Monday, October 04, 2010, 12:00PM - 1:00PM
U.S. Geological Survey
Full title: "Aerogeophysical mapping of sub ice geology in Antarctica: From Precambrian tectonics to Cenozoic climate change."
Antarctica is a key element in Earth’s geodynamic and climatic systems, yet we lack fundamental geologic and geophysical data from the deep interior of this vast continent. Coastal exposures record the 3500 million-year history of a continent that participated in the formation and breakup of two supercontinents, Rodinia and Gondwana. East Antarctica occupied the center of both supercontinents and may represent ~15% of Earth’s Precambrian crust. Despite the central role that Antarctica has played in shaping the present global environment, basic, first-order parameters such as bedrock elevation, lithology, structure, age, tectonic history and ice volume remain poorly known over large portions of the continent. Given the extensive ice cover, airborne geophysical data, constrained by field-based geologic mapping, ground-based geophysics, and petrologic, geochemical and geochronological analysis of outcrop and drill-hole samples, is the best way to define the origin and evolution of broad areas of the Antarctic lithosphere. This talk will focus on geophysical mapping of sub ice geology and discuss links between the geology and the ice sheet.