctica. Antarctic Science, 18, 421428.
Lee M.W., Hutchinson D.R., Collett T.S. & Dillon W.P. 1996. Seismic velocities for hydrate-bearing sediments using weighted equation. Journal of Geophysical Research B, 101, doi: 10.1029/96JB01886.
Levy J.S., Head J.W. & Marchant D.R. 2006. Distribution and origin of patterned ground on Mullins Valley debris-covered glacier, Antarctica: the roles of ice flow and sublimation. Antarctic Science, 18, doi: 10.1017/S0954102006000435.
Linkletter G., Bockheim J. & Ugolini F.C. 1973. Soils and glacial deposits in the Beacon Valley, southern Victoria Land, Antarctica. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 16, 90108.
Lorrey A.M. 2005. Multiple remnant glaciers preserved in Beacon Valley, Antarctica. Glacial Geology and Geomorphology, rp02/2005, 128.
Marchant D.R. & Denton G.H. 1996. Miocene and Pliocene paleoclimate of the Dry Valleys region, southern Victoria Land: a geomorphological approach. Marine Micropaleontology, 27, 253271.
Marchant D.R., Lewis A.R., Phillips W.M., Moore E.J., Souchez R.A., Denton G.H., Sugden D.E., Potter N. & Landis G.P. 2002. Formation of patterned ground and sublimation till over Miocene glacier ice in Beacon Valley, southern Victoria Land, Antarctica. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 114, 718730.
Marchant D.R. & Head J.W. In press. Antarctic Dry Valleys: microclimate zonation, variable geomorphic processes, and implications for assessing climate change on Mars. Icarus.
Martin H.E. & Whalley W.B. 1987. Rock glaciers. Part 1: rock glacier morphology, classification and distribution. Progress in Physical Geography, 11, 260282.
Milkovich S.M., Head J.W. & Marchant D.R. 2006. Debris-covered piedmont glaciers along the north-west flank of the Olympus Mons scarp: evidence for low-latitude ice accumulation during the Late Amazonian of Mars. Icarus, 181, 388407.
Moore E.J. 2002. Age, origin, and paleoclimatic significance of buried ice in Upper Beacon Valley, Antarctica. MA thesis, Boston University, 166 pp. [Unpublished].
Ng F., Hallet B., Sletten R.S. & Stone J.O. 2005. Fast-growing till over ancient ice in Beacon Valley, Antarctica. Geology, 33, 121124.
Potter N. 1972. Ice-cored rock glacier, Galena Creek, northern Absaroka Mountains, Wyoming. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 83, 30253058.
Potter N. & Wilson S.C. 1984. Glacial geology and soils in Beacon Valley. Antarctic Journal of the United States, 18(5), 100103.
Rignot E., Hallet B. & Fountain A. 2002. Rock glacier surface motion in Beacon Valley, Antarctica, from synthetic-aperture radar interferometry. Geophysical Research Letters, 29, doi: 10.1029/2001GL013494.
Schaefer J.M., Baur H., Wieler R., Denton G.H., Ivy-Ochs S., Schluchter C. & Marchant D.R. 2000. The oldest ice on Earth in Beacon Valley, Antarctica: new evidence from surface exposure dating. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 179, 9199.
Schenk T., Csatho B., Ahn Y., Yoon T., Shin S.W. & Huh K.I. 2004. DEM generation from the Antarctic LiDAR data: site report. Available from: http://usarc.usgs.gov/lidar/lidar_pdfs/Site_reports_v5.pdf, 49 pp.
Scwerdtfeger W. 1984. Weather and climate of the Antarctic. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 327 pp.
Shean D.E., Head J.W. & Marchant D.R. 2005. Origin and evolution of a cold-based tropical mountain glacier on Mars: the Pavonis Mons fan-shaped deposit. Journal of Geophysical Research, 110, doi: 10.1029/2004JE002360.
Shean D.E., Head J.W., Marchant D.R. & Fastook J.L. 2007. Recent glaciation at Arsia Mons, Mars: implications for the formation and evolution of large tropical mountain glaciers. Journal of Geophysical Research, doi: 10.1029/2006JE002761.
Steig E.J., Fitzpatrick J.J., Potter N. Jr & Clark D.H. 1998. The geochemical record in rock glaciers. Geografiska Annaler, A80, 277286.
Stockwell J.W. 1999. The CWP/SU: seismic Un*x package. Computers & Geosciences, 25, 415419.
Sugden D.E., Marchant D.R., Potter N. Jr, Souchez R., Denton G.H., Swisher C.C. & Tison J.L. 1995. Preservation of Miocene glacier ice in East Antarctica. Nature, 376, 412414.
Vincent P.D., Steeples D.W., Tsoflias G.P. & Sloan S.D. 2005. Two approaches to noise tests. SEG Expanded Abstracts, 24, 11801183.
Wahrhaftig C. & Cox A. 1959. Rock glaciers in the Alaska Range. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 70, 383436.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Antarctic Science
  • ISSN: 0954-1020
  • EISSN: 1365-2079
  • URL: /core/journals/antarctic-science
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 3
Total number of PDF views: 27 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 140 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 21st October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.