The Spirit of Mawson - Australasian Antarctic Expedition 2013 - 2014

Australasian Antarctic Expedition

Ice Ages

Cape Denison lies at the edge of the vast East Antarctic Ice Sheet with an ice volume equivalent to 53 metres of sea level rise. In spite of a century of work, there is a paucity of data on how the ice sheet has changed in the past, limiting our ability to compare current trends, or constrain ice-sheet and climate models. Further north, the landscape of the subantarctic islands suggest that the islands had been deeply incised by glaciers. But to glaciate these islands would need massively different conditions to today’s warm and wet maritime climate. How and when is largely unknown.

The research program

  1. On the AAE 2013-2014 we set out to reconstruct past glacial changes on the subantarctic islands.
  2. On the AAE 2013-2014 we undertook the first reconstruction of changing ice sheet elevation along 1500 kilometres of the East Antarctic.
  3. On the AAE 2013-2014 we wanted to discover the regional and synoptic climatic conditions during former ice ages in the Southern Hemisphere.