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Sample records for antarctica ca 480ka

  1. Meteoritic ablation debris from the Transantarctic Mountains: Evidence for a Tunguska-like impact over Antarctica ca. 480 ka ago

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Ginneken, M.; Folco, L.; Perchiazzi, N.; Rochette, P.; Bland, P. A.

    2010-04-01

    Aggregates of microscopic spherules broadly similar in texture and composition to cosmic spherules or meteorite ablation spheres were discovered within the ˜ 1 Ma-old Transantarctic Mountain micrometeorite traps at Miller Butte, Victoria Land, Antarctica. Mineralogical and geochemical data obtained by means of field emission-scanning electron microscopy, electron microprobe analyses, synchrotron X-ray diffraction, and magnetization measurements show that they consist of a porous aggregate of quench-textured spherules, with individual spherules ranging from less than 1 to 65 µm in diameter. Spherule types include porphyritic olivine plus magnesioferrite spherules, dendritic magnesioferrite spherules, barred and feathered olivine spherules, and cryptocrystalline spherules. In contrast to the textural variations, the bulk composition of the individual spherules is fairly homogeneous and broadly chondritic. Likewise olivine has a nearly homogeneous composition Fa 16.3 ± 2.7 . Olivine and magnesioferrite are characterized by high NiO contents (2.72 ± 1.6 and 4.68 ± 0.68 wt.%, respectively), as typically observed in ablation debris and meteorite fusion crusts. The bulk composition of the aggregates is similar to the fusion crust of ordinary and carbonaceous chondrites. We interpret the spherulitic aggregates as meteorite ablation debris formed during the atmospheric entry of a large meteorite of ordinary or carbonaceous chondritic composition. Comparison with the available literature data shows that the ablation debris found at Miller Butte is most likely paired with the extraterrestrial dust found in a ˜ 480 ka-old ice layer in the EPICA-Dome C and Dome Fuji ice cores (East Antarctic ice sheet), thereby documenting a continental-scale distribution of ablation debris associated with a major meteoritic impact event which occurred ˜ 480 ka ago. Based on estimates of the projectile mass (> 10 8 kg) and numerical simulation of small-scale impacts from literature, we

  2. Antarctica

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-16

    article title:  Twilight in Antarctica     View larger JPEG image  (51 kb) Twilight in Antarctica, February 24, 2000 . Nearly 15 times every 24 hours, the Terra ... - The Ross Ice Shelf and the Transantarctic Mountains of Antarctica at twilight. project:  MISR category:  ...

  3. Antarctica: little paying perspectives

    SciTech Connect

    Ivanhoe, L.F.

    1981-07-01

    The continent of Antarctica has a surface of 14,200,000 sq km. It rests upon one of the deeper epicontinental platforms of the world, which descends steeply to the oceanic depths. The 200-m isobath is almost in its totality inside of the main ice zone. More than 95% of the continent itself is found under a layer of terrestrial ice composed of ca. 3,000,000 cu km of ice, with an average thickness of 2000 m. The ice and sea impede the access to the continent, and cyclonic storms surround the Antarctica in an endless sequence that moves from west to east. Almost all Antarctica geology is under ice, and only the highest places of mountains outcrop. The geologic structure is composed of 6 tectonic units. Antarctica has mineral resources, but the obstacles encountered in personnel and material movement make the Antarctica petroleum perspective very poor, since the recovery cost goes beyond the present selling price.

  4. The formation of Ca-Cl-rich groundwaters in the Dry Valleys of Antarctica: Field measurements and modeling of reactive transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toner, Jonathan D.; Sletten, Ronald S.

    2013-06-01

    Ca-Cl-rich brines have been found in shallow subsurface flows, groundwater systems, lakes, and ponds throughout the Dry Valleys of Antarctica. The apparent abundance of Ca-Cl-rich waters near the surface is unusual compared to global surface water compositions and a number of theories have been proposed to explain the genesis of these brines. We show that an ice-cemented soil developing on fluvial sediment in Taylor Valley also contains Ca-Cl-rich brine. The distribution of soluble ions, exchangeable cations, and stable isotopes down to 2.1 m depth in the soil suggests that CaCl2 was formed by cation exchange reactions during downward reactive transport of Na-Cl-rich brine from the soil surface. To explore the implications of exchange reactions for the formation of Ca-Cl-rich brine, Ca-Na and Ca-Mg exchange properties were measured in 1 mM, 0.1 M, and 4.75 M solutions. Low-temperature reactions and brine transport were modeled in PHREEQC by incorporating FREZCHEM Pitzer parameters and solubility products into PHREEQC. Modeling shows that by freezing soils in equilibrium with Dry Valley surface waters, a strong Ca-Mg enrichment of the soil solution is caused by the exchange of aqueous Na+ with exchangeable Ca2+ and Mg2+. Ca-Mg enrichment also occurs as Na-Cl-rich brine from the soil surface advects into ice-cemented soil. By modeling this process in the borehole soil, trends in ion distributions with depth can be predicted. Brine compositions from cation exchange reactions are consistent with Ca-Cl-rich brine compositions in the Dry Valleys, although additional water-rock interaction is proposed to account for the low Mg2+ concentrations in Don Juan Pond. Furthermore, the amount of CaCl2 that can be produced by exchange reactions is consistent with estimated amounts of CaCl2 in groundwaters beneath Don Juan Pond. This suggests that cation exchange reactions can explain the Ca-Cl-rich composition of the enigmatic Don Juan Pond and other brines in the Dry Valleys.

  5. A Halophilic Bacterium Inhabiting the Warm, CaCl2-Rich Brine of the Perennially Ice-Covered Lake Vanda, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

    PubMed Central

    Tregoning, George S.; Kempher, Megan L.; Jung, Deborah O.; Samarkin, Vladimir A.; Joye, Samantha B.

    2015-01-01

    Lake Vanda is a perennially ice-covered and stratified lake in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. The lake develops a distinct chemocline at about a 50-m depth, where the waters transition from cool, oxic, and fresh to warm, sulfidic, and hypersaline. The bottom water brine is unique, as the highly chaotropic salts CaCl2 and MgCl2 predominate, and CaCl2 levels are the highest of those in any known microbial habitat. Enrichment techniques were used to isolate 15 strains of heterotrophic bacteria from the Lake Vanda brine. Despite direct supplementation of the brine samples with different organic substrates in primary enrichments, the same organism, a relative of the halophilic bacterium Halomonas (Gammaproteobacteria), was isolated from all depths sampled. The Lake Vanda (VAN) strains were obligate aerobes and showed broad pH, salinity, and temperature ranges for growth, consistent with the physicochemical properties of the brine. VAN strains were halophilic and quite CaCl2 tolerant but did not require CaCl2 for growth. The fact that only VAN strain-like organisms appeared in our enrichments hints that the highly chaotropic nature of the Lake Vanda brine may place unusual physiological constraints on the bacterial community that inhabits it. PMID:25576606

  6. Don Juan Pond, Antarctica: near-surface CaCl(2)-brine feeding Earth's most saline lake and implications for Mars.

    PubMed

    Dickson, James L; Head, James W; Levy, Joseph S; Marchant, David R

    2013-01-01

    The discovery on Mars of recurring slope lineae (RSL), thought to represent seasonal brines, has sparked interest in analogous environments on Earth. We report on new studies of Don Juan Pond (DJP), which exists at the upper limit of ephemeral water in the McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDV) of Antarctica, and is adjacent to several steep-sloped water tracks, the closest analog for RSL. The source of DJP has been interpreted to be deep groundwater. We present time-lapse data and meteorological measurements that confirm deliquescence within the DJP watershed and show that this, together with small amounts of meltwater, are capable of generating brines that control summertime water levels. Groundwater input was not observed. In addition to providing an analog for RSL formation, CaCl(2) brines and chloride deposits in basins may provide clues to the origin of ancient chloride deposits on Mars dating from the transition period from "warm/wet" to "cold/dry" climates.

  7. Factors controlling the geochemical composition of Limnopolar Lake sediments (Byers Peninsula, Livingston Island, South Shetland Island, Antarctica) during the last ca. 1600 years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martínez Cortizas, A.; Rozas Muñiz, I.; Taboada, T.; Toro, M.; Granados, I.; Giralt, S.; Pla-Rabés, S.

    2014-07-01

    We sampled a short (57 cm) sediment core in Limnopolar Lake (Byers Peninsula, Livingston Island, South Shetland Islands), which spans the last ca. 1600 years. The core was sectioned at high resolution and analyzed for elemental and mineralogical composition, and scanning electron microscope and energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (SEM-EDS) analysis of glass mineral particles in selected samples. The chemical record was characterized by a contrasted pattern of layers with high Ca, Ti, Zr, and Sr concentrations and layers with higher concentrations of K and Rb. The former were also enriched in plagioclase and, occasionally, in zeolites, while the latter were relatively enriched in 2 : 1 phyllosilicates and quartz. This was interpreted as reflecting the abundance of volcaniclastic material (Ca rich) versus Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous marine sediments (K rich) - the dominant geological material in the lake catchment. SEM-EDS analysis revealed the presence of abundant volcanic shards in the Ca-rich layers, pointing to tephras most probably related to the activity of Deception Island volcano (located 30 km to the SE). The ages of four main peaks of volcanic-rich material (AD ca. 1840-1860 for L1, AD ca. 1570-1650 for L2, AD ca. 1450-1470 for L3, and AD ca. 1300 for L4) matched reasonably well the age of tephra layers (AP1 to AP3) previously identified in lakes of Byers Peninsula. Some of the analyzed metals (Fe, Mn, Cu, and Cr) showed enrichments in the most recent tephra layer (L1), suggesting relative changes in the composition of the tephras as found in previous investigations. No evidence of significant human impact on the cycles of most trace metals (Cu, Zn, Pb) was found, probably due to the remote location of Livingston Island and the modest research infrastructures; local contamination was found by other researchers in soils, waters and marine sediments on areas with large, permanent research stations. Chromium is the only metal showing a steady enrichment in the

  8. Don Juan Pond, Antarctica: Near-surface CaCl2-brine feeding Earth's most saline lake and implications for Mars

    PubMed Central

    Dickson, James L.; Head, James W.; Levy, Joseph S.; Marchant, David R.

    2013-01-01

    The discovery on Mars of recurring slope lineae (RSL), thought to represent seasonal brines, has sparked interest in analogous environments on Earth. We report on new studies of Don Juan Pond (DJP), which exists at the upper limit of ephemeral water in the McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDV) of Antarctica, and is adjacent to several steep-sloped water tracks, the closest analog for RSL. The source of DJP has been interpreted to be deep groundwater. We present time-lapse data and meteorological measurements that confirm deliquescence within the DJP watershed and show that this, together with small amounts of meltwater, are capable of generating brines that control summertime water levels. Groundwater input was not observed. In addition to providing an analog for RSL formation, CaCl2 brines and chloride deposits in basins may provide clues to the origin of ancient chloride deposits on Mars dating from the transition period from “warm/wet” to “cold/dry” climates. PMID:23378901

  9. Undermining Antarctica

    SciTech Connect

    Mitchell, B.

    1988-02-01

    Antarctica is not a global footnote. Its seas contain one of the world's richest concentrations of marine life. And the continent and adjacent shelf may harbor quantities of oil, gas, and other minerals. Many nations want to cash in on these resources. So in 1980 the member countries of the Antarctic Treaty - the agreement that sets the continent aside as a peaceful scientific reserve - signed a pact to regulate the harvesting of fish and other Antarctic life. Now the group, consisting today of 37 nations, is trying to finish a legal framework for exploiting minerals in the region. Antarctica plays a vital role in global atmospheric and oceanic systems. Its vast frozen crust, which accounts for more than 90 percent of the world's ice, greatly affects weather and sea levels and contains an invaluable record of the earth's climatic history. The continent provides precious information on increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide and global pollutants such as DDT. In other words, what happens to Antarctica is of vital importance to us all. It is essential, then, that the minerals pact now being devised heed the concerns of the many nations that don't have a say in Antarctica today, and that it does not endanger this precious continent.

  10. Cationic Analysis of the Byrd Station, Antarctica, Ice Core.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    Eighty-five ice samples taken from the Byrd Station, Antarctica, ice core were analyzed for Na(+), K(+), Ca(2+), and Mg(2+) concentrations by atomic absorption spectroscopy . The depth measured was from 168 to 2090 m.

  11. Bringing Antarctica Home

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Constible, Juanita; Williams, Lauren; Faure, Jaime; Lee, Richard E., Jr.

    2012-01-01

    When one thinks of the amazing creatures of Antarctica, an insect probably does not come to mind. But this unlikely animal, and a scientific expedition to Antarctica, was the foundation for a learning event that created a community of learners spanning kindergarten through sixth grade and extended beyond the classroom. Miami University's Antarctic…

  12. Antarctica - Ross Ice Shelf

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    This color picture of Antarctica is one part of a mosaic of pictures covering the entire polar continent taken during the hours following Galileo's historic first encounter with its home planet. The view shows the Ross Ice Shelf to the right and its border with the sea. An occasional mountain can be seen poking through the ice near the McMurdo Station. It is late spring in Antarctica, so the sun never sets on the frigid, icy continent. This picture was taken about 6:20 p.m. PST on December 8, 1990. From top to bottom, the frame looks across about half of Antarctica.

  13. Living and Working in Antarctica.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kemp, Noel

    This source book, designed for 11- to 14-year-old students, seeks to describe what life is like in Antarctica. In spite of extreme weather conditions, people go to Antarctica to work every summer. Some of them stay there during the winter as well. This book seeks to supply answers to such questions as: How do people get to Antarctica? Why do they…

  14. Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    This pair of MISR images of the Pine Island Glacier in western Antarctica was acquired on December 12, 2000 during Terra orbit 5246. At left is a conventional, true-color image from the downward-looking (nadir) camera. The false-color image at right is a composite of red band data taken by the MISR forward 60-degree, nadir, and aftward 60-degree cameras, displayed in red, green, and blue colors, respectively. Color variations in the left (true-color) image highlight spectral differences. In the multi-angle composite, on the other hand, color variations act as a proxy for differences in the angular reflectance properties of the scene. In this representation, clouds show up as light purple. Blue to orange gradations on the surface indicate a transition in ice texture from smooth to rough. For example, the bright orange 'carrot-like' features are rough crevasses on the glacier's tongue. In the conventional nadir view, the blue ice labeled 'rough crevasses' and 'smooth blue ice' exhibit similar coloration, but the multi-angle composite reveals their different textures, with the smoother ice appearing dark purple instead of orange. This could be an indicator of different mechanisms by which this ice is exposed. The multi-angle view also reveals subtle roughness variations on the frozen sea ice between the glacier and the open water in Pine Island Bay.

    To the left of the 'icebergs' label are chunks of floating ice. Additionally, smaller icebergs embedded in the frozen sea ice are visible below and to the right of the label. These small icebergs are associated with dark streaks. Analysis of the illumination geometry suggests that these streaks are surface features, not shadows. Wind-driven motion and thinning of the sea ice in the vicinity of the icebergs is one possible explanation.

    Recently, Robert Bindschadler, a glaciologist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center discovered in Landsat 7 imagery a newly-formed crack traversing the Pine Island Glacier. This crack

  15. Married to Antarctica.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Monastersky, Richard

    1991-01-01

    A novel theory about Earth's ancient history is presented. It is proposed that North America and Antarctica once lay side by side for perhaps as long as a billion years. The importance of these continental connections to geology and other disciplines is discussed. (KR)

  16. Antarctica: Discovery & Exploration.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gascoigne, Toss; Collett, Peter

    An examination of Antarctica, from the first sightings to the heroic explorations of the late 18th and early 19th centuries to modern-day research, is presented in this book. Twelve chapters are as follows: (1) The search begins; (2) Whalers and sealers: bites and nibbles; (3) The new continent: first sight; (4) Wintering: the first party; (5)…

  17. Getting Antarctica down Cold!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sandmeier, Kay; Greeson, Linda

    1990-01-01

    Outlines learning activities for applying geography's five fundamental themes to studying Antarctica and points out the learning potential, for studying the economic, historical, and political geography of the continent. Groups activities for grades K-5, 6-8, and 8-12. Stresses cooperative learning in general, and includes a role play activity for…

  18. Tectonics of Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hamilton, W.

    1967-01-01

    Antarctica consists of large and wholly continental east Antarctica and smaller west Antarctica which would form large and small islands, even after isostatic rebound, if its ice cap were melted. Most of east Antarctica is a Precambrian Shield, in much of which charnockites are characteristic. The high Transantarctic Mountains, along the Ross and Weddell Seas, largely follow a geosyncline of Upper Precambrian sedimentary rocks that were deformed, metamorphosed and intruded by granitic rocks during Late Cambrian or Early Ordovician time. The rocks of the orogen were peneplained, then covered by thin and mostly continental Devonian-Jurassic sediments, which were intruded by Jurassic diabase sheets and overlain by plateau-forming tholeiites. Late Cenozoic doming and block-faulting have raised the present high mountains. Northeastern Victoria Land, the end of the Transantarctic Mountains south of New Zealand, preserves part of a Middle Paleozoic orogen. Clastic strata laid unconformably upon the Lower Paleozoic plutonic complex were metamorphosed at low grade, highly deformed and intruded by Late Devonian or Early Carboniferous granodiorites. The overlying Triassic continental sedimentary rocks have been broadly folded and normal-faulted. Interior west Antarctica is composed of miogeosynclinal clastic and subordinate carbonate rocks which span the Paleozoic Era and which were deformed, metamorphosed at generally low grade, and intruded by granitic rocks during Early Mesozoic time and possibly during other times also. Patterns of orogenic belts, if systematic, cannot yet be defined; but fragmentation and rotation of crustal blocks by oroclinal folding and strike-slip faulting can be suggested. The Ellsworth Mountains, for example, consist of Cambrian-Permian metasedimentary rocks that strike northward toward the noncorrelative and latitudinally striking Mesozoic terrane of the Antarctic Peninsula in one direction and southward toward that of the Lower Paleozoic: terrane

  19. Ozone Hole Over Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    These images from the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) show the progressive depletion of ozone over Antarctica from 1979 to 1999. This 'ozone hole' has extended to cover an area as large as 10.5 million square miles in September 1998. The previous record of 10.0 million square miles was set in 1996. The Antarctic ozone hole develops each year between late August and early October. Regions with higher levels of ozone are shown in red. NASA and NOAA instruments have been measuring Antarctic ozone levels since the early 1970s. Large regions of depleted ozone began to develop over Antarctica in the early 1980s. Ozone holes of substantial size and depth are likely to continue to form during the next few years, scientists hope to see a reduction in ozone loss as levels of ozone-destroying CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) are gradually reduced. Credit: Images by Greg Shirah, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

  20. Volcanic alert in antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bush, Susan

    1992-01-01

    On January 14, members of the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP) were alerted to possible volcanic activity on Deception Island, Antarctica. The island, located at latitude 62%57‧S, longitude 60'40‧W, attracts many tourists.COMNAP is a group of national program managers of 25 countries that have government programs in the Antarctic. Its function is to implement measures adopted by the Antarctic Treaty parties, including fostering international cooperation in scientific research.

  1. Atmospheric rivers in Antarctica?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsukernik, M.; Lynch, A. H.

    2013-12-01

    Changes and variability in the surface mass balance signify one of the most puzzling questions of the present and future changes in Antarctica. In particular, understanding accumulation in the Eastern part of Antarctic continent presents a great challenge due to sparse and erratic observational network. Several previous publications reported an anomalously high precipitation in May 2009 in Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctica. This anomaly, supported by weather station data from the Princess Elisabeth station, 71°057' S, 23°021' E, 1392m asl, 173 km inland, also corresponded to anomalously high meridional moisture transport across the Southern Ocean inland. Using data from the ERA-Interim reanalysis project and a modified definition for the polar regions, May 2009 event has been classified as an atmospheric river event. Atmospheric river events, traditionally defined in the midlatitudes, are particularly strong and narrow corridors of moisture in middle atmosphere that can result in intense precipitation events once they reach the coast. May 2009 event was the first atmospheric river identified as far south as the Antarctic continent. In this study we perform a detailed analysis of the May 2009 atmospheric river event utilizing data from ERA -Interim and Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model simulations. We assess the role of the large-scale atmospheric circulation, particularly the role of the Zonal Wave 3 anomaly. We also investigate the synoptic-scale development of a storm that led to anomalous precipitation event in East Antarctica. We assess the role of upper and lower level forcing with the help of the quasi-geostrophic omega equation. We believe that such in-depth analysis of the dynamics of an atmospheric river event is crucial for better understanding present and future accumulation in the East Antarctica.

  2. Landscape evolution of Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jamieson, S.S.R.; Sugden, D.E.

    2007-01-01

    shelf before retreating to its present dimensions at ~13.5 Ma. Subsequent changes in ice extent have been forced mainly by sea-level change. Weathering rates of exposed bedrock have been remarkably slow at high elevations around the margin of East Antarctica under the hyperarid polar climate of the last ~13.5 Ma, offering potential for a long quantitative record of ice-sheet evolution with techniques such as cosmogenic isotope analysis

  3. Informal STEM Education in Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chell, K.

    2010-12-01

    Tourism in Antarctica has increased dramatically with tens of thousands of tourists visiting the White Continent each year. Tourism cruises to Antarctica offer a unique educational experience for lay people through informal science-technology-engineering-mathematics (STEM) education. Passengers attend numerous scientific lectures that cover topics such as the geology of Antarctica, plate tectonics, glaciology, and climate change. Furthermore, tourists experience the geology and glaciology first hand during shore excursions. Currently, the grand challenges facing our global society are closely connected to the Earth sciences. Issues such as energy, climate change, water security, and natural hazards, are consistently on the legislative docket of policymakers around the world. However, the majority of the world’s population is uninformed about the role Earth sciences play in their everyday lives. Tourism in Antarctica provides opportunities for informal STEM learning and, as a result, tourists leave with a better understanding and greater appreciation for both Antarctica and Earth sciences.

  4. Magnetotelluric measurements in Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trivedi, N. B.; Padilha, A. L.; Barbosa, M. J. F.

    1986-11-01

    In the period of 2/14/86 to 3/7/86, during the 4th Brazilian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica, organized through the CIRM (Comissao Interministerial para Recursos do Mar), Station Commander Ferraz, (62 deg 5 min S, 58 deg 23.5 min W), magnetotelluric measurements were accomplished in 120 second intervals for DC. This measurement complemented the former, accomplished in the preceeding year between 20 and 400 seconds and although it presented excellent agreement in the overlapping intervals, it was a difficult interpretation. A Hilbert transformation technique was utilized for solving this problem, which brought to mind similar obtained resistivity values. The preliminary results encountered were presented and discussed.

  5. Hovercraft experience in Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cook, Harvey C.

    The Model 1500 TD air-cushion vehicle (ACV) has been modified for the extreme conditions encountered in Antarctic operations; these operations began in the 1988-1989 austral summer. Performance evaluations covering 300 hours of engine operations have been obtained which demonstrate the basic soundness of this ACV's design and construction, and its applicability to Antarctic operations, where it was able to reduce travel time and fuel consumption in excess of 40 percent. In addition, passenger comfort was increased manyfold over wheeled and tracked vehicles for comparable missions. The ACV is judged capable of solving many of the transportation problems experienced in Antarctica.

  6. Antarctica Day: An International Celebration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pope, A.; Hambrook Berkman, J.; Berkman, P. A.

    2013-12-01

    For more than half a century, the 1959 Antarctic Treaty continues to shine as a rare beacon of international cooperation. To celebrate this milestone of peace in our civilization with hope and inspiration for future generations, Antarctica Day is celebrated each year on December 1st , the anniversary of the Antarctic Treaty signing. As an annual event - initiated by the Foundation for the Good Governance of International Spaces (www.internationalspaces.org/) in collaboration with the Association of Polar Early Carer Scientists (www.apecs.is) - Antarctica Day encourages participation from around the world. The Antarctic Treaty set aside 10% of the earth, 'forever to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes in the interest of mankind.' It was the first nuclear arms agreement and the first institution to govern all human activities in an international region beyond sovereign jurisdictions. In this spirit, Antarctica Day aims to: - Demonstrate how diverse nations can work together peacefully, using science as a global language of cooperation for decision making beyond national boundaries, - Provide strategies for students learning about Antarctica through art, science and history at all school levels, - Increase collaboration and communication between classrooms, communities, researchers and government officials around the world, and - Provide a focus for polar educators to build on each year. Through close collaboration with a number of partners. Antarctica Day activities have included: a Polar Film Festival convened by The Explorers Club; live sessions connecting classrooms with scientists in Antarctica thanks to PolarTREC and ARCUS; an international activity that involved children from 13 countries who created over 600 flags which exemplify Antarctica Day (these were actually flown in Antarctica with signed certificates then returned to the classes); a map where Antarctica Day participants all over the world could share what they were doing; an Antarctic bird count

  7. Meteorites, Ice, and Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassidy, William A.

    2003-08-01

    Bill Cassidy led meteorite recovery expeditions in the Antarctic for fifteen years and his searches have resulted in the collection of thousands of meteorite specimens from the ice. This personal account of his field experiences on the U.S. Antarctic Search for Meteorites Project reveals the influence the work has had on our understanding of the moon, Mars and the asteroid belt. Cassidy describes the hardships and dangers of fieldwork in a hostile environment, as well as the appreciation he developed for its beauty. William Cassidy is Emeritus Professor of Geology and Planetary Science at the University of Pittsburgh. He initiated the U.S. Antarctic Search for Meteorites (ANSMET) nroject and led meteorite recovery expeditions in Antarctica in1976. His name is found attached to a mineral (cassidyite), on the map of Antarctica (Cassidy Glacier), and in the Catalog of Asteroids (3382 Cassidy). Profiled in "American Men of Science," and "Who's Who in America," he is also a recipient of The Antarctic Service Medal from the United States and has published widely in Science, Meteoritics and Planetary Science, and The Journal of Geophysical Research.

  8. Astronomy in Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burton, Michael G.

    2010-10-01

    Antarctica provides a unique environment for astronomers to practice their trade. The cold, dry and stable air found above the high Antarctic plateau, as well as the pure ice below, offers new opportunities for the conduct of observational astronomy across both the photon and the particle spectrum. The summits of the Antarctic plateau provide the best seeing conditions, the darkest skies and the most transparent atmosphere of any earth-based observing site. Astronomical activities are now underway at four plateau sites: the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, Concordia Station at Dome C, Kunlun Station at Dome A and Fuji Station at Dome F, in addition to long duration ballooning from the coastal station of McMurdo, at stations run by the USA, France/Italy, China, Japan and the USA, respectively. The astronomy conducted from Antarctica includes optical, infrared, terahertz and sub-millimetre astronomy, measurements of cosmic microwave background anisotropies, solar astronomy, as well as high energy astrophysics involving the measurement of cosmic rays, gamma rays and neutrinos. Antarctica is also the richest source of meteorites on our planet. An extensive range of site testing measurements have been made over the high plateau sites. In this article, we summarise the facets of Antarctica that are driving developments in astronomy there, and review the results of the site testing experiments undertaken to quantify those characteristics of the Antarctic plateau relevant for astronomical observation. We also outline the historical development of the astronomy on the continent, and then review the principal scientific results to have emerged over the past three decades of activity in the discipline. These range from determination of the dominant frequencies of the 5 min solar oscillation in 1979 to the highest angular scale measurements yet made of the power spectrum of the CMBR anisotropies in 2010. They span through infrared views of the galactic ecology in star

  9. Glaciers of Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, Richard S.; Ferrigno, Jane G.

    1988-01-01

    Of all the world?s continents Antarctica is the coldest, the highest, and the least known. It is one and a half times the size of the United States, and on it lies 91 percent (30,109,800 km3) of the estimated volume of all the ice on Earth. Because so little is known about Antarctic glaciers compared with what is known about glaciers in populated countries, satellite imagery represents a great leap forward in the provision of basic data. From the coast of Antarctica to about 81?south latitude, there are 2,514 Landsat nominal scene centers (the fixed geographic position of the intersection of orbital paths and latitudinal rows). If there were cloud-free images for all these geographic centers, only about 520 Landsat images would be needed to provide complete coverage. Because of cloud cover, however, only about 70 percent of the Landsat imaging area, or 55 percent of the continent, is covered by good quality Landsat images. To date, only about 20 percent of Antarctica has been mapped at scales of 1:250,000 or larger, but these maps do include about half of the coastline. The area of Antarctica that could be planimetrically mapped at a scale of 1:250,000 would be tripled if the available Landsat images were used in image map production. This chapter contains brief descriptions and interpretations of features seen in 62 carefully selected Landsat images or image mosaics. Images were chosen on the basis of quality and interest; for this reason they are far from evenly spaced around the continent. Space limitations allow less than 15 percent of the Landsat imaging area of Antarctica to be shown in the illustrations reproduced in this chapter. Unfortunately, a wealth of glaciological and other features of compelling interest is present in the many hundreds of images that could not be included. To help show some important features beyond the limit of Landsat coverage, and as an aid to the interpretation of certain features seen in the images, 38 oblique aerial photographs

  10. PORTLAND CEMENT CONCRETE FOR ANTARCTICA.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    formulation of recommended procedures for batching, mixing, placing, and curing of portland cement concrete in Antarctica. The pertinent features of the mix and design and related procedures are given. (Author)

  11. Antarctica: The Next Decade

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rowley, Peter D.

    Laurence M. Gould, in charge of United States efforts during the International Geophysical Year (IGY, 1957-1958) and a longterm spokesman for Antarctic science, once remarked that it was the cooperative efforts during the IGY in Antarctica, “coldest of all the continents, that witnessed the first thawing of the cold war.”The Antarctic Treaty, which governs all activities on the continent, was an outgrowth of the IGY. The Treaty—the model international agreement for peaceful cooperation—was signed in 1959 and became effective in 1961. As it nears its historic 30-year anniversary, it has been the subject of a blitz of recent publications, partly because of a general misapprehension that the Treaty might “expire” then and partly the result of controversial negotiations on the recently (June 1988) adopted Convention on the Regulation of Antarctic Mineral Resource Activities (CRAMRA).

  12. Atmospheric sciences in Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meriwether, John W., Jr.

    1988-02-01

    The Antarctic is an interesting land that has become the focus of much attention in the last decade. Its undisturbed geological record dating back to the last interglacial period, a locale with seas and lakes populated with interesting organisms, a land with beautiful twilights and lovely cirrus and stratospheric cloud formations, a whole continent dedicated by international treaty to scientific research-these factors provide good reasons for the renewed interest. A recent review by Weller et al. [1987] explores in more detail the many scientific ideas that make Antarctica an attractive laboratory. Studies relating to sundry aspects of the Earth's geosphere-biosphere system draw scientists from the whole spectrum of scientific disciplines.

  13. Petroleum geology of western Antarctica

    SciTech Connect

    Kingston, J. )

    1990-05-01

    Antarctica's geology is mostly obscured by thick, moving ice that covers 95% of the land and continental shelf. Reconnaissance investigations of outcrops, shallow boreholes, and geophysical surveys are limited and peripheral owing to ice coverage. However, it is possible to outline substantial elements of the regional geology. Further insight is gained by comparison to analogous sedimentary provinces, especially provinces once adjoined within the framework of the Gondwana supercontinent until middle Cretaceous. The petroleum potential of Antarctica, as in the case of the other related high-standing Gondwana continental fragments, is in Early Cretaceous rifts associated with the Gondwana breakup and with the Pacific convergence in the west Antarctica back arc. The Pacific-facing western Antarctica includes two structural provinces: (1) the Cretaceous and younger interior rift system on the east side of the Weddell and Ross Sea embayment, which contain aulacogens that form the boundary with East Antarctica and (2) the back-arc and fore-arc basins adjoining the Antarctica Peninsula and extending into Marie Byrd Land and the Bellingshausen Sea which are associated with the eastward convergence of the Pacific plate. The petroleum potential of the rifts may be assessed by analogies with related rifts of Australia, India, and South Africa; assessment of the convergent basins of western Antarctica depends upon analogy with similar basins of South America, New Zealand, and Indonesia. An estimate of the petroleum potential of western Antarctica generally is comparable with oil and gas occurrences (both in overall quantity and in field sizes) in the other Gondwana continental fragments. However, in view of the thict moving ice cover, the remote locale, and severe climate, petroleum production is largely beyond technology at this time and probably is economically unfeasible.

  14. Earth - Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    This color picture of Antarctica is one part of a mosaic of pictures covering the entire Antarctic continent taken during the hours following Galileo's historic first encounter with its home planet. The view shows the Ross Ice Shelf. An occasional mountain can be seen poking through the ice. It is late spring in Antarctica, so the sun never sets on the frigid, icy continent. This picture was taken on December 8, 1990.

  15. Peculiar spherules from Antarctica and their origin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tazawa, Y.; Fujii, Y.

    1984-01-01

    Two calcium titanium oxide spherules (CTS) and an iron chromium nickel oxide one (FCN) were obtained from a segment of ice core collected at Mizuho Station, East Antarctica. An anomalous REE abundance pattern enriched in Sm by a factor of about 10 relative to the typical pattern of terrestrial perovskites was found. Subsequently, more than forty spherules from ten other depth ranges of the ice core were analyzed: (1) both CTS and FCN occur in every depth range; (2) CTS, FCN, and other are in the ratio of about 2:21 among all the analyzed spherules; (3) all of CTS show the same chemical and mineralogical characteristics as those previously obtained; (4) CTS contains some amounts of Cr and Fe, and/or FCN contains Ca and Ti; and (5) two composite particles exist among all the spherules. It is implied that CTS and FCN had originated in a common natural material and from a common natural process.

  16. My IGY in Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bentley, Charles

    2012-01-01

    Dr Charles Bentley is the A.P. Crary Professor Emeritus of Geophysics, Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Bentley joined the Arctic Institute of North America in 1956 to participate in International Geophysical Year (IGY)-related activities in the Antarctic. He wintered over consecutively in 1957 and 1958 at Byrd Station, a station in the interior of West Antarctica that housed 24 men each winter - 12 Navy support people and 12 civilian scientists/technicians. During the austral summers, he also participated in over-snow traverses, first as co-leader, then leader (the other coleader went home after the first year). These traverses consisted of six men and three vehicles, and lasted several months. These traverses covered more than 1609 kilometers (1000 miles) of largely unmapped and unphotographed terrain. During these traverses, connections to Byrd Station were by radio (daily, when the transmission conditions were good enough) and roughly every 2 weeks by resupply flight.

  17. Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    2007-01-01

    Description Fact sheet introduces the Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica (LIMA) with images from a section of the mosaic over McMurdo Station, descriptions of the four versions of LIMA, where to access and download LIMA, and a brief explanation of the Antarctic Web portal.

  18. Antarctica: intellectual Armistice Since 1961

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-05-21

    Global population growth, natural resource scarcity, and climate change are altering Antarctica’s operational environment, requiring the Department of...Water Shortage, Global Population Growth, Climate Change, SOUTHCOM, PACOM, Deparmentally Aligned Forces, Unfied Command Plan 16. SECURITY...of international discord. Although Antarctica has been free of conflict for the last sixty years, the operational environment has changed. Global

  19. Surface winds over West Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bromwich, David

    1993-01-01

    Five winter months (April-August 1988) of thermal infrared satellite images were examined to investigate the occurrence of dark (warm) signatures across the Ross Ice Shelf in the Antarctic continent. These features are inferred to be generated by katabatic winds that descend from southern Marie Byrd Land and then blow horizontally across the ice shelf. Significant mass is added to this airstream by katabatic winds blowing from the major glaciers that flow through the Transantarctic Mountains from East Antarctica. These negatively buoyant katabatic winds can reach the northwestern edge of the shelf - a horizontal propagation distance of up to 1,000 km - 14 percent of the time. Where the airstream crosses from the ice shelf to the ice-covered Ross Sea, a prominent coastal polynya is formed. Because the downslope buoyancy force is near zero over the Ross Ice Shelf, the northwestward propagation of the katabatic air mass requires pressure gradient support. The study shows that the extended horizontal propagation of this atmospheric density current occurred in conjunction with the passage of synoptic cyclones over the southern Amundsen Sea. These cyclones can strengthen the pressure gradient in the interior of West Antarctica and make the pressure field favorable for northwestward movement of the katabatic winds from West Antarctica across the ice shelf in a geostrophic direction. The glacier winds from East Antarctica are further accelerated by the synoptic pressure gradient, usually undergo abrupt adjustment beyond the exit to the glacier valley, and merge into the mountain-parallel katabatic air mass.

  20. Hydrogeochemistry of sulfate-affected landscapes in Keller Peninsula, Maritime Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Souza, José João L. L.; Schaefer, Carlos Ernesto G. R.; Abrahão, Walter Antônio P.; de Mello, Jaime Wilson V.; Simas, Felipe N. B.; da Silva, Juscimar; Francelino, Márcio R.

    2012-06-01

    Keller Peninsula, located in King George Island, has a typical Maritime Antarctica climatic regime, with higher temperatures and rainfall than other areas in Continental Antarctica. The main outcropping rocks are pyritized andesites, volcaniclastics and basalts. Recent pedological investigation indicated that the presence of sulfides in Keller Peninsula accelerates the weathering process. The aim of this work was the determination of the geochemical background in water channels following geomorphological gradients in Keller Peninsula, Maritime Antarctica. We delimited and mapped all catchments in Keller Peninsula using GIS techniques and field observations. Water samples were analyzed for twenty-nine elements by ICP-OES and IEC, after the proper treatments. Eight catchments were identified as sulfide-affected, although water pH was nearly neutral. The ionic concentration in solution was high, both in non-affected and sulfide-affected catchments, with a trend of greater values in the latter, and changing downslope. Concentration values are above the range of other hydrogeochemical studies from elsewhere in Antarctica. The values of molar ratio HCO3-:(Ca + Mg)2 + and Na+:Cl- indicated the absence of carbonate-bearing rocks. Local precipitation of evaporites, as gypsum and epsomite was confirmed by the Ca2 +:SO42 - and Mg2 +:SO42 - molar ratios. The high ionic concentration in sulfide-affected areas illustrates the role of sulfate soil formation in this part of Antarctica.

  1. [Medicine at a polar station in Antarctica].

    PubMed

    Brat, Kristián; Zvěřina, Ondřej

    2015-12-01

    The paper describes specific aspects of work of a scientific expedition doctor and the stay and life at a polar research station in Antarctica. Apart from the outline of everyday problems, the first named author also learns about the history of medical practitioners working in Antarctica, writes about the results of the biomedical research activities conducted in the period of 2011-2014 and briefly describes the daily routine at a scientific polar station in Antarctica.

  2. Improving Snow Roads and Airstrips in Antarctica

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1989-07-01

    in Antarctica Sung M. Lee, Wilbur M. Haas, Robert L. Brown and Albert F. Wuori -LECTE ALIG2 2 1989 Prepared for DIVISION OF POLAR PROGRAMS NATIONAL...Snow Roads and Airstrips in Antarctica 12. PERSONAL AUTHOR(S) Lee, Sung M., Haas, Wilbur M., Brown, Robert L. and Wuori, Albert F. 13a. TYPE OF REPORT...identify by block number) FIELD GROUP SUB-GROUP Aircraft skiway Snow roads Antarctica Snow runways 19. ABSTRACT (Continue on reverse if necessary and

  3. Discovery and exploration of Antarctica

    SciTech Connect

    Craddock, C.

    1987-05-01

    The continent of Antarctica, some 5000 mi/sup 2/ in area, lies almost wholly within the Antarctic Circle. Some ancient philosophers and cartographers postulated the existence of a southern landmass, but the concept remained untested for centuries. In 1772-1775, Captain James Cook circumnavigated the continent and crossed the Antarctic Circle, but he sighted no land and concluded that the existence of a continent was unlikely. The first definite sightings of land by American, British, and Russian ships occurred in the Antarctic Peninsula region near 1820. In 1840, parts of the coast were mapped and landings were made by American, British, and French expeditions led, respectively, by Wilkes, Ross, and d'Urville. The first systematic geological field work was conducted by the Borchgrevink expedition in 1899-1900 near Cape Adare, south of New Zealand. During the first years of the present century, major expeditions were led by such men as Nordenskiold, Scott, Shackleton, Amundsen, and Mawson, culminating in the journeys to the South Pole by Amundsen and Scott during the 1911-1912 field season. The US has sent a number of expeditions to Antarctica during the last 60 years, beginning with the Byrd Expeditions of 1928-1930 and 1933-1935 when aircraft were used extensively and a flight was made to the South Pole. These expeditions were followed by the US Antarctic Service Expedition in 1939-1941. After World War II, US activities resumed with Operation Highjump in 1946-1947, followed the next year by Operation Windmill and the Ronne Antarctic Research Expedition. As late as 1955, most of Antarctica remained poorly known geologically. The International Geophysical Year (IGY) in 1957-1958 led to the building of 48 new stations in Antarctica by 12 nations and marked the beginning of the current period of sustained research.

  4. Icebergs in the Ross Sea, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    Two large icebergs, designated B-15A and C-16, are captured in this MISR nadir camera view of the Ross Ice Shelf and Ross Sea in Antarctica. The image was acquired on December 10, 2000 during Terra orbit 5220.

    Iceberg C-16 calved off the ice shelf in late September and is nearly 50 kilometers in length. It is seen here having migrated to the vicinity of Cape Bird on Ross Island. The initial letter designation in an iceberg's name denotes the longitudinal quadrant in which it is first seen, and new icebergs sighted in that quadrant are sequentially numbered. B-15 divided from the ice shelf last March, and initially was nearly as large as the state of Connecticut. It has since broken up into several pieces, hence the final letter designation in the berg shown in this image.

    Ross Island lies between 77 and 78 degrees south latitude, and consists of several volcanic peaks, of which the still active Mt. Erebus is the tallest (3794 meters). It overlooks McMurdo Station, a U.S. research facility located near the tip of the island's Hut Point Peninsula.

    MISR was built and is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, for NASA's Office of Earth Science, Washington, DC. The Terra satellite is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology.

  5. Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica (LIMA)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    2007-01-01

    For most of us, Antarctica was at best a distant acquaintance. Now, with the Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica (LIMA), we are on intimate terms. In stunning, up-close and personal detail, LIMA brings Antarctica to life. Explore this virtually cloudless, seamless, most geometrically accurate, and highest resolution satellite mosaic of Antarctica. A team of scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey, the British Antarctic Survey, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, with funding from the National Science Foundation, created LIMA in support of the International Polar Year (IPY; 2007?08). As the first major scientific outcome of the IPY, LIMA truly fulfills the IPY goals. LIMA is an international effort, supports current scientific polar research, encourages new projects, and helps the general public visualize Antarctica and changes happening in this southernmost environment. Researchers and the general public can download LIMA and all component Landsat scenes at no charge.

  6. Potential methane reservoirs beneath Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Wadham, J L; Arndt, S; Tulaczyk, S; Stibal, M; Tranter, M; Telling, J; Lis, G P; Lawson, E; Ridgwell, A; Dubnick, A; Sharp, M J; Anesio, A M; Butler, C E H

    2012-08-30

    Once thought to be devoid of life, the ice-covered parts of Antarctica are now known to be a reservoir of metabolically active microbial cells and organic carbon. The potential for methanogenic archaea to support the degradation of organic carbon to methane beneath the ice, however, has not yet been evaluated. Large sedimentary basins containing marine sequences up to 14 kilometres thick and an estimated 21,000 petagrams (1 Pg equals 10(15) g) of organic carbon are buried beneath the Antarctic Ice Sheet. No data exist for rates of methanogenesis in sub-Antarctic marine sediments. Here we present experimental data from other subglacial environments that demonstrate the potential for overridden organic matter beneath glacial systems to produce methane. We also numerically simulate the accumulation of methane in Antarctic sedimentary basins using an established one-dimensional hydrate model and show that pressure/temperature conditions favour methane hydrate formation down to sediment depths of about 300 metres in West Antarctica and 700 metres in East Antarctica. Our results demonstrate the potential for methane hydrate accumulation in Antarctic sedimentary basins, where the total inventory depends on rates of organic carbon degradation and conditions at the ice-sheet bed. We calculate that the sub-Antarctic hydrate inventory could be of the same order of magnitude as that of recent estimates made for Arctic permafrost. Our findings suggest that the Antarctic Ice Sheet may be a neglected but important component of the global methane budget, with the potential to act as a positive feedback on climate warming during ice-sheet wastage.

  7. A novel adenovirus in Chinstrap penguins (Pygoscelis antarctica) in Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Lee, Sook-Young; Kim, Jeong-Hoon; Park, Yon Mi; Shin, Ok Sarah; Kim, Hankyeom; Choi, Han-Gu; Song, Jin-Won

    2014-05-07

    Adenoviruses (family Adenoviridae) infect various organ systems and cause diseases in a wide range of host species. In this study, we examined multiple tissues from Chinstrap penguins (Pygoscelis antarctica), collected in Antarctica during 2009 and 2010, for the presence of novel adenoviruses by PCR. Analysis of a 855-bp region of the hexon gene of a newly identified adenovirus, designated Chinstrap penguin adenovirus 1 (CSPAdV-1), showed nucleotide (amino acid) sequence identity of 71.8% (65.5%) with South Polar skua 1 (SPSAdV-1), 71% (70%) with raptor adenovirus 1 (RAdV-1), 71.4% (67.6%) with turkey adenovirus 3 (TAdV-3) and 61% (61.6%) with frog adenovirus 1 (FrAdV-1). Based on the genetic and phylogenetic analyses, CSPAdV-1 was classified as a member of the genus, Siadenovirus. Virus isolation attempts from kidney homogenates in the MDTC-RP19 (ATCC® CRL-8135™) cell line were unsuccessful. In conclusion, this study provides the first evidence of new adenovirus species in Antarctic penguins.

  8. Tasmania in Nuna: Witness to a ~1.4 Ga East Antarctica-Laurentia Connection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halpin, J. A.; Mulder, J. A.; Daczko, N. R.

    2015-12-01

    Most recent reconstructions of the supercontinent Nuna juxtapose the North Australian craton, Mawson continent (South Australia-East Antarctica), and Laurentia between 1.6 Ga and 1.3 Ga, but differ in their relative positioning. Tasmania (SE Australia) has not been considered in previous Nuna reconstructions. Prior to late Neoproterozoic rifting, this crustal fragment was likely part of the eastern margin of East Antarctica. The significance of Tasmania's position within Nuna has recently been highlighted with the discovery that the majority of a >10-km-thick marine shelfal package exposed in northwest Tasmania (Rocky Cape Group) was deposited between 1.45 and 1.30 Ga. The detrital zircon signatures of these strata are distinct from other Mesoproterozoic basins in Australia, and instead closely resemble time-equivalent upper parts of the Belt-Purcell Basin of Laurentia, suggesting correlations within Nuna. We investigate the provenance of the Rocky Cape Group quartzites by comparing new detrital zircon U-Pb-Hf isotopic data to an extensive compilation of zircon data from Australia, East Antarctica, and Laurentia. Our analysis demonstrates that the Rocky Cape Group is unlikely to have been sourced from any geological terrane exposed in present-day Australia. Instead, zircon isotopic signatures from basement terranes in Laurentia and East Antarctica show striking similarities to the Rocky Cape Group detrital signature. Paleocurrent data indicate a northwest-southeast-trending paleoshoreline
and suggest that the majority of sediment was sourced from Paleoproterozoic crust in SW Laurentia, which was to the southeast (present-day coordinates) of Tasmania. These new data support a SWEAT-like (southwest United States-East Antarctica) configuration for Nuna. We suggest that rifting propagated southward from ca. 1.4 Ga, leaving a thinned continental connection between East Antarctica and southwest Laurentia onto which the lower-middle RCG was deposited prior to 1.3 Ga.

  9. Tectonic structure of East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leychenkov, German; Grikurov, Garrik; Golynsky, Alexander

    2013-04-01

    First overviews of tectonic structure of the Southern Continent were made by the pioneers of Antarctic earth science investigations almost 100 years ago. Despite rapidly advancing international geological studies under the Antarctic Treaty, the presentations of Antarctic tectonic structure remained largely speculative until the end of the past century when implementation of modern analytical and remote-sensing research technologies enabled compilation of more credible tectonic models of Antarctica. The East Antarctic bedrock consists mainly of the Precambrian crystalline complexes and the Paleozoic-Early Mesozoic platform units. Crystalline Shield is locally complicated by Neoproterozoic aulacogenes and Late Paleozoic to Mesozoic rifts. Shield assemblages reliably recognized in coastal outcrops indicate the predominant occurrence of Archean cratonic nuclei and Mesoproterozoic mobile belts. The undisturbed platform cover strata are exposed in East Antarctica mainly along its boundary with West Antarctica. Tectonic structure of ice-covered regions (more that 99% of the East Antarctic territory) is interpreted using mostly magnetic and bedrock topography data, but other geophysical and geological information (satellite, airborne and over-ice gravity; seismology; active seismics; erratics; detrital zircons dates; etc.) is also important. Archean cratons are geologically documented in western Dronning Maud Land, Enderby Land, Princess Elizabeth Land and in the southern Prince Charles Mts. Their distribution under the ice is marked by a specific magnetic pattern including low-amplitude mosaic and/or high-amplitude long-wavelength anomalies. The most extensive ancient craton being 1000 km across is believed to extend from the southern Prince Charles Mts. to the Gamburtsev Mts. Mesoproterozoic mobile belts are distinguished by elongated high-amplitude magnetic anomalies and are mapped along the costal area as the zone of 250-600 km wide. The Gamburtsev Mts. area is also

  10. Seasonal features of black carbon measured at Syowa Station, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hara, K.; Osada, K.; Yabuki, M.; Shiobara, M.; Yamanouchi, T.

    2015-12-01

    Black carbon (BC) is one of important aerosol constituents because the strong light absorption ability. Low concentrations of aerosols and BC let BC make insignificant contribution to aerosol radiative forcing in the Antarctica at the moment. Because of less or negligible source strength of BC in the Antarctic circle, BC can be used as a tracer of transport from the mid-latitudes. This study aims to understand seasonal feature, transport pathway, and origins of black carbon in the Antarctic coats. Black carbon measurement has been made using 7-wavelength aethalometer at Syowa Station, Antarctica since February, 2005. Mass BC concentrations were estimated from light attenuation by Weingartner's correction procedure (Weingartner et al., 2003) in this study. Detection limit was 0.2 - 0.4 ng/m3 in our measurement conditions (2-hour resolution and flow rate of ca. 10LPM). BC concentrations ranged from near detection limit to 55.7 ng/m3 at Syowa Station, Antarctica during the measurements. No trend has been observed since February, 2005. High BC concentrations were coincident with poleward flow from the mid-latitudes under the storm conditions by cyclone approach, whereas low BC concentrations were found in transport from coastal regions and the Antarctic continent. Considering that outflow from South America and Southern Africa affect remarkably air quality in the Southern Ocean of Atlantic and Indian Ocean sectors, BC at Syowa Station might be originated from biomass burning and human activity on South America and Southern Africa. Seasonal features of BC at Syowa Station shows maximum in September - October and lower in December - April. Spring maximum in September - October was obtained at the other Antarctic stations (Neumayer, Halley, South pole, and Ferraz). Although second maximum was found in January at the other stations, the maximum was not observed at Syowa Station.

  11. Antarctica - operating conditions and petroleum prospects

    SciTech Connect

    Ivanhoe, L.F.

    1980-12-29

    With an area of 5.48 million mi/sup 2/, Antarctica is only slightly smaller than South America and rests upon the world's deepest continental shelf. The Transantarctic Mountains separate East Antarctica - a high ice-covered plateau - from West Antarctica, an archipelago of mountainous islands covered and bonded by ice. The average thickness of the 1.16 million mi/sup 3/ ice sheet that covers 95% of the continent is about 6600 ft. The geologic structure consists of six tectonic units. Economic feasibility is the critical factor affecting the development and transport of Antarctica's ice-covered hydrocarbon reserves. Comparisons with other southern Gondwanaland continents suggest that any hydrocarbons found are likely to be moderate in size, not the supergiant fields needed to justify commercial exploitation.

  12. History of Astrophysics in Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Indermuehle, Balthasar T.; Burton, Michael C.; Maddison, Sarah T.

    We examine the historical development of astrophysical science in Antarctica from the early 20th century until today. We find three temporally overlapping eras with each having a rather distinct beginning. These are the astrogeological era of meteorite discovery the high energy era of particle detectors and the photon astronomy era of microwave sub-mm and infrared telescopes sidelined by a few optical niche experiments. The favourable atmospheric and geophysical conditions are briefly examined followed by an account of the major experiments and a summary of their results. A scientific effectiveness analysis of the various projects is presented quantitatively and we conclude with an outlook of what is to come in the 21st century

  13. Geoethical approach to mineral activities in Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Talalay, Pavel

    2013-04-01

    Antarctica is the outermost from civilization space continent. From 14.0 million km2 of surface area about 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice that averages at least 1.6 km in thickness. Geologically, the continent is the least explored in the world, and it is almost absolutely unknown what mineral resources Antarctica has as they are buried in rock that is covered by a thick ice sheet. It is thought to have large and valuable mineral deposits under the ice. This is because of what has been found in samples taken from the small areas of rock that are exposed, and also from what has been found in South Africa and South America. Up until 180 million years ago, Antarctica was a part of the Gondwanaland super continent, attached to South America, the Southern part of Africa, India and Australia, these continents then drifted apart until they reached their current positions. This leads to a possibility that Antarctica may also share some of the mineral wealth of these continents. Right now on the ice-free areas of Antarctica iron ore, chromium, copper, gold, nickel, platinum, coal and hydrocarbons have been found. The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, also known as the Madrid Protocol, was signed in 1991 by the signatories to the Antarctic Treaty and became law in January 1998. The Protocol provides for comprehensive protection of the Antarctic environment and associated ecosystems and includes a ban on all commercial mining for at least fifty years (this is up for review in 2041). Current climate change and melting ice in Polar Regions is opening up new opportunities to exploit mineral and oil resources. Even Antarctica's weather, ice and distance from any industrialized areas mean that mineral extraction would be extremely expensive and also extremely dangerous, the depletion of mineral recourses on the Earth can reverse banning of mining in Antarctica in future. There is no question that any resource exploitation in Antarctica will cause

  14. Potential seaways across West Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vaughan, David G.; Barnes, David K. A.; Fretwell, Peter T.; Bingham, Robert G.

    2011-10-01

    The West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS) has long been considered vulnerable to rapid retreat and today parts are rapidly losing ice. Projection of future change in WAIS is, however, hampered by our poor understanding of past changes, especially during interglacial periods that could be analogs for the future, but which undoubtedly provide an opportunity for testing predictive models. We consider how ice-loss would open seaways across WAIS; these would likely alter Southern Ocean circulation and climate, and would broadly define the de-glacial state, but they may also have left evidence of their existence in the coastal seas they once connected. We show the most likely routes for such seaways, and that a direct seaway between Weddell and Ross seas, which did not pass through the Amundsen Sea sector, is unlikely. Continued ice-loss at present rates would open seaways between Amundsen and Weddell seas (A-W), and Amundsen and Bellingshausen seas (A-B), in around one thousand years. This timescale indicates potential future vulnerability, but also suggests seaways may have opened in recent interglacial periods. We attempt to test this hypothesis using contemporary bryozoan species assemblages around Antarctica, concluding that anomalously high similarity in assemblages in the Weddell and Amundsen seas supports recent migration through A-W. Other authors have suggested opening of seaways last occurred during Marine Isotope Stage 7a (209 ka BP), but we conclude that opening could have occurred in MIS 5e (100 ka BP) when Antarctica was warmer than present and likely contributed to global sea levels higher than today.

  15. The seismic noise environment of Antarctica

    DOE PAGES

    Anthony, Robert E.; Aster, Richard C.; Wiens, Douglas; ...

    2014-11-26

    Seismographic coverage of Antarctica prior to 2007 consisted overwhelmingly of a handful of long running and sporadically deployed transient stations, many of which were principally collocated with scientific research stations. Thus, despite very cold temperatures, sunless winters, challenging logistics, and extreme storms, recent developments in polar instrumentation driven by new scientific objectives have opened up the entirety of Antarctica to year–round and continuous seismological observation (e.g., Nyblade et al., 2012).

  16. The separation of Ceylon from Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schreider, Al. A.; Schreider, A. A.; Boiko, A. N.; Kashintsev, G. L.; Evsenko, E. I.

    2011-08-01

    The geometry of the junction between Ceylon and Antarctica during the Gondwanaland breakup is still under discussion. Analysis of the available geological-geophysical materials has allowed the peculiarities of Ceylon separation from Antarctica to be characterized, the new paleogeodynamical reconstruction to be elaborated, and a prognosis of the tectonic structure and mineral resources in the areas of Antarctic coast that were adjacent to Ceylon to be made.

  17. Antarctica and global paleogeography: from Rodinia, rhrough Gondwanaland and Pangea, to the birth of the Southern Ocean and the opening of gateways

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Torsvik, T.H.; Gaina, C.; Redfield, T.F.

    2007-01-01

    Neoproterozoic Rodinia reconstructions associate East Antarctica (EANT) with cratonic Western Australia. By further linking EANT to both Gondwana and Pangea with relative plate circuits, a Synthetic Apparent Polar Wander (SAPW) path for EANT is calculated. This path predicts that EANT was located at tropical to subtropical southerly latitudes from ca. 1 Ga to 420 Ma. Around 400 Ma and again at 320 Ma, EANT underwent southward drift. Ca. 250 Ma Antarctica voyaged briefly north but headed south again ca. 200 Ma. Since 75 Ma EANT became surrounded by spreading centers and has remained extremely stable. Although paleomagnetic data of the blocks that embrace West Antarctica are sparse, we attempt to model their complex kinematics since the Mesozoic. Together with the SAPW path and a revised circum-Antarctic seafloor spreading history we construct a series of new paleogeographic maps.

  18. Nanobioconjugates of Candida antarctica lipase B and single-walled carbon nanotubes in biodiesel production.

    PubMed

    Bencze, László Csaba; Bartha-Vári, Judith H; Katona, Gabriel; Toşa, Monica Ioana; Paizs, Csaba; Irimie, Florin-Dan

    2016-01-01

    Carboxylated single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTCOOH) were used as support for covalent immobilization of Candida antarctica lipase B (CaL-B) using linkers with different lengths. The obtained nanostructured biocatalysts with low diffusional limitation were tested in batch mode in the ethanolysis of the sunflower oil. SWCNTCOOH-CaL-B proved to be a highly efficient and stable biocatalyst in acetonitrile (83.4% conversion after 4h at 35°C, retaining >90% of original activity after 10 cycles).

  19. Terra Nova Bay Polynya, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    In Terra Nova Bay, off the Scott Coast of Victoria Land, Antarctica, a large pocket of open water persists throughout most of the Southern Hemisphere winter, even while most of the rest of the Antarctic coastline is firmly embraced by the frozen Southern Ocean. This pocket of open water--a polynya--results from exceptionally strong winds that blow downslope from the Trans-Antarctic Mountains. These fierce katabatic winds drive the sea ice eastward. Since the dominant ice drift pattern in the area is northward, the Drygalski Ice Tongue prevents the bay from being re-populated with sea ice. This image of the Terra Nova Bay polynya was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite on October 16, 2007. Sea ice sits over the Ross Sea like a cracked and crumbling windshield. Blue-tinged glaciers flow down from the Trans-Antarctic Mountains. Although glaciers can appear blue because of melt water, they can also get that tint when the wind scours and polishes the ice surface. Given the strength of the katabatic winds along this part of the Antarctic coast, it is likely that the blue color of these glaciers is a result of their having been swept clean of snow. The large image has a spatial resolution (level of detail) of 250 meters per pixel.

  20. Space analogue studies in Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lugg, D.; Shepanek, M.

    1999-09-01

    Medical research has been carried out on the Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions (ANARE) for 50 years. As an extension of this program collaborative Australian/United States research on immunology, microbiology, psychology and remote medicine has produced important data and insight on how humans adapt to the stress of extreme isolation, confinement and the harsh environment of Antarctica. An outstanding analogue for the isolation and confinement of space missions (especially planetary outposts), ANARE has been used as an international research platform by Australia and the United States since 1993. Collaborative research has demonstrated a lowered responsiveness of the immune system under the isolation and confinement of Antarctic winter-over; a reduction of almost 50% in T cell proliferation to mltogen phytohaemogglutinin, as well as changes in latent herpesvirus states and the expansion of the polyclonal latent Epstein-Barr virus infected B cell populations. Although no clinically significant disease has been found to result from these immune changes, research is currently assessing the effects of psychological factors on the immune system. This and associated research performed to date and its relevance to both organisations is discussed, and comment made on possible extensions to the program in both medical and other fields.

  1. Space analogue studies in Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Lugg, D; Shepanek, M

    1999-01-01

    Medical research has been carried out on the Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions (ANARE) for 50 years. As an extension of this program collaborative Australian/United States research on immunology, microbiology, psychology and remote medicine has produced important data and insight on how humans adapt to the stress of extreme isolation, confinement and the harsh environment of Antarctica. An outstanding analogue for the isolation and confinement of space missions (especially planetary outposts), ANARE has been used as an international research platform by Australia and the United States since 1993. Collaborative research has demonstrated a lowered responsiveness of the immune system under the isolation and confinement of Antarctic winter-over; a reduction of almost 50% in T cell proliferation to mitogen phytohaemogglutinin, as well as changes in latent herpesvirus states and the expansion of the polyclonal latent Epstein-Barr virus infected B cell populations. Although no clinically significant disease has been found to result from these immune changes, research is currently assessing the effects of psychological factors on the immune system. This and associated research performed to date and its relevance to both organisations is discussed, and comment made on possible extensions to the program in both medical and other fields.

  2. Atmospheric trace gases in antarctica.

    PubMed

    Rasmussen, R A; Khalil, M A; Dalluge, R W

    1981-01-16

    Trace gases have been measured, by electron-capture gas chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry techniques, at the South Pole (SP) in Antarctica and in the U.S. Pacific Northwest (PNW) ( approximately 45 degrees N) during January of each year from 1975 to 1980. These measurements show that the concentrations of CCl(3)F, CCl(2)F(2), and CH(3)CCl(3) have increased exponentially at substantial rates. The concentration of CCl(3)F increased at 12 percent per year at the SP and at 8 percent per year in the PNW; CCl(2)F(2) increased at about 9 percent per year at both locations, and CH(3)CCl(3) increased at 17 percent per year at the SP and 11.6 percent per year at the PNW site. There is some evidence that CCl(4) ( approximately 3 percent per year) and N(2)O (0.1 to 0.5 percent per year) may also have increased. Concentrations of nine other trace gases of importance in atmospheric chemistry are also being measured at these two locations. Results of the measurements of CHClF(2)(F-22), C(2)Cl(3)F(3)(F-113), SF(6), C(2)-hydrocarbons, and CH(3)Cl are reported here.

  3. Space analogue studies in Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lugg, D.; Shepanek, M.

    1999-01-01

    Medical research has been carried out on the Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions (ANARE) for 50 years. As an extension of this program collaborative Australian/United States research on immunology, microbiology, psychology and remote medicine has produced important data and insight on how humans adapt to the stress of extreme isolation, confinement and the harsh environment of Antarctica. An outstanding analogue for the isolation and confinement of space missions (especially planetary outposts), ANARE has been used as an international research platform by Australia and the United States since 1993. Collaborative research has demonstrated a lowered responsiveness of the immune system under the isolation and confinement of Antarctic winter-over; a reduction of almost 50% in T cell proliferation to mitogen phytohaemogglutinin, as well as changes in latent herpesvirus states and the expansion of the polyclonal latent Epstein-Barr virus infected B cell populations. Although no clinically significant disease has been found to result from these immune changes, research is currently assessing the effects of psychological factors on the immune system. This and associated research performed to date and its relevance to both organisations is discussed, and comment made on possible extensions to the program in both medical and other fields.

  4. Antarctica: Scientific Journeys from McMurdo to the Pole.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brand, Judith, Ed.

    2002-01-01

    This issue of Exploratorium Magazine focuses on Antarctica. Antarctica has one of the most extreme climates in the world with an untouched environment inviting researchers with great opportunities for study. This issue describes the journey of four Exploratorium staff members to frozen Antarctica. Chapters include: (1) "Life at the Bottom of…

  5. Field Guide for Portland Cement Concrete Construction in Antarctica.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    The technical note was prepared for field use by military crews in producing, placing and curing Portland cement concrete in Antarctica under summer...experiments at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, during Deep Freeze 69, which are described in Naval Civil Engineering Laboratory Technical Report ’ Portland Cement Concrete for Antarctica.’ (Author)

  6. Elemental concentrations and inorganic isotopic ratios in surface snow along the route to Dome Fuji, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirabayashi, M.; Nakazawa, F.; Azuma, K. G.; Motoyama, H.

    2015-12-01

    Snow ice sample in Antarctica contains particulate matter. Particulates originate from continent, volcano, sea, space, and organism. The particulate matter of continental origin contains many elements from minerals and rocks. The isotopic ratio of an element reflects the origin and the history of the particle. Since the isotopic ratio of inorganic species depends on the source, the information about the source contribution of particulate matter can be estimated by analyzing the isotopic ratios of inorganic species. In this research, concentrations of inorganic species and isotopic ratios of inorganic species (Ca, Sr, Nd) in snow collected on the route form coastal area to Dome Fuji station in Antarctica were analyzed. The snow samples were collected along ca. 1000 km traverse route from Mikaeridai (S16; 69°01'S, 40°03'E, 590 m) to Dome Fuji station (77°19'S, 39°42'E, 3810 m) by the Japan Antarctica research expedition. Those samples were collected in the 2007/2008 and 2009/2010 austral summer. The samples were transported to Japan without thawing. The quantitative analyses of inorganic species were measured using ICP quadrupole type mass spectrometer. The isotopic ratios of isolated inorganic species were measured using ICP magnetic field type mass spectrometer. Further results and discussion about the behavior and origin of sulfur species in snow will be presented.

  7. Hemichloris antarctica, gen. et sp. nov. (Chlorococcales, Chlorophyta), a cryptoendolithic alga from Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Tschermak-Woess, E; Friedmann, E I

    1984-01-01

    Hemichloris antarctica gen. et sp. nov. (Oocystaceae, Chlorococcales) is characterized by a single, articulated, pyrenoid-less, thick saucer-shaped chloroplast, which generally fills less than half of the cell periphery. Multiplication is only by autospores. The species is psychrophilic and is damaged at temperatures above 20 degree C. Hemichloris antarctica is a member of the cryptoendolithic microbial community living in porous sandstone rocks of the Antarctica cold desert. It inhabits the zone below that of cryptoendolithic lichens and survives at extremely low light intensities. In the natural habitat, morphology is somewhat different from that in culture, as chloroplasts are smaller and without articulation, and the cells develop a gelatinous sheath.

  8. Infrared Observations in Antarctica: the SPIREX Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rathborne, Jill

    The 60cm SPIREX telescope located at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station was the first prototype system for a thermal IR imager in Antarctica. Observations over two winter seasons achieved remarkably high resolution wide field images in the wavelength range 3--5um across many star forming complexes. These images in particular reveal the locations of photodissociation regions (PDRs) and pinpoint young objects through their high L-band fluxes. This talk will give a briefly review of the SPIREX project and present a summary of observational results. The SPIREX project was a collaboration between the Center for Astrophysical Research in Antarctica (CARA) the National Optical Astronomy Observatories (NOAO) and the Joint Australian Centre for Astrophysical Research in Antarctica (JACARA).

  9. Anthropogenic impacts on marine ecosystems in Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Aronson, Richard B; Thatje, Sven; McClintock, James B; Hughes, Kevin A

    2011-03-01

    Antarctica is the most isolated continent on Earth, but it has not escaped the negative impacts of human activity. The unique marine ecosystems of Antarctica and their endemic faunas are affected on local and regional scales by overharvesting, pollution, and the introduction of alien species. Global climate change is also having deleterious impacts: rising sea temperatures and ocean acidification already threaten benthic and pelagic food webs. The Antarctic Treaty System can address local- to regional-scale impacts, but it does not have purview over the global problems that impinge on Antarctica, such as emissions of greenhouse gases. Failure to address human impacts simultaneously at all scales will lead to the degradation of Antarctic marine ecosystems and the homogenization of their composition, structure, and processes with marine ecosystems elsewhere.

  10. The Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica (LIMA): A Cutting-Edge Way for Students and Teachers to Learn about Antarctica

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Campbell, Brian; Bindschadler, Robert

    2009-01-01

    By studying Antarctica via satellite and through ground-truthing research, we can learn where the ice is melting and why. The Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica (LIMA), a new and cutting-edge way for scientists, researchers, educators, students, and the public to look at Antarctica, supports this research and allows for unprecedented views of our…

  11. Live from Antarctica: Then and Now

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1994-01-01

    This real-time educational video series, featuring Camille Jennings from Maryland Public Television, includes information from Antarctic scientists and interactive discussion between the scientists and school children from both Maryland and Hawaii. This is part of a 'Passport to Knowledge Special' series. In this part of the four part Antarctic series, the history of Antarctica from its founding to the present, its mammals, plants, and other life forms are shown and discussed. The importance of Antarctica as a research facility is explained, along with different experiments and research that the facilities there perform.

  12. Antarctica: a review of recent medical research.

    PubMed

    Olson, James J

    2002-10-01

    This article reviews recent developments and areas of research in Antarctic medical science. Nineteen nations are part of the Antarctic treaty and undertake research programmes in Antarctica. Medical science is a small but important part of these programmes. Areas that have been studied include aspects of cold physiology, ultraviolet light effects, endocrine changes (including polar T3 syndrome), alterations in immune function, chronobiology, psychology, microbiology, epidemiology and telemedicine. Antarctica has been recognized as the closest thing on Earth to a testing ground for aspects of space exploration and as such has been termed a space analogue.

  13. Live from Antarctica: Then and now

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    This real-time educational video series, featuring Camille Jennings from Maryland Public Television, includes information from Antarctic scientists and interactive discussion between the scientists and school children from both Maryland and Hawaii. This is part of a 'Passport to Knowledge Special' series. In this part of the four part Antarctic series, the history of Antarctica from its founding to the present, its mammals, plants, and other life forms are shown and discussed. The importance of Antarctica as a research facility is explained, along with different experiments and research that the facilities there perform.

  14. Acting Antarctica: science on stage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ciceri, Piera; Tizzoni, Paola; Pierro, Luigia

    2016-04-01

    Key-words: Polar science, Earth science, Theatre, Hands on activities The legendary Antarctic Expedition of sir E. Shackleton and his crew of 27 aboard the Endurance (1914/16) trapped in the Antarctic ice has become the starting point to learn about Polar Science and Climate Change. While the students were involved into this incredible adventure by the astonishing images of the Australian photographer Frank Hurley (who joined the crew), they discovered the world in which this story happened. Students were then involved in hands-on activities and role plays and have become the writers of the play "Uomini a scienza ai confini del mondo". They act the story of Shackelton's expedition and they tell at the same time to the audience about ice pack, ice cores and their role in understanding the past of the climate, physical and geographical characteristic of polar regions, thermal phenomena related to adaptations of polar animals, solar radiation at different latitude, day/night duration. The theater was the place to "stage" some scientific experiments and to explain the current research carried out in polar regions and their importance in climate change studies and to stress some similarities between Antarctica and space. The project was carried out from teachers of science, letters and geography and was born in collaboration with the "Piccolo Teatro di Milano" and the association "Science Under 18" with the support of a professional actor and director and was played for other schools at "EXPO 2015" in Milano (Italy). In our opinion drama activities improve reading comprehension, and both verbal and non-verbal communication skills. To be able to write and to act, students need a deep understanding of contents. Arts, including theatre, are a good key to involve emotionally students. To have an audience different from their own teachers and classmates offers a real task and the opportunity to play and let grow real skills.

  15. Read--and Walk--to Antarctica

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harr, Natalie; Doneyko, Kathleen; Lee, Richard E., Jr.

    2012-01-01

    The students at Crestwood Primary School proved that they have what it takes to exercise their bodies and their minds. In an effort to support their teacher's scientific expedition to Antarctica, students from kindergarten to second grade pledged to read books and do physical activity that equated to the 12,900 km (8,000-mile) journey to the…

  16. Antarctica: Is It More Than Just Ice?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Cheryl; Gutierrez, Melida

    2009-01-01

    The authors introduced polar science in a fourth-grade classroom by means of 3 hands-on activities that addressed (1) the melting of glaciers and ice, (2) the differences between the North and the South Pole, and (3) the geography and landforms of Antarctica. An assessment 4 months after the original activity showed that students remembered the…

  17. Sterile soil from Antarctica: organic analysis.

    PubMed

    Horowitz, N H; Bauman, A J; Cameron, R E; Geiger, P J; Hubbard, J S; Shulman, G P; Simmonds, P G; Westberg, K

    1969-05-30

    Soils from the dry-valley region of Antarctica can be sterile by the usual microbiological criteria and yet contain significant amounts of organic carbon. Examination of one such soil shows that the organic material is finely divided anthracite coal. These findings have significant implications for the biological exploration of Mars.

  18. Antarctica--the Ultimate Summer Institute.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Wey, Nate J.

    1995-01-01

    Describes personal experiences of a participant in the National Science Foundation program, Teachers Experiencing Antarctica. Uses the study of the temperature history of Taylor Dome to provide teachers with the experience of research and help other teachers recognize that there are opportunities outside the classroom for personal and professional…

  19. CyberHunt: Head Off to Antarctica.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kloza, Brad

    2001-01-01

    Explains how to take an elementary class on a cyber visit to the continent of Antarctica, the highest, driest, and coldest continent on earth. A student reproducible page presents eight web sites to visit in this quest as well as questions to answer about each site. Answers to the questions are included. (SM)

  20. Surveying Antarctica: from dogsled to satellite

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, Richard S.

    1979-01-01

    Base maps of Antarctica are needed at scales of 1:250,000 to plot scientific data, yet after 20 years of a major mapping effort, only about 20 percent of the continent has been accurately mapped using aerial photographs and ground surveys. Encompassing nearly 14.3 million square kilometers (5.5 million square miles), Antarctica still presents a formidable mapping task. Except for the area around the geographic South Pole, Landsat could, in just a few years, provide the images to planimetrically map Antarctica at such scales as 1:250,000. Just 11 Landsat images would encompass the same area mapped to date at a 1:250,000 scale. Navigation satellite data from ground stations can provide the necessary horizontal and vertical ground control in many areas. Other polar orbiting satellites could be used to establish elevation profiles of the ice surfaces on Antarctica. If this presently available space technology is fully utilized, the scientific exploration of the huge Antarctic continent will be greatly accelerated, fulfilling one of the goals Commander Byrd began to work toward 50 years ago.

  1. Antarctica: What Shall We Do with It?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Branson, Margaret S.; Long, Cathryn J.

    1977-01-01

    Describes a role playing exercise in which students act as delegates to a meeting at which they will revise the Antarctic Treaty. Background information is presented about Antarctica, the Antarctic Treaty, and positions of 19 nations with regard to the Treaty. (Author/DB)

  2. The First Large Balloon Launch from Antarctica

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-09-26

    Amundsen - Scott Station ( South Pole ) Antarctica. This project...than the Amundsen - Scott ( South Pole ) station , we investigated the geography and climatology of this area. It was immediately apparent that there was not...southern hemisphere, could be best observed from the Antarctic continent. The ideal location was the South Pole . The sequence of events was such that

  3. Lystrosaurus zone (triassic) fauna from antarctica.

    PubMed

    Kitching, J W; Collinson, J W; Elliot, D H; Colbert, E H

    1972-02-04

    Tetrapod skeletons recently found in the Fremouw Formation in the Shackleton Glacier area, Transantarctic Mountains, include several forms that closely compare to South African species. Faunal similarities that confirm a close connection between Antarctica and Africa during the Triassic Period lend further support to the concept of Gondwanaland and continental drift.

  4. New Views of East Antarctica- from Columbia to Gondwana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferraccioli, F.; Forsberg, R.; Aitken, A.; Young, D. A.; Blankenship, D. D.; Bell, R. E.; Finn, C.; Martos, Y. M.; Armadillo, E.; Jacobs, J.; Ebbing, J.; Eagles, G.; Jokat, W.; Jordan, T. A.; Ruppel, A.; Läufer, A.; Dalziel, I. W. D.

    2015-12-01

    East Antarctica is a keystone in the Gondwana, Rodinia and the Columbia supercontinents. Recent aerogeophysical research, augmented by satellite magnetic, gravity and seismological data is unveiling the crustal architecture of the continent. This is helping comprehend the impact of supercontinental processes such as subduction, accretion, rifting and intraplate tectonics on its evolution. A mosaic of Precambrian basement provinces is apparent in interior East Antarctica (Ferraccioli et al., 2011, Nature). A major suture separates the Archean-Neoproterozoic Ruker Province from an inferred Grenvillian-age orogenic Gamburtsev Province with remarkably thick crust (up to 60 km thick) and thick lithosphere (over 200 km thick). The age of the suturing and its linkages with supercontinental assembly is debated with both Rodinia and Gondwana candidates being proposed. Further east, magnetic highs delineate a Paleo to Mesoproterozoic Nimrod-South Pole igneous province (Goodge and Finn, 2010 JGR) that flanks a composite Mawson Continent- including the Gawler Craton of South Australia (Aitken et al., 2014 GRL). An over 1,900 km long magnetic and gravity lineament is imaged along the western flank of the Wilkes Subglacial Basin and is interpreted here as a major Paleoproterozoic suture zone linked to the collision of Laurentia and East Antarctica within Columbia. The proposed suture played a pivotal role helping localise Neoproterozoic Rodinia rifted margin evolution and forming a backstop for the Ross-Delamerian cycle of Gondwana amalgamation. Aeromagnetic and gravity imaging help determine the extent of a Keweenawan-age (ca 1.1 Ga) large igneous province in the Coats Land Block -isotopically tied with the Mid-Continent Rift System of Laurentia (Loewy et al., 2011 Geology). Imprints of Grenvillian magmatic arc accretion link together the Namaqua-Natal and Maud belts in South Africa and Dronning Maud Land within Rodinia. The aeromagnetically distinct Southeast Dronning Maud

  5. Uncovering the footprint of former ice streams off Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    COHIMAR/SEDANO Scientific Party

    Antarctic ice sheets and ice caps have been expanding and contracting following global climatic cycles. The last time the Antarctic ice cover peaked, at least in Western Antarctica, was ca. 21 ky ago during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). The strong warming (nearly 2.8°C) over the past 50 years, and the yearly recent collapse of limited portions (hundreds to a few thousands of square miles per event) of ice shelves around the Antarctic Peninsula have brought to the headlines the debate about the potential collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) in the near future under the influence of global warming.Such a catastrophe would substantially contribute to global sea level rise (a resulting 5 m increase is expected); alter water mass conditions, circulation, and productivity around Antarctica and in the world ocean; and modify the Earth's climate.The economic,social, and ecological impacts of these changes would depend greatly on the rate at which they might take place [Bindschadler, 1998” . A detailed knowledge of the past extent of ice sheets and the timing of their advances and retreats thus becomes essential to quantify the rates of change and to properly assess the future stability of the WAIS and nearby ice caps. The stability of ice sheets is largely dependent on ice drainage, which mostly occurs via ice streaming along glacial troughs. Ice streams are thus a key element to solve the puzzle linking ice sheet stability, sea level rise, and climate change at a global scale.

  6. Recent changes in solar irradiance in Antarctica

    SciTech Connect

    Stanhill, G.; Cohen, S.

    1997-08-01

    A significant decrease in the annual sums of global irradiance reaching the surface in Antarctica, averaging -0.28 W m{sup -2} yr{sup -1}, was derived from an analysis of all complete years of measurement available from 12 pyranometer stations, 10 of which were on the coast. The decrease was greater than could be attributed to the nonhomogeneous nature of the database, the estimated errors of measurement, or changes in the amount of cloud cover. The smaller database of radiation balance measurements available showed no statistically significant change. Possible causes of these results are discussed, as is the implication that the recent surface warming in Antarctica is not due to radiative forcing. 49 refs., 3 figs., 5 tabs.

  7. Planetary geomorphology field studies: Iceland and Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Malin, M. C.

    1984-01-01

    Field studies of terrestrial landforms and the processes that shape them provide new directions to the study of planetary features. These studies, conducted in Iceland and in Antarctica, investigated physical and chemical weathering mechanisms and rates, eolitan processes, mudflow phenomena, drainage development, and catastrophic fluvial and volcanic phenomena. Continuing investigations in Iceland fall in three main catagories: (1) catastrophic floods of the Jokulsa a Fjollum, (2) lahars associated with explosive volcanic eruptions of Askja caldera, and (3) rates of eolian abrasion in cold, volcanic deserts. The ice-free valleys of Antarctica, in particular those in South Victoria Land, have much is common with the surface of Mars. In addition to providing independent support for the application of the Iceland findings to consideration of the martian erosional system, the Antarctic observations also provide analogies to other martian phenomena. For example, a family of sand dunes in Victoria Valley are stabilized by the incorporation of snow as beds.

  8. Antarctica - Lessons for a Mars exploration program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mckay, C. P.

    1985-01-01

    The history of exploration and the international system of control of Antarctica has often been cited as a paradigm for the exploration of space. The small isolated research stations have been used to model the psychological stresses of future space missions. In addition, the programmatic structure of the U.S. Antarctic Research Program provides several possible analogs to future Mars Programs presently under discussion. These are: (1) Continued presence; (2) Civilian, military and private sector involvement; (3) Scientific activities; (4) Risk assessment and logistical support; (5) Accessibility for non-specialists; (6) Political and strategic motivations; (7) International cooperation/competition. Survival in Antarctica is contingent on advanced technology and the active transport of supplies. The scientific exploration of this remote and barren expanse without, of course, the aid and guidance of indigenous people certainly provides one of the closest analogs available to future science activities on the Martian surface.

  9. The Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bindschadler, R.; Vornberger, P.; Fleming, A.; Fox, A.; Morin, P.

    2008-12-01

    The first-ever true-color, high-resolution digital mosaic of Antarctica has been produced from nearly 1100 Landsat-7 ETM+ images collected between 1999 and 2003. The Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica (LIMA) project was an early benchmark data set of the International Polar Year and represents a close and successful collaboration between NASA, USGS, the British Antarctic Survey and the National Science Foundation. The mosaic was successfully merged with lower resolution MODIS data south of Landsat coverage to produce a complete true-color data set of the entire continent. LIMA is being used as a platform for a variety of education and outreach activities. Central to this effort is the NASA website 'Faces of Antarctica' that offers the web visitor the opportunity to explore the data set and to learn how these data are used to support scientific research. Content is delivered through a set of mysteries designed to pique the user's interest and to motivate them to delve deeper into the website where there are various videos and scientific articles for downloading. Detailed lesson plans written by teachers are provided for classroom use and Java applets let the user track the motion of ice in sequential Landsat images. Web links take the user to other sites where they can roam over the imagery using standard pan and zoom functions, or search for any named feature in the Antarctic Geographic Names data base that returns to the user a centered true-color view of any named feature. LIMA also has appeared is a host of external presentations from museum exhibits, to postcards and large posters. It has attracted various value-added providers that increase LIMA's accessibility by allowing users to specify subsets of the very large data set for individual downloads. The ultimate goal of LIMA in the public and educational sector is to enable everyone to become more familiar with Antarctica.

  10. Life on ice, Antarctica and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, D. T.; Mckay, C. P.; Wharton, Robert A., Jr.; Sagan, C.; Squyres, S. W.; Simmons, G. M.

    1991-01-01

    The study of the origin of life and the prospects for human exploration of Mars are two themes developed in a new 57-minute film, Life on Ice, Antarctica, and Mars, produced by the InnerSpace Foundation and WHRO Television for broadcast by the Public Broadcasting System (PBS). A brief explanation of the film and how it relates to the future human exploration of space is presented.

  11. Protecting United States Interests in Antarctica

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-04-01

    Australia, India, Madagascar, and SOuth America, part of the supercontinent Gondwanaland (1l). Through continental drift, however, Antarctica was eventually... Gondwanaland , including South Africa and South America(18). The continental shelf may also contain natural gas and oil deposits in the magnitude of tens...Minerals Policy of the United States 1 (Sept., 1984). For an elaboration of this hypothesis, see Craddock, Antarctic Geology and Gondwanaland in Frozen

  12. COMNAP:The National Managers in Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacobs, Judy; Eastman, Timothy

    What is the sole example in human history of unified governance of an entire continent? What is the manifest case of multinational cooperation during the Cold War which affected a large region of the Earth's surface, yet which rarely entered newspaper headlines? For the answer, ask our friends, the penguins; or better yet, read a new book about a remarkable international effort in territorial governance in support of geophysical research and environmental protection, by Captain Alfred N. Fowler, USN (Retired). COMNAP: The National Managers in Antarctica is a personal account of the formation and development of the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (CONMAP), the permanent working group that has operational responsibility and oversight for the many research and other non-profit activities in Antarctica, carried out under the authority of the Antarctic Treaty of 1959. Established in the context of the treaty, CONMAP is the organization responsible for the safe operation and efficient management of national and non-governmental programs of research, environmental monitoring, and other activities performed under the treaty's key provision. This established Antarctica as offlimits to the sovereignty of individual governments, and instead, set aside the entirety of the continent for scientific research and for preservation, with governance to be a cooperative effort among signatory countries. Fowler served as executive secretary of CONMAP from 1988, the year of its formation, to 1997.

  13. The Ice: A Journey to Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ford, Arthur B.

    The title is misleading for a non—“OAE” (Old Antarctic Explorer, to whom “The Ice” is Antarctica) because The Ice is about far more than just ice. It does indeed cover just about all you'd want to know (or more) about Antarctic ice, from the vast south polar sheets and glaciers to the great tabular bergs, bergy bits, brash ice, pancake ice, frazil ice, and the pack of the polar seas; but it also explores nearly every aspect of this “Last of Lands” in an unusually comprehensive coverage. From the “Heroic Ages” of early 20th-century explorers Robert Scott, Ernest Shackleton, and Roald Amundsen to the present “Cruise Ship Age,”Antarctica has produced a wealth of literature in the “Journey to…” style — which Pyne's is not. Instead, his product from one short (3-month) visit under a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship takes all readers o n a webwork journey through time, space, ice, and rocks for an appreciation of “ The Ice” in a way found in no other book. This, his fifth book (another one is Fire in America, Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J., 1982), is a significant contribution to the literature of Antarctica. Pyne's prose cannot be paraphrased for a review, as the reader will be able to appreciate from the excerpts to follow.

  14. Humus in some soils from Western Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abakumov, E.

    2009-04-01

    Soils of Antarctica are well known as a thick profile soils with low amounts of humus concentrated in the upper layers - O or A horizons. Also there are specific soils of seashore landscapes which affected by penguins guano accumulation and, therefore characterized by high stocks of organic matter in solum. These two types of soils were studied during the Western Antarctica part of 53th Russian Antarctic Expedition in 2008 International Polar Year. These rote of expedition was on Polar stations "Russkaya", "Leningradskaya" and "Bellinsgausen" and also two places, not affected by polar men's - Lindsey Island and Hudson mountains (Ross Sea). Typical soils of "Russkaya" and "Leningradskaya" stations was a Cryosoils with low humus content (0,02 - 0,20 %) which was a product of lichens decaying and further humification. The humus profile was not deep and humic substances migration stopped on the 30 cm deeps maximally. Soils of Sub-Antarctica (Bellinsgausen station, King-George Island) show higher portions of humus which maximum was 3,00 % under the mosses. Humus distribution was more gradual through profile due to the higher thickness of active layer and longer period of biological activity. Soils under the penguin's beaches shows big portions of organic matter, in some cases more than 50 % to total soil mass. Humification starts in first years in cases of Sub-Antarctic guano soils and only after 3-7 years of leaching in seashore Antarctic guano-soils. Soils under the guano layers were extremely reached by nitrogen, and in some cases there were not any plants there due to toxicity of guano. This event was more typical for cold seashore soils of Antarctica. In all cases humus consists mostly of fulvic acids and low molecular non-specific organic acids. The CHA/CFA ratio in all cases were lesser than 1,0 and in more that 50 % of cases it was lesser than 0,5. The investigations conducted shows that the stocks of humus in soil of Antarctica are not estimated and till now we

  15. Weathering and genesis of Soils from Ellsworth Mountains, East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karoline Delpupo Souza, Katia; Schaefer, Carlos Ernesto; Michel, Roberto; Monari, Julia; Machado, Vania

    2015-04-01

    Knowledge on Antarctic soils from the Ellsworth Mountains (EM) are patchy comparatively with Dry Valleys soils from the Transantartic Mountains, and could help understand the genesis of cryogenic soils under extreme dry, cold desert conditions. The EM are a slightly arcuate 350-km-long north-northwest-trending mountain chain is bordered on the west by the polar plateau of West Antarctica and on the east by Ronne Ice Shelf. The range is as much as 90 km wide and constitutes one of the largest areas of exposed bedrock in West Antarctica. The stratigraphic succession in the EM includes strata from Cambriam to Permian in age. The objective of this study is to analyze the properties of soils from EM in order to identify the main factors and processes involved in soil formation under cold desert conditions in Antarctica. The sampling design aimed to represent the different geological substrates (marble-clast conglomerate, graywacke, argillite, conglomerate, black shale, marble and quartzite) as well as altitudinal levels and landforms within the same substrate. We characterized soils from EM regarding their morphological, physics and chemical properties. Soil samples were air dried and passed through 2 mm sieves. After removal of water soluble salts, the samples were submitted to chemical and physical analyses such as: pH in water, potential acidity (H + Al), exchangeable bases, total organic carbon, electric conductivity, soil texture and color. The soils classify, for the most part, in weathering stages 1 to 2. Only in the upper parts of ridges were there traces of soils at weathering stage 3. This indicates that much of the present icefree topography has been overridden by ice within the last few hundred thousand years. Cryoturbation is a widespread phenomenon in this area resulting in intense cryoclastic weathering and patterned ground, forming sorted circles, stripes and gelifluxion lobes. The soil show low horizontation, discrete patches of salt on the surface, and

  16. Antarctica Research in the Polar Research Center of China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Z.; Li, Y.; Liu, S.; Cole-Dai, J.

    2003-12-01

    The Polar Research Center of China (PRCC) was established in the early 1990s (formerly Polar Research Institute of China) to serve as the leading national organization for Antarctica-related research in China. Current research areas of center staff scientists include glaciology and paleoclimatology, upper atmospheric physics, polar and marine biology, and oceanagrphy. In addition to its own active research, PRCC on behalf of the China Antarctic and Arctic Administration coordinates and provides logistical support to Antarctica research activities by all Chinese scientists. The center organizes and manages the annual Chinese Research Expedition to Antarctica with participation from many other national and academic institutions. In its first decade of existence, PRCC has accumulated valuable experience in conducting and facilitating research in Antarctica, particularly in the areas of logistic support for field programs, staffing and managing the two permanent stations in Antarctica (Great Wall and Zhongshan). The successful operation of the Chinese Antarctica research program has benefitted from generous assistance from several more established national (for example, Australia, Japan and the United States) Antarctica programs and from frequent contact with international colleagues working on Antarctica research. Among the many issues and problems frequently encountered in the last decade are: (1) The scale of research activities is often seriously constrained by logistic capabilities and funding; (2) Limited computer network and library resources hamper speedy and timely access to relevant international scientific literature; (3) Acquisition of high quality scientific (field and laboratory) equipment and special supplies can be limited by funding and access to suppliers.

  17. STRESS PROTEINS OF THE ANTARCTIC MIDGE, BELGICA ANTARCTICA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Antarctica presents one of the earth’s most inhospitable environments. Though an abundance of animals have adapted to life associated with the sea in this part of the world, few animals have adapted to the rigors of a terrestrial existence. One exception is the flightless midge Belgica antarctica ...

  18. PUTATIVE STRESS REGULATED GENES OF THE ANTARCTIC MIDGE, BELGICA ANTARCTICA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Antarctica presents one of the earth’s most inhospitable environments. Though an abundance of animals have adapted to life associated with the sea in this part of the world, few animals have adapted to the rigors of a terrestrial existence. One exception is the flightless midge Belgica antarctica ...

  19. Isolation and identification of Pseudomonas spp. from Schirmacher Oasis, Antarctica.

    PubMed Central

    Shivaji, S; Rao, N S; Saisree, L; Sheth, V; Reddy, G S; Bhargava, P M

    1989-01-01

    Ten cultures of Pseudomonas spp. were established from soil samples collected in and around a lake in Antarctica. Based on their morphology, biochemical and physiological characteristics, and moles percent G + C of their DNA, they were identified as P. fluorescens, P. putida, and P. syringae. This is the first report on the identification of Pseudomonas spp. from continental Antarctica. PMID:2930174

  20. Chemical compositions of past soluble aerosols reconstructed from NEEM (Greenland) and Dome C (Antarctica) ice cores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oyabu, Ikumi; Iizuka, Yoshinori; Fukui, Manabu; Fischer, Hubertus; Schüpbach, Simon; Gfeller, Gideon; Mulvaney, Robert; Hansson, Margareta

    2015-04-01

    Polar ice core preserve past atmospheric aerosols, which is a useful proxy for understanding the interaction between climate changes and atmospheric aerosols. One useful technique for reconstructing past soluble aerosols from ice core is the determination of dissolved ion species. However, since salts and acids melt into ions, chemical compositions of soluble aerosols in the ice cores have not been cleared. To clarify the temporal variations in the chemical compositions of past soluble aerosols, this study investigated chemical compositions of soluble particles preserved in the NEEM (Greenland) and Dome C (Antarctica) ice cores using new method 'ice-sublimation method'. The ice-sublimation method can extract soluble salts particles as a solid state without melting. The ice core samples are selected from the sections from the last termination (the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) to Holocene) of Dome C (inland Antarctica) and NEEM ice cores. Using ice-sublimation method, soluble salts particles were extracted. Chemical components of extracted particles were analysed by scanning electron microscope and energy dispersive spectroscopy, and micro-Raman spectroscopy. The major components of soluble salts particles in the Dome C ice core are CaSO4, Na2SO4 and NaCl. The CaSO4 and NaCl fractions were high in the first half of the last termination, whereas the Na2SO4 fraction is high in the latter half of the last termination. The major components of soluble salts particles in the NEEM ice core are CaCO3, CaSO4, NaCl and Na2SO4. The fractions of CaCO3, CaSO4 and NaCl were high in LGM, whereas those of NaCl and Na2SO4 were high in Holocene. The changes in the salts compositions in Dome C ice core are mainly controlled by concentration of terrestrial material (Ca2+). In the first half of the last termination, most of the terrestrial material (CaCO3) reacted with H2SO4 but some of sea-salt (NaCl) was not reacted with H2SO4 due to high Ca2+ concentration. As a result, the CaSO4 and Na

  1. The crustal thickness of West Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaput, J.; Aster, R. C.; Huerta, A.; Sun, X.; Lloyd, A.; Wiens, D.; Nyblade, A.; Anandakrishnan, S.; Winberry, J. P.; Wilson, T.

    2014-01-01

    P-to-S receiver functions (PRFs) from the Polar Earth Observing Network (POLENET) GPS and seismic leg of POLENET spanning West Antarctica and the Transantarctic Mountains deployment of seismographic stations provide new estimates of crustal thickness across West Antarctica, including the West Antarctic Rift System (WARS), Marie Byrd Land (MBL) dome, and the Transantarctic Mountains (TAM) margin. We show that complications arising from ice sheet multiples can be effectively managed and further information concerning low-velocity subglacial sediment thickness may be determined, via top-down utilization of synthetic receiver function models. We combine shallow structure constraints with the response of deeper layers using a regularized Markov chain Monte Carlo methodology to constrain bulk crustal properties. Crustal thickness estimates range from 17.0±4 km at Fishtail Point in the western WARS to 45±5 km at Lonewolf Nunataks in the TAM. Symmetric regions of crustal thinning observed in a transect deployment across the West Antarctic Ice Sheet correlate with deep subice basins, consistent with pure shear crustal necking under past localized extension. Subglacial sediment deposit thicknesses generally correlate with trough/dome expectations, with the thickest inferred subice low-velocity sediment estimated as ˜0.4 km within the Bentley Subglacial Trench. Inverted PRFs from this study and other published crustal estimates are combined with ambient noise surface wave constraints to generate a crustal thickness map for West Antarctica south of 75°S. Observations are consistent with isostatic crustal compensation across the central WARS but indicate significant mantle compensation across the TAM, Ellsworth Block, MBL dome, and eastern and western sectors of thinnest WARS crust, consistent with low density and likely dynamic, low-viscosity high-temperature mantle.

  2. Antarctica: measuring glacier velocity from satellite images

    SciTech Connect

    Lucchitta, B.K.; Ferguson, H.M.

    1986-11-28

    Many Landsat images of Antarctica show distinctive flow and crevasse features in the floating part of ice streams and outlet glaciers immediately below their grounding zones. Some of the features, which move with the glacier or ice stream, remain visible over many years and thus allow time-lapse measurements of ice velocities. Measurements taken from Landsat images of features on Byrd Glacier agree well with detailed ground and aerial observations. The satellite-image technique thus offers a rapid and cost-effective method of obtaining average velocities, to a first order of accuracy, of many ice streams and outlet glaciers near their termini.

  3. Antarctica and the strategic plan for biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Chown, Steven L; Brooks, Cassandra M; Terauds, Aleks; Le Bohec, Céline; van Klaveren-Impagliazzo, Céline; Whittington, Jason D; Butchart, Stuart H M; Coetzee, Bernard W T; Collen, Ben; Convey, Peter; Gaston, Kevin J; Gilbert, Neil; Gill, Mike; Höft, Robert; Johnston, Sam; Kennicutt, Mahlon C; Kriesell, Hannah J; Le Maho, Yvon; Lynch, Heather J; Palomares, Maria; Puig-Marcó, Roser; Stoett, Peter; McGeoch, Melodie A

    2017-03-01

    The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, adopted under the auspices of the Convention on Biological Diversity, provides the basis for taking effective action to curb biodiversity loss across the planet by 2020-an urgent imperative. Yet, Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, which encompass 10% of the planet's surface, are excluded from assessments of progress against the Strategic Plan. The situation is a lost opportunity for biodiversity conservation globally. We provide such an assessment. Our evidence suggests, surprisingly, that for a region so remote and apparently pristine as the Antarctic, the biodiversity outlook is similar to that for the rest of the planet. Promisingly, however, much scope for remedial action exists.

  4. The History of Astrophysics in Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Indermuehle, Balthasar T.; Burton, Michael G.; Maddison, Sarah T.

    We examine the historical development of astrophysical science in Antarctica from the early 20th century until today. We find three temporally overlapping eras, each having a rather distinct beginning. These are the astrogeological era of meteorite discovery, the high energy era of particle detectors, and the photon astronomy era of microwave, submillimetre, and infrared telescopes, sidelined by a few niche experiments at optical wavelengths. The favourable atmospheric and geophysical conditions are briefly examined, followed by an account of the major experiments and a summary of their results.

  5. The History of Astronomy in Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Indermuehle, B.; Burton, M.; Maddison, S.

    2006-08-01

    We present the historical development of astrophysical science in Antarctica from the early 20th century until today. We find three temporally overlapping eras, each having a rather distinct beginning. These are the astrogeological era of meteorite discovery, the high energy era of particle detectors, and the photon astronomy era of microwave, submillimetre and infrared telescopes, sidelined by a few niche experiments at optical wavelengths. The favourable atmospheric and geophysical conditions are briefly examined, followed by an account of the major experiments and a summary of their results.

  6. Low deuterium content of Lake Vanda, Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ragotzkie, R.A.; Friedman, I.

    1965-01-01

    Lake Vanda in Victoria Land, Antarctica, is permanently ice-covered and permanently stratified, with warm, salty water near the bottom. Deuterium analyses of lake water from several levels indicate that the lake has a low deuterium content, and that it is stratified with respect to this isotope. This low deuterium content supports the evidence from the lake's ionic content that the saline layer is not of marine origin, and it indicates that evaporation from the ice surface has taken place. The stratification of the lake with respect to deuterium suggests that the upper and lower layers of water were formed at different times from different sources of glacial melt water.

  7. Birth of a Large Iceberg in Pine Island Bay, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    Antarctic Ice Sheet is also believed to be the most susceptible to collapse. The evolution of this glacier is therefore of great interest to the scientific community. 'The climatic significance of this calving event is not yet clear, but is taking place in an area of Antarctica which is experiencing rapid changes', said glaciologist Eric Rignot of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Rignot points out that the grounding line of Pine Island Glacier is retreating, the glacier is thinning rapidly, and its ice flow is accelerating. Additionally, the sea ice cover in front of the glacier has been decreasing steadily for several decades. The newly hatched berg represents nearly seven years of ice outflow from Pine Island Glacier released to the ocean in a single event. Although this has no effect on sea level (the ice is already afloat), it is an exceptional event for this glacier, and provides additional evidence that this area is undergoing rapid change.

    MISR was built and is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, for NASA's Office of Earth Science, Washington, DC. The Terra satellite is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology.

  8. Deglacial temperature history of West Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Cuffey, Kurt M; Clow, Gary D; Steig, Eric J; Buizert, Christo; Fudge, T J; Koutnik, Michelle; Waddington, Edwin D; Alley, Richard B; Severinghaus, Jeffrey P

    2016-12-13

    The most recent glacial to interglacial transition constitutes a remarkable natural experiment for learning how Earth's climate responds to various forcings, including a rise in atmospheric CO2 This transition has left a direct thermal remnant in the polar ice sheets, where the exceptional purity and continual accumulation of ice permit analyses not possible in other settings. For Antarctica, the deglacial warming has previously been constrained only by the water isotopic composition in ice cores, without an absolute thermometric assessment of the isotopes' sensitivity to temperature. To overcome this limitation, we measured temperatures in a deep borehole and analyzed them together with ice-core data to reconstruct the surface temperature history of West Antarctica. The deglacial warming was [Formula: see text]C, approximately two to three times the global average, in agreement with theoretical expectations for Antarctic amplification of planetary temperature changes. Consistent with evidence from glacier retreat in Southern Hemisphere mountain ranges, the Antarctic warming was mostly completed by 15 kyBP, several millennia earlier than in the Northern Hemisphere. These results constrain the role of variable oceanic heat transport between hemispheres during deglaciation and quantitatively bound the direct influence of global climate forcings on Antarctic temperature. Although climate models perform well on average in this context, some recent syntheses of deglacial climate history have underestimated Antarctic warming and the models with lowest sensitivity can be discounted.

  9. The Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bindschadler, R.; Vornberger, P.; Fleming, A.; Fox, A.; Mullins, J.; Binnie, D.; Paulsen, S.J.; Granneman, B.; Gorodetzky, D.

    2008-01-01

    The Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica (LIMA) is the first true-color, high-spatial-resolution image of the seventh continent. It is constructed from nearly 1100 individually selected Landsat-7 ETM+ scenes. Each image was orthorectified and adjusted for geometric, sensor and illumination variations to a standardized, almost seamless surface reflectance product. Mosaicing to avoid clouds produced a high quality, nearly cloud-free benchmark data set of Antarctica for the International Polar Year from images collected primarily during 1999-2003. Multiple color composites and enhancements were generated to illustrate additional characteristics of the multispectral data including: the true appearance of the surface; discrimination between snow and bare ice; reflectance variations within bright snow; recovered reflectance values in regions of sensor saturation; and subtle topographic variations associated with ice flow. LIMA is viewable and individual scenes or user defined portions of the mosaic are downloadable at http://lima.usgs.gov. Educational materials associated with LIMA are available at http://lima.nasa.gov.

  10. Deglacial temperature history of West Antarctica

    PubMed Central

    Clow, Gary D.; Steig, Eric J.; Buizert, Christo; Fudge, T. J.; Koutnik, Michelle; Waddington, Edwin D.; Alley, Richard B.

    2016-01-01

    The most recent glacial to interglacial transition constitutes a remarkable natural experiment for learning how Earth’s climate responds to various forcings, including a rise in atmospheric CO2. This transition has left a direct thermal remnant in the polar ice sheets, where the exceptional purity and continual accumulation of ice permit analyses not possible in other settings. For Antarctica, the deglacial warming has previously been constrained only by the water isotopic composition in ice cores, without an absolute thermometric assessment of the isotopes’ sensitivity to temperature. To overcome this limitation, we measured temperatures in a deep borehole and analyzed them together with ice-core data to reconstruct the surface temperature history of West Antarctica. The deglacial warming was 11.3±1.8∘C, approximately two to three times the global average, in agreement with theoretical expectations for Antarctic amplification of planetary temperature changes. Consistent with evidence from glacier retreat in Southern Hemisphere mountain ranges, the Antarctic warming was mostly completed by 15 kyBP, several millennia earlier than in the Northern Hemisphere. These results constrain the role of variable oceanic heat transport between hemispheres during deglaciation and quantitatively bound the direct influence of global climate forcings on Antarctic temperature. Although climate models perform well on average in this context, some recent syntheses of deglacial climate history have underestimated Antarctic warming and the models with lowest sensitivity can be discounted. PMID:27911783

  11. Sources of Sea Salts to Coastal Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Curran, M. A.; van Ommen, T. D.; Moy, A. D.; Vance, T.; Wong, G. J.; Goodwin, I. D.; Domensino, B.

    2010-12-01

    Coastal Antarctic sea salt aerosols are partitioned into two main sources, namely ocean sea spray and surface sea ice. The sea spray source is related to windiness over the surface ocean and the action of bubbles bursting. The sea ice source is due to frost flowers which form on the surface of sea ice, which are concentrated in sea salts and are lofted by wind action over the sea ice zone. At high accumulation coastal sites, with seasonal resolution, it is possible to estimate the sources of both using deviations of the sodium to sulphate ratio from that found in seawater. To date, from ice core records in east Antarctica (including iceberg B09B near the Mertz Glacier, Law Dome, Wilkes Land and Wilhelm II land), we have found that the source strength from surface sea ice to the Antarctic ice sheet diminishes with elevation and distance inland. We present new data from coastal ice core sites including Mill Island off the coast of east Antarctica and the upper and lower Totten glacier to the east of Law Dome. Using this combined dataset we estimate the source strengths of sea salt aerosols, their partitioning and quantify the relationship with elevation and distance inland.

  12. Cenozoic motion between East and West Antarctica

    PubMed

    Cande; Stock; Muller; Ishihara

    2000-03-09

    The West Antarctic rift system is the result of late Mesozoic and Cenozoic extension between East and West Antarctica, and represents one of the largest active continental rift systems on Earth. But the timing and magnitude of the plate motions leading to the development of this rift system remain poorly known, because of a lack of magnetic anomaly and fracture zone constraints on seafloor spreading. Here we report on magnetic data, gravity data and swath bathymetry collected in several areas of the south Tasman Sea and northern Ross Sea. These results enable us to calculate mid-Cenozoic rotation parameters for East and West Antarctica. These rotations show that there was roughly 180 km of separation in the western Ross Sea embayment in Eocene and Oligocene time. This episode of extension provides a tectonic setting for several significant Cenozoic tectonic events in the Ross Sea embayment including the uplift of the Transantarctic Mountains and the deposition of large thicknesses of Oligocene sediments. Inclusion of this East-West Antarctic motion in the plate circuit linking the Australia, Antarctic and Pacific plates removes a puzzling gap between the Lord Howe rise and Campbell plateau found in previous early Tertiary reconstructions of the New Zealand region. Determination of this East-West Antarctic motion also resolves a long standing controversy regarding the contribution of deformation in this region to the global plate circuit linking the Pacific to the rest of the world.

  13. Accretion rate of extraterrestrial 41Ca in Antarctic snow samples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gómez-Guzmán, J. M.; Bishop, S.; Faestermann, T.; Famulok, N.; Fimiani, L.; Hain, K.; Jahn, S.; Korschinek, G.; Ludwig, P.; Rodrigues, D.

    2015-10-01

    Interplanetary Dust Particles (IDPs) are small grains, generally less than a few hundred micrometers in size. Their main source is the Asteroid Belt, located at 3 AU from the Sun, between Mars and Jupiter. During their flight from the Asteroid Belt to the Earth they are irradiated by galactic and solar cosmic rays (GCR and SCR), thus radionuclides are formed, like 41Ca and 53Mn. Therefore, 41Ca (T1/2 = 1.03 × 105 yr) can be used as a key tracer to determine the accretion rate of IDPs onto the Earth because there are no significant terrestrial sources for this radionuclide. The first step of this study consisted to calculate the production rate of 41Ca in IDPs accreted by the Earth during their travel from the Asteroid Belt. This production rate, used in accordance with the 41Ca/40Ca ratios that will be measured in snow samples from the Antarctica will be used to calculate the amount of extraterrestrial material accreted by the Earth per year. There challenges for this project are, at first, the much longer time for the flight needed by the IDPs to travel from the Asteroid Belt to the Earth in comparison with the 41Ca half-life yields an early saturation for the 41Ca/40Ca ratio, and second, the importance of selecting the correct sampling site to avoid a high influx of natural 40Ca, preventing dilution of the 41Ca/40Ca ratio, the quantity measured by AMS.

  14. Subsurface mapping of the Ross Island flexural basin, southwest Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wenman, Christopher P.

    Ross Island is a post-Miocene (< 4.6 Ma) volcanic island located in the Ross Sea region of southwest Antarctica. This region of Antarctica borders the western edge of the West Antarctic Rift System, along the Transantarctic Mountain front. Marine and over-ice multi-channel seismic reflection surveys and borehole studies targeting the Ross Sea region over the last 30+ years have been used in this study to develop a seismic stratigraphic model of the development and evolution of the Ross Island flexural basin. Four key stratigraphic horizons were identified and mapped to fully capture the basin-fill, as well as strata lying above and below the flexural basin. From oldest to youngest these horizons are named RIB-m, RIM-g, RIM-b and RIB-r. Time structure, isochron and isochore maps were created for the horizons and the stratigraphic intervals they bound. The seismic stratigraphic record shows the Ross Island flexural moat formation post-dates the main tectonic subsidence phase within the Victoria Land Basin. The maps presented here are the first to fully illustrate the evolution of the Ross Island flexural basin. The maps highlight depositional patterns of two distinct periods of flexural subsidence and basin-filling superimposed on the older N-S trending Victoria Land Basin depocenter. Two units of flexural basin fill, Unit FFI between horizons RIM-g and RIM-b (the oldest flexural basin fill), and Unit FFII between horizons RIM-b and RIB-r (the youngest flexural basin fill) are associated with the two periods of flexural subsidence. Flexural moat subsidence and subsequent filling occurred episodically during periods of active volcanism on the island. Unit FFI is estimated to range from ca. 4 to 2 Ma, corresponding with formation of the Mt. Bird volcanic edifice on Ross Island. Unit FFII ranges in age from ca. 2 to 1 Ma, and is related to Mt. Terror, Mt. Erebus, and Hut Point Peninsula volcanism. The isochore maps suggest the depocenter of the flexural basin during

  15. Ice-Shelf Melting Around Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rignot, E.; Jacobs, S.; Mouginot, J.; Scheuchl, B.

    2013-07-01

    We compare the volume flux divergence of Antarctic ice shelves in 2007 and 2008 with 1979 to 2010 surface accumulation and 2003 to 2008 thinning to determine their rates of melting and mass balance. Basal melt of 1325 ± 235 gigatons per year (Gt/year) exceeds a calving flux of 1089 ± 139 Gt/year, making ice-shelf melting the largest ablation process in Antarctica. The giant cold-cavity Ross, Filchner, and Ronne ice shelves covering two-thirds of the total ice-shelf area account for only 15% of net melting. Half of the meltwater comes from 10 small, warm-cavity Southeast Pacific ice shelves occupying 8% of the area. A similar high melt/area ratio is found for six East Antarctic ice shelves, implying undocumented strong ocean thermal forcing on their deep grounding lines.

  16. Infrared Sky Brightness Monitors for Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Storey, J. W. V.; Ashley, M. C. B.; Boccas, M.; Phillips, M. A.; Schinckel, A. E. T.

    1999-06-01

    Two sky brightness monitors-one for the near-infrared and one for the mid-infrared-have been developed for site survey work in Antarctica. The instruments, which we refer to as the NISM (Near-Infrared Sky Monitor) and the MISM (Mid-Infrared Sky Monitor), are part of a suite of instruments being deployed in the Automated Astrophysical Site-Testing Observatory (AASTO). The chief design constraints include reliable, autonomous operation, low power consumption, and of course the ability to operate under conditions of extreme cold. The instruments are currently operational at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, prior to deployment at remote, unattended sites on the high antarctic plateau.

  17. Volcanic earthquake swarms at Mt. Erebus, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaminuma, Katsutada; Ueki, Sadato; Juergen, Kienle

    1985-04-01

    Mount Erebus is an active volcano in Antarctica located on Ross Island. A convecting lava lake occupies the summit crater of Mt. Erebus. Since December 1980 the seismic activity of Mt. Erebus has been continuously monitored using a radio-telemetered network of six seismic stations. The seismic activity observed by the Ross Island network during the 1982-1983 field season shows that: (1)Strombolian eruptions occur frequently at the Erebus summit lava lake at rates of 2-5 per day; (2)centrally located earthquakes map out a nearly vertical, narrow conduit system beneath the lava lake; (3)there are other source regions of seismicity on Ross Island, well removed from Mt. Erebus proper. An intense earthquake swarm recorded in October 1982 near Abbott Peak, 10 km northwest of the summit of Mt. Erebus, and volcanic tremor accompanying the swarm, may have been associated with new dike emplacement at depth.

  18. Environment quality at Maitri station in Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Tiwari, Anoop Kumar; Kulkarni, Sunil; Ramteke, D S; Nayak, G N

    2006-07-01

    A comprehensive study of air, water and soil quality was undertaken during the austral summer of 1999-2000 at the Indian Polar Research Station "Maitri" in compliance with the statutory requirements of the article 3 of Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty. The main objective of the study was to assess the impacts of various scientific programs and their associated logistic support facilities on the fragile ecosystem of Antarctica. Identification of major sources of pollution and quantification of pollutants in different environmental components were carried out through an extensive environmental monitoring program spread over a period of 5-7 weeks. Preliminary studies reveal that the levels of pollution are not alarming but there is scope for concern looking into the critical aspects of Antarctic environment and the carrying capacity of the environment surrounding Maitri station.

  19. Iceberg B-15, Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Iceberg B-15 broke from the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica in late March. Among the largest ever observed, the new iceberg is approximately 170 miles long x 25 miles wide. Its 4,250 square-mile area is nearly as large as the state of Connecticut. The iceberg was formed from glacial ice moving off the Antarctic continent and calved along pre-existing cracks in the Ross Ice Shelf near Roosevelt Island. The calving of the iceberg essentially moves the northern boundary of the ice shelf about 25 miles to the south, a loss that would normally take the ice shelf as long as 50-100 years to replace. This infrared image was acquired by the DMSP (Defense Meteorological Satellite Program) F-13 satellite on April 13, 2000. For more images see Antarctic Meteorological Research Center Image courtesy of the University of Wisconsin - Madison, Space Science and Engineering Center, Antarctic Meteorological Research Center

  20. Antarctica and the strategic plan for biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Chown, Steven L.; Brooks, Cassandra M.; Terauds, Aleks; Le Bohec, Céline; van Klaveren-Impagliazzo, Céline; Whittington, Jason D.; Butchart, Stuart H. M.; Coetzee, Bernard W. T.; Collen, Ben; Convey, Peter; Gaston, Kevin J.; Gilbert, Neil; Gill, Mike; Höft, Robert; Johnston, Sam; Kennicutt, Mahlon C.; Kriesell, Hannah J.; Le Maho, Yvon; Lynch, Heather J.; Palomares, Maria; Puig-Marcó, Roser; Stoett, Peter; McGeoch, Melodie A.

    2017-01-01

    The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, adopted under the auspices of the Convention on Biological Diversity, provides the basis for taking effective action to curb biodiversity loss across the planet by 2020—an urgent imperative. Yet, Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, which encompass 10% of the planet’s surface, are excluded from assessments of progress against the Strategic Plan. The situation is a lost opportunity for biodiversity conservation globally. We provide such an assessment. Our evidence suggests, surprisingly, that for a region so remote and apparently pristine as the Antarctic, the biodiversity outlook is similar to that for the rest of the planet. Promisingly, however, much scope for remedial action exists. PMID:28350825

  1. Human Activity and Pollution in Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graf, H.-F.; Shirsat, S. V.; Podzun, R.

    2009-04-01

    A regional climate chemistry model is used to determine the level of pollution of the Antarctic continent due to anthropogenic and natural emission of sulphur species. Based on an emission inventory for the year 2004/2005 including emissions from energy use and ground traffic at and between Antarctic research stations, flight activity, tourist and scientific ship operations, and emissions from the Mt. Erebus volcano, atmospheric concentration and deposition rates of sulphur species and black carbon were simulated at 0.5 degree resolution for the whole Antarctic continent. The biggest anthropogenic source of pollution is ship operations. These concentrate near the Antarctic Peninsula and close to the big scientific stations at Queen Maud Land and in the Ross sea area. The prevailing winds guarantee that most of the anthropogenic emissions from sources near the coast will be blown to lower latitudes and do not affect the continent. While atmospheric concentrations over vast areas remain extremely low, in some places locally concentrations and deposition rates are reached that may be detectable by in-situ measurements and give rise to concern. Especially at the Peninsula atmospheric concentrations and surface deposition of sulphur and soot are dominated by ship emissions. The largest part of shipping activity in this region is from tourist ships, a strongly increasing business. The by far biggest source of sulphur species in Antarctica is the Mt. Erebus volcano. It is also the only source that remains equally strong in polar winter. However, due to its high altitude and the long life time of SO2, especially in winter resulting in long range transport and dilution, Erebus emissions contribute relatively little to deposition of sulphur in the most anthropogenic polluted areas while they dominate the sulphur deposition in central Antarctica.

  2. Deglacial temperature history of West Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cuffey, Kurt M.; Clow, Gary D.; Steig, Eric J.; Buizert, Christo; Fudge, T. J.; Koutnik, Michelle; Waddington, Edwin D.; Alley, Richard B.; Severinghaus, Jeffrey P.

    2016-12-01

    The most recent glacial to interglacial transition constitutes a remarkable natural experiment for learning how Earth’s climate responds to various forcings, including a rise in atmospheric CO2. This transition has left a direct thermal remnant in the polar ice sheets, where the exceptional purity and continual accumulation of ice permit analyses not possible in other settings. For Antarctica, the deglacial warming has previously been constrained only by the water isotopic composition in ice cores, without an absolute thermometric assessment of the isotopes’ sensitivity to temperature. To overcome this limitation, we measured temperatures in a deep borehole and analyzed them together with ice-core data to reconstruct the surface temperature history of West Antarctica. The deglacial warming was 11.3±1.811.3±1.8∘C, approximately two to three times the global average, in agreement with theoretical expectations for Antarctic amplification of planetary temperature changes. Consistent with evidence from glacier retreat in Southern Hemisphere mountain ranges, the Antarctic warming was mostly completed by 15 kyBP, several millennia earlier than in the Northern Hemisphere. These results constrain the role of variable oceanic heat transport between hemispheres during deglaciation and quantitatively bound the direct influence of global climate forcings on Antarctic temperature. Although climate models perform well on average in this context, some recent syntheses of deglacial climate history have underestimated Antarctic warming and the models with lowest sensitivity can be discounted.

  3. IT’S GOOD TO BE BIG—PHAEOCYSTIS ANTARCTICA COLONY SIZE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ZOOPLANKTON GRAZERS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The haptophyte Phaeocystis antarctica forms extremely dense accumulations in the Ross Sea, Antarctica, and accounts for over 60% of the seasonal primary production. Similar to the Phaeocystis species in the northern hemisphere, P. antarctica exists as solitary cells and mucilagin...

  4. It’s good to be big--- Phaeocystis antarctica colony size under the influence of zooplankton grazers

    EPA Science Inventory

    The haptophyte Phaeocystis antarctica forms extremely dense accumulations in the Ross Sea, Antarctica, and accounts for over 60% of the seasonal primary production. Similar to the Phaeocystis species in the northern hemisphere, P. antarctica exists as solitary cells and mucilagin...

  5. Spatial and temporal variations in variable fluoresence in the Ross Sea (Antarctica): Oceanographic correlates and bloom dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Walker O.; Tozzi, Sasha; Long, Matthew C.; Sedwick, Peter N.; Peloquin, Jill A.; Dunbar, Robert B.; Hutchins, David A.; Kolber, Zbigniew; DiTullio, Giacomo R.

    2013-09-01

    During two cruises to the Ross Sea, Antarctica in austral spring and summer, fast repetition rate fluorometry was used to investigate the relationship between phytoplankton photophysiology and water mass characteristics, micronutrient availability, and composition. Particulate organic matter proxies for phytoplankton biomass (chlorophyll a, particulate organic carbon and nitrogen, and biogenic silica) were all elevated in the photic zone during spring and summer. Biogenic silica concentrations were an order of magnitude higher in summer relative to spring, reflecting a shift in composition from Phaoecystis antarctica to diatoms. Quantum yields of PS II (Fv/Fm) were generally higher in spring relative to summer, coincident with weaker vertical and horizontal gradients in hydrographic properties. Reduced Fv/Fm values (<0.4) were observed in the upper 30 m in both seasons, with maximum values (ca. 0.55) observed near base and below the euphotic zone. No significant relationship between Fv/Fm values and dissolved Fe could be identified in the merged spring/summer data set. Functional absorption cross sections were significantly higher in spring than summer, presumably reflecting adaptations to lower irradiance in spring; little variation with depth was observed. Phytoplankton composition did not appear to be a major determinant of bulk quantum yield, although diatom-dominated waters exhibited significantly higher functional absorption cross sections when compared to waters dominated by P. antarctica. Dominance of P. antarctica appears to be related to greater photophysiological resilience and faster photoacclimation to changing light conditions, whereas diatoms were prevalent in shallow summer mixed layers, which likely reflects their enhanced photosynthetic capacity at high irradiance levels.

  6. Late Pliocene diatoms in a diatomite from Prydz Bay, East Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mahood, A.D.; Barron, J.A.

    1996-01-01

    Very well-preserved Pliocene diatoms from a diatomite unit interbedded within glacial sediments at Ocean Drilling Program Site 742 in Prydz Bay, Antarctica are documented and illustrated. The presence of Thalassiosira kolbei, T. torokina, Actinocyclus actinochilus, A. karstenii and the absence of Nitzschia interfrigidaria. T. insigna and T. vulnifica in Sample 119-742A-15R-4, 44-46cm constrain its age to ca. 2.2-1.8 Ma (late Pliocene). Diatoms associated with sea ice constitute 35% of the Pliocene diatom assemblage, compared with 71% of the modern sediment assemblage at the site, suggesting that sea ice was present during the late Pliocene period of deposition of the sample, although it probably was not the significant feature it is today. Thalassiosira ellitipora (Donahue) Fenner is described and illustrated in detail and is validly published. An expanded description and numerous illustrations are also presented for T. torokina Brady.

  7. Thermochronologic constraints on Jurassic rift flank denudation in the Thiel Mountains, Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fitzgerald, P.G.; Baldwin, S.L.

    2007-01-01

    The Thiel Mountains are part of the Transantarctic Mountains (TAM) and occupy a strategic position close to the East-West Antarctic boundary. They occur in a region of relatively subdued topography distal from high topography and high relief of most of the TAM adjacent to the West Antarctic rift system. Low-temperature thermochronology on samples collected from the Reed Ridge granite on the north flank of the Thiel Mountains constrain the thermal and hence tectonic history. Apatite fission track data plus thermal models indicate cooling from ca. 165-150 Ma. In conjunction with 40Ar/39Ar K-feldspar data, the results indicate cooling was due to relatively slow erosional denudation, and not thermal relaxation following Jurassic tholeiitic magmatism. Denudation was most likely associated with the formation of the Jurassic rift system across Antarctica that marked the initial breakup of Gondwana. This is the oldest episode of denudation associated with formation of the present day TAM

  8. Increase in penguin populations during the Little Ice Age in the Ross Sea, Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Hu, Qi-Hou; Sun, Li-Guang; Xie, Zhou-Qing; Emslie, Steven D; Liu, Xiao-Dong

    2013-01-01

    Penguins are an important seabird species in Antarctica and are sensitive to climate and environmental changes. Previous studies indicated that penguin populations increased when the climate became warmer and decreased when it became colder in the maritime Antarctic. Here we determined organic markers in a sediment profile collected at Cape Bird, Ross Island, high Antarctic, and reconstructed the history of Adélie penguin colonies at this location over the past 700 years. The region transformed from a seal to a penguin habitat when the Little Ice Age (LIA; 1500-1800 AD) began. Penguins then became the dominant species. Penguin populations were the highest during ca. 1490 to 1670 AD, a cold period, which is contrary to previous results in other regions much farther north. Different responses to climate change may occur at low latitudes and high latitudes in the Antarctic, even if for same species.

  9. The tectonic development and erosion of the Knox Subglacial Sedimentary Basin, East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maritati, A.; Aitken, A. R. A.; Young, D. A.; Roberts, J. L.; Blankenship, D. D.; Siegert, M. J.

    2016-10-01

    Sedimentary basins beneath the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) have immense potential to inform models of the tectonic evolution of East Antarctica and its ice-sheet. However, even basic characteristics such as thickness and extent are often unknown. Using airborne geophysical data, we resolve the tectonic architecture of the Knox Subglacial Sedimentary Basin in western Wilkes Land. In addition, we apply an erosion restoration model to reconstruct the original basin geometry for which we resolve geometry typical of a transtensional pull-apart basin. The tectonic architecture strongly indicates formation as a consequence of the rifting of India from East Gondwana from ca. 160-130 Ma, and we suggest a spatial link with the western Mentelle Basin offshore Western Australia. The erosion restoration model shows that erosion is confined within the rift margins, suggesting that rift structure has strongly influenced the evolution of the Denman and Scott ice streams.

  10. Fabric and texture at Siple Dome, Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Diprinzio, C.L.; Wilen, L.A.; Alley, R.B.; Fitzpatrick, J.J.; Spencer, M.K.; Gow, A.J.

    2005-01-01

    Preferred c-axis orientations are present in the firn at Siple Dome, West Antarctica, and recrystallization begins as shallow as 200 m depth in ice below -20??C, based on digital analysis of c-axis fabrics, grain-sizes and other characteristics of 52 vertical thin sections prepared in the field from the kilometer-long Siple Dome ice core. The shallowest section analyzed, from 22 m, shows clustering of c axes toward the vertical. By 200 m depth, girdle fabric and other features of recrystallized ice are evident in layers (or regions), separated by layers (regions) of typically finer-grained ice lacking evidence of recrystallization. Ice from about 700-780 m depth, which was deposited during the last ice age, is especially fine-grained, with strongly vertical c axes, but deeper ice shows much larger crystals and strong evidence of recrystallization. Azimuthal asymmetry of some c-axis fabrics, trends in grain-size, and other indicators reveal additional information on processes and history of ice flow at Siple Dome.

  11. Seismic Tomography of Erebus Volcano, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zandomeneghi, Daria; Kyle, Philip; Miller, Pnina; Snelson, Catherine; Aster, Richard

    2010-02-01

    Mount Erebus (77°32'S, 167°10'E elevation 3794 meters) is the most active volcano in Antarctica and is well known for its persistent lava lake. The lake constitutes an “open window” into the conduit and underlying feeding system and offers a rare opportunity to observe a shallow convecting magmatic system. Imaging and modeling of the internal structure of Erebus volcano are best done through compiling information from arrays of seismometers positioned strategically around the volcano. From these data, the three-dimensional (3-D) structure of the conduit can be pieced together. Building this 3-D model of Erebus was a main goal of the seismic tomographic experiment Tomo Erebus (TE). During the 2007-2008 austral field season, 23 intermediate-period seismometers were installed to contribute data, through the winter, for the passive-source aspect of the experiment. One year later, 100 three-component short-period stations were deployed to record 16 chemical blasts (see Figure 1).

  12. Social, occupational and cultural adaptation in Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicolas, Michel; Bishop, Sheryl; Weiss, Karine; Gaudino, Marvin

    2016-07-01

    Life in isolated and confined environments (ICEs, e.g., polar stations, submarine or space missions), is subject to important constraints which can generate psychosociological impaired outcomes. This study investigated psychological, social, occupational and cultural variables which are among the most important determinants in adaptation to a one-year wintering in Antarctica with 13 international participants. Our findings confirm and give further insight into the role of social (Cohesiveness, Social Support) and occupational (Implementation / Preparedness, Counterproductive Activity, Decision Latitude and Psychological Job Demands) dimensions of adaptation to ICE environments. Relationships between various social and occupational dimensions studies reflected detrimental effects ranging from decrements in cohesiveness, social support and work performance which differed across professional status and multicultural factors. These psychosocial issues have important implications for pre-mission selection and training, monitoring and support of crews during the mission and post-mission readaptation. Operational recommendations are suggested to improve adaptation, success and well-being for long-term ICE missions, e.g., to Mars and beyond.

  13. Tides In The Subglacial Lake Vostok, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dietrich, R.; Shibuya, K.; Pötzsch, A.; Ozawa, T.

    Subglacial lakes belong to the most interesting glaciological features in Antarctica, where the 240-km-long Lake Vostok is the most prominent one. For the understanding of the dynamics of the Lake Vostok system different compo- nents such as ice thickness and ice motion, lake bathymetry, geothermal heat flow, water circulation and melting-refreezing have to be investigated and modelled in a complex way. An aspect, which has not been considered yet, are lake tides. We present evidence based on observations which indicate the existence of tides in the lake. Earlier gravimetric tidal observations at Vostok Station show a significant deviation from theoretical solid earth tides which may be explained as the tidal effect of the water underneath the station. Interferometric SAR analysis yields a specific sur- face deformation pattern which is interpreted as a tidal signal too. According to our estimation the resulting magnitude of the vertical surface deformation is in the order of a few centimetres. The role of a `tidal pump' concerning the water circulation in the lake will be empha- sized.

  14. Odd cloud in the Ross Sea, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    On January 28, 2002, MODIS captured this image of an interesting cloud formation in the boundary waters between Antarctica's Ross Sea and the Southern Ocean. A dragon? A snake? A fish? No, but it is an interesting example of the atmospheric physics of convection. The 'eye' of this dragon-looking cloud is likely a small spot of convection, the process by which hot moist air rises up into the atmosphere, often producing big, fluffy clouds as moisture in the air condenses as rises into the colder parts of the atmosphere. A false color analysis that shows different kinds of clouds in different colors reveals that the eye is composed of ice crystals while the 'body' is a liquid water cloud. This suggests that the eye is higher up in the atmosphere than the body. The most likely explanation for the eye feature is that the warm, rising air mass had enough buoyancy to punch through the liquid water cloud. As a convective parcel of air rises into the atmosphere, it pushes the colder air that is higher up out of its way. That cold air spills down over the sides of the convective air mass, and in this case has cleared away part of the liquid cloud layer below in the process. This spilling over of cold air from higher up in the atmosphere is the reason why thunderstorms are often accompanied by a cool breeze. Credit: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

  15. Water Flow and Lake Drainage Beneath Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willis, I. C.; Long, S. M.; Peters, N. J.; Arnold, N. S.

    2008-12-01

    We use 5 km resolution surface and bed DEMs of Antarctica to calculate the subglacial hydraulic potential, and location of drainage catchments and major drainage pathways for the Antarctic Ice Sheet. We find close correlations between sinks in the hydraulic potential, the location of major drainage pathways and the position of known subglacial lakes. We use a thermo-mechanical ice sheet dynamics model with an assumed geothermal heat-flux to calculate energy supply and melt rates beneath the ice sheet. Accumulating this water along the drainage pathways allows us to calculate the steady state water flux to all known lakes (which range between ~ 0.1 and ~ 10m3 s-1) and in the drainage pathways as they enter the ocean (which range from ~ 1 to ~ 100m3 s-1). For different assumed lake drainage event discharges, we estimate a range of jokulhlaup frequencies for each lake. For the observed 1996-8 Adventure Subglacial Trench lake drainage event of ~ 1.8 km3, we estimate a flood frequency of 25 years. Finally, we use Nye's (1976) theory to model the time dependent discharge associated with the Adventure Trench jokulhlaup and can match theory to the observed surface altimetry data for realistic values of initial conduit diameter and roughness.

  16. Sequence and structural investigation of a novel psychrophilic α-amylase from Glaciozyma antarctica PI12 for cold-adaptation analysis.

    PubMed

    Ramli, Aizi Nor Mazila; Azhar, Mohd Akmal; Shamsir, Mohd Shahir; Rabu, Amir; Murad, Abdul Munir Abdul; Mahadi, Nor Muhammad; Illias, Rosli Md

    2013-08-01

    A novel α-amylase was isolated successfully from Glaciozyma antarctica PI12 using DNA walking and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) methods. The structure of this psychrophilic α-amylase (AmyPI12) from G. antarctica PI12 has yet to be studied in detail. A 3D model of AmyPI12 was built using a homology modelling approach to search for a suitable template and to generate an optimum target-template alignment, followed by model building using MODELLER9.9. Analysis of the AmyPI12 model revealed the presence of binding sites for a conserved calcium ion (CaI), non-conserved calcium ions (CaII and CaIII) and a sodium ion (Na). Compared with its template-the thermostable α-amylase from Bacillus stearothermophilus (BSTA)-the binding of CaII, CaIII and Na ions in AmyPI12 was observed to be looser, which suggests that the low stability of AmyPI12 allows the protein to work at different temperature scales. The AmyPI12 amino acid sequence and model were compared with thermophilic α-amylases from Bacillus species that provided the highest structural similarities with AmyPI12. These comparative studies will enable identification of possible determinants of cold adaptation.

  17. Tectonic evolution of west Antarctica and its relation to east Antarctica

    SciTech Connect

    Dalziel, I.W.D.

    1987-05-01

    West Antarctica consists of five major blocks of continental crust separated by deep sub-ice basins. Marie Byrd Land appears to have been rifted off the adjacent margin of the East Antarctic craton along the line of the Transantarctic Mountains during the Mesozoic. Ellsworth-Whitmore mountains and Haag Nunataks blocks were also rifted from the margin of the craton. They appear to have moved together with the Antarctic Peninsula and Thurston Island blocks, segments of a Pacific margin Mesozoic-Cenozoic magmatic arc, during the Mesozoic opening of the Weddell Sea basin. Paleomagnetic data suggest that all four of these blocks remained attached to western Gondwanaland (South America-Africa) until approximately 125 m.y. ago, and that the present geographic configuration of the Antarctic continent was essentially complete by the mid-Cretaceous, although important Cenozoic rifting has also occurred. Fragmentation of the Gondwanaland supercontinent was preceded in the Middle to Late Jurassic by an important and widespread thermal event of uncertain origin that resulted in the emplacement of an extensive bimodal igneous suite in South America, Africa, Antarctica, and Australia. This was associated with the development of the composite back-arc basin along the western margin of South America. Inversion of this basin in the mid-Cretaceous initiated Andean orogenesis. The presentation will include new data from the joint US-UK West Antarctic Tectonics Project.

  18. Ecological Biogeography of the Terrestrial Nematodes of Victoria Land, Antarctica

    PubMed Central

    Adams, Byron J.; Wall, Diana H.; Virginia, Ross A.; Broos, Emma; Knox, Matthew A.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The terrestrial ecosystems of Victoria Land, Antarctica are characteristically simple in terms of biological diversity and ecological functioning. Nematodes are the most commonly encountered and abundant metazoans of Victoria Land soils, yet little is known of their diversity and distribution. Herein we present a summary of the geographic distribution, habitats and ecology of the terrestrial nematodes of Victoria Land from published and unpublished sources. All Victoria Land nematodes are endemic to Antarctica, and many are common and widely distributed at landscape scales. However, at smaller spatial scales, populations can have patchy distributions, with the presence or absence of each species strongly influenced by specific habitat requirements. As the frequency of nematode introductions to Antarctica increases, and soil habitats are altered in response to climate change, our current understanding of the environmental parameters associated with the biogeography of Antarctic nematofauna will be crucial to monitoring and possibly mitigating changes to these unique soil ecosystems. PMID:25061360

  19. Cryoconite and Ice-bubble Microbial Ecosystems in Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoover, Richard B.; Rose, M. Franklin (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    During the Antarctica 2000 Expedition samples of rocks and ice bubbles entrained in ice were collected from the blue ice fields near the Moulton Escarpment of the Thiel Mountains (85S, 94W) and the Morris Moraine of the Patriot Hills (80S, 8 1 W) Ellsworth Mountains of Antarctica. Investigation of the microbiota of these cryoconite and ice bubble ecosystems are now being conducted to help refine chemical and morphological biomarkers of potential significance to Astrobiology. The Antarctica 2000 Expedition will be discussed and the preliminary results of the studies of the ice bubble and cryoconite microbial ecosystems discussed. Recent ESEM images of the Antarctic microbiota will be presented a the relevance of ice ecosystems to Astrobiology will be discussed.

  20. Vascular plants as bioindicators of regional warming in Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Smith, R I Lewis

    1994-09-01

    Monitoring selected populations of the only two native Antarctic vascular plant species (Colobanthus quitensis andDeschampsia antarctica) over a 27-year period has revealed a significant and relatively rapid increase in numbers of individuals and populations at two widely separated localities in the maritime Antarctic. There is strong evidence that this increase is a response to a warming trend in summer air temperatures, which has been evident throughout the region since the late 1940s, enhancing seed maturation, germination and seedling survival. This study provides the only known long-term monitoring data for any terrestrial organisms in Antarc-tica. Because their response to ameliorating conditions is more rapid than that of the dominant cryptogamic groups, Antarctic phanerogams may be useful bioindicators of climate change in West Antarctica.

  1. Permafrost and periglacial research in Antarctica: New results and perspectives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guglielmin, Mauro; Vieira, Gonçalo

    2014-11-01

    In the last two years the research within the Antarctic Permafrost, Periglacial Environments and Soils (ANTPAS) Expert Group of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) and Working Group of the International Permafrost Association (IPA) provided new results on the dynamics of periglacial environments both in Maritime and Continental Antarctica. In continental Antarctica despite the absence of air warming, in the last 15 years an active layer thickening and acceleration of permafrost degradation erosional phenomena were reported, these being mainly related to the increase of solar radiation. On the other hand, in Maritime Antarctica, with a dramatic air warming, permafrost degradation has been observed, but the role of snow cover on the ground energy balance and consequently on permafrost and active layer has been underlined. Moreover, many contributions on the knowledge on the characteristics of the Antarctic soils were carried out in several areas along a wide latitudinal range.

  2. The SCAR Astronomy & Astrophysics from Antarctica Scientific Research Programme

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Storey, John W. V.; Abe, Lyu; Andersen, Michael; Anderson, Philip; Burton, Michael; Cui, Xiangqun; Ichikawa, Takashi; Karle, Albrecht; Lloyd, James; Masi, Silvia; Steinbring, Eric; Travouillon, Tony; Tuthill, Peter; Zhou, HongYang

    2013-01-01

    SCAR, the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, is, like the IAU, a committee of ICSU, the International Council for Science. For over 30 years, SCAR has provided scientific advice to the Antarctic Treaty System and made numerous recommendations on a variety of matters. In 2010, Astronomy and Astrophysics from Antarctica was recognized as one of SCAR's five Scientific Research Programs. Broadly stated, the objectives of Astronomy & Astrophysics from Antarctica are to coordinate astronomical activities in Antarctica in a way that ensures the best possible outcomes from international investment in Antarctic astronomy, and maximizes the opportunities for productive interaction with other disciplines. There are four Working Groups, dealing with site testing, Arctic astronomy, science goals, and major new facilities. Membership of the Working Groups is open to any professional working in astronomy or a related field.

  3. Triassic tetrapods from antarctica: evidence for continental drift.

    PubMed

    Elliot, D H; Colbert, E H; Breed, W J; Jensen, J A; Powell, J S

    1970-09-18

    During the austral summer of 1969-1970 bones of Lower Triassic vertebrates were excavated from coarse quartzose sandstones forming stream channel deposits of the Fremouw Formation at Coalsack Bluff, in the Transantarctic Mountains of Antarctica. This is the first assemblage of fossil tetrapods of significant geologic age to be found on the Antarctic Continent. The fossils include labyrinthodont amphibians, presumed thecodont reptiles, and therapsid reptiles, including the definitive genus, Lystrosaurus. This genus is typical of the Lower Triassic of southern Africa, and is also found in India and China. Lystrosaurus and associated vertebrates found in Antarctica were land-living animals: therefore their presence on the South Polar Continent would seem to indicate the contiguity of Antarctica, Africa, and India in Early Triassic times.

  4. Ongoing deformation of Antarctica following recent Great Earthquakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    King, Matt; Santamaría-Gómez, Alvaro

    2016-04-01

    The secular motion of Antarctica is thought to be almost everywhere governed by horizontal rigid plate rotation plus three-dimensional deformations due to past and present changes in ice-ocean loading, known as glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA). We use geodetic data to investigate deformation following the 1998 magnitude ~8.1 Antarctic intra-plate Earthquake, and show sustained three-dimensional deformation along East Antarctica's coastline, 600 km from the rupture location. Using a model of viscoelastic deformation we are able to match observed northward velocity changes, and either east or height, but not all three directions simultaneously, apparently partly due to lateral variations in mantle rheology. Our modeling predicts much of Antarctica may still be deforming, with further deformation possible from the 2004 Macquarie Ridge Earthquake. This previously unconsidered mode of Antarctic deformation affects geodetic estimates of plate motion and GIA; its viscous nature raises the prospect of further present-day deformation due to earlier Great Earthquakes.

  5. Ongoing deformation of Antarctica following recent Great Earthquakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    King, Matt A.; Santamaría-Gómez, Alvaro

    2016-03-01

    Antarctica's secular motion is thought to be almost everywhere governed by horizontal rigid plate rotation plus three-dimensional deformations due to past and present changes in ice ocean loading, known as glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA). We use geodetic data to investigate deformation following the 1998 M ~8.2 Antarctic intraplate Earthquake and show sustained three-dimensional deformation along East Antarctica's coastline, 600 km from the rupture location. Using a model of viscoelastic deformation, we are able to match observed northward velocity changes, and either east or height, but not all three directions simultaneously, apparently partly due to lateral variations in mantle rheology. Our modeling predicts that much of Antarctica may still be deforming, with further deformation possible from the 2004 M 8 Macquarie Ridge Earthquake. This previously unconsidered mode of Antarctic deformation affects geodetic estimates of plate motion and GIA; its viscous nature raises the prospect of further present-day deformation due to earlier Great Earthquakes.

  6. Where does CO2 in Antarctica cool the atmosphere ?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmithüsen, Holger; Notholt, Justus; König-Langlo, Gert; Lemke, Peter; Jung, Thomas

    2016-04-01

    In a recent study we have shown that for the high altitude plateau in Antarctica CO2 causes a surplus in infrared emission to space compared to what is emitted from the surface. This corresponds to a negative greenhouse effect, and is due to the fact that for this region the surface is typically colder than the atmosphere above, opposite to the rest of the world. As a consequence, for this region an increase in CO2 leads to an increase in the energy loss to space, leading to an increase in the negative greenhouse effect. We now studied in more detail the radiative effect of CO2 and compared the results with available measurements from Antarctica. H. Schmithüsen, J. Notholt, G. Köngig-Langlo, T, Jung. How increasing CO2 leads to an increased negative greenhouse effect in Antarctica. Geophysical Research Letters, in press, 2015. doi: 10.1002/2015GL066749.

  7. Provenance of dust to Antarctica: A lead isotopic perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gili, Stefania; Gaiero, Diego M.; Goldstein, Steven L.; Chemale, Farid, Jr.; Koester, Edinei; Jweda, Jason; Vallelonga, Paul; Kaplan, Michael R.

    2016-03-01

    Antarctic ice preserves an ~800 kyr record of dust activity in the Southern Hemisphere. Major efforts have been dedicated to elucidate the origin of this material in order to gain greater insight into the atmospheric dust cycle. On the basis of Pb isotopes in Antarctic dust samples and potential sources, this contribution demonstrates for the first time that Patagonia is the main contributor of dust to Antarctica during interglacial periods as well as glacials, although the potential importance of Tierra del Fuego remains unclear because of its geochemical similarities to Patagonia. An important new finding is that the Puna-Altiplano sector of the continent is a second important dust source to eastern Antarctica during both glacials and interglacials, being more prominent during interglacials. The data indicate South America is the primary dust source to Antarctica during both glacials and interglacials.

  8. Live from Antarctica: the Coldest, Windiest Place on Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1994-01-01

    In this first part of a four part 'Passport to Knowledge Special', hosted by Camille Jennings from Maryland Public Television, children from Maryland and Texas schools had the opportunity to directly interact with and ask questions of scientists and researchers in Antarctica live. The physical characteristics of Antarctica are featured, along with their effects on the human and microbiological organisms living in the region. The reasons behind the clothing worn in the Antarctic and the importance of the meteorological station are featured. Interviews with Professor Ian Dolziel (U of Texas) and Lt. commander John Joseph, NSFA (the head of the Navy Meteorology Center) occur with the school children, along with actual video footage of the surrounding geological features and geography. The 'Weatherops' is located at McMurdo Station, Antarctica.

  9. Baseline values for metals in soils on Fildes Peninsula, King George Island, Antarctica: the extent of anthropogenic pollution.

    PubMed

    Lu, Zhibo; Cai, Minghong; Wang, Juan; Yang, Haizhen; He, Jianfeng

    2012-11-01

    Metal contents (Al, Ca, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Ti, and Zn) have been measured in 30 surface soils on Fildes Peninsula, King George Island, Antarctica, yielding values (in milligrams kilogram(-1)) of 41.57-80.65 (Zn), 2.76-60.52 (Pb), 0.04-0.34 (Cd), 7.18-25.03 (Ni), 43,255-70,534 (Fe), 449-1,401 (Mn), 17.10-64.90 (Cr), 1,440-25,684 (Mg), 10,941-49,354 (Ca), 51.10-176.50 (Cu), 4,388-12,707 (Ti), 28,038-83,849 (Al), and for Hg (in nanograms gram(-1)) 0.01-0.06. Relative cumulative frequency analysis was used to determine the baseline values for the 13 metals. Compared with adjacent areas in Antarctica, Mg and Ni are significantly lower, but Cu is significantly higher than that of McMurdo Station. Enrichment factor analysis and the geo-accumulation index method were applied in order to determine the extent of anthropogenic contamination, and both show that Pb, Cd, and Hg have been significantly increased by human activities. Principal component analysis was used to identify the sources of metals in these soil samples.

  10. Molecular Cytogenetic Analysis of Deschampsia antarctica Desv. (Poaceae), Maritime Antarctic

    PubMed Central

    Amosova, Alexandra V.; Bolsheva, Nadezhda L.; Samatadze, Tatiana E.; Twardovska, Maryana O.; Zoshchuk, Svyatoslav A.; Andreev, Igor O.; Badaeva, Ekaterina D.; Kunakh, Viktor A.; Muravenko, Olga V.

    2015-01-01

    Deschampsia antarctica Desv. (Poaceae) (2n = 26) is one of the two vascular plants adapted to the harshest environment of the Antarctic. Although the species is a valuable model for study of environmental stress tolerance in plants, its karyotype is still poorly investigated. We firstly conducted a comprehensive molecular cytogenetic analysis of D. antarctica collected on four islands of the Maritime Antarctic. D. antarctica karyotypes were studied by Giemsa C- and DAPI/C-banding, Ag-NOR staining, multicolour fluorescence in situ hybridization with repeated DNA probes (pTa71, pTa794, telomere repeats, pSc119.2, pAs1) and the GAA simple sequence repeat probe. We also performed sequential rapid in situ hybridization with genomic DNA of D. caespitosa. Two chromosome pairs bearing transcriptionally active 45S rDNA loci and five pairs with 5S rDNA sites were detected. A weak intercalary site of telomere repeats was revealed on the largest chromosome in addition to telomere hybridization signals at terminal positions. This fact confirms indirectly the hypothesis that chromosome fusion might have been the cause of the unusual for cereals chromosome number in this species. Based on patterns of distribution of the examined molecular cytogenetic markers, all chromosomes in karyotypes were identified, and chromosome idiograms of D. antarctica were constructed. B chromosomes were found in most karyotypes of plants from Darboux Island. A mixoploid plant with mainly triploid cells bearing a Robertsonian rearrangement was detected among typical diploid specimens from Great Jalour Island. The karyotype variability found in D. antarctica is probably an expression of genome instability induced by environmental stress factors. The differences in C-banding patterns and in chromosome distribution of rDNA loci as well as homologous highly repeated DNA sequences detected between genomes of D. antarctica and its related species D. caespitosa indicate that genome reorganization involving

  11. Molecular Cytogenetic Analysis of Deschampsia antarctica Desv. (Poaceae), Maritime Antarctic.

    PubMed

    Amosova, Alexandra V; Bolsheva, Nadezhda L; Samatadze, Tatiana E; Twardovska, Maryana O; Zoshchuk, Svyatoslav A; Andreev, Igor O; Badaeva, Ekaterina D; Kunakh, Viktor A; Muravenko, Olga V

    2015-01-01

    Deschampsia antarctica Desv. (Poaceae) (2n = 26) is one of the two vascular plants adapted to the harshest environment of the Antarctic. Although the species is a valuable model for study of environmental stress tolerance in plants, its karyotype is still poorly investigated. We firstly conducted a comprehensive molecular cytogenetic analysis of D. antarctica collected on four islands of the Maritime Antarctic. D. antarctica karyotypes were studied by Giemsa C- and DAPI/C-banding, Ag-NOR staining, multicolour fluorescence in situ hybridization with repeated DNA probes (pTa71, pTa794, telomere repeats, pSc119.2, pAs1) and the GAA simple sequence repeat probe. We also performed sequential rapid in situ hybridization with genomic DNA of D. caespitosa. Two chromosome pairs bearing transcriptionally active 45S rDNA loci and five pairs with 5S rDNA sites were detected. A weak intercalary site of telomere repeats was revealed on the largest chromosome in addition to telomere hybridization signals at terminal positions. This fact confirms indirectly the hypothesis that chromosome fusion might have been the cause of the unusual for cereals chromosome number in this species. Based on patterns of distribution of the examined molecular cytogenetic markers, all chromosomes in karyotypes were identified, and chromosome idiograms of D. antarctica were constructed. B chromosomes were found in most karyotypes of plants from Darboux Island. A mixoploid plant with mainly triploid cells bearing a Robertsonian rearrangement was detected among typical diploid specimens from Great Jalour Island. The karyotype variability found in D. antarctica is probably an expression of genome instability induced by environmental stress factors. The differences in C-banding patterns and in chromosome distribution of rDNA loci as well as homologous highly repeated DNA sequences detected between genomes of D. antarctica and its related species D. caespitosa indicate that genome reorganization involving

  12. Surface Ozone evolution in Coastal Continental Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Navarro-Comas, M.; Yela, M.; Gil, M.; Parrondo, M. C.; Ochoa, H.

    2009-04-01

    Surface ozone measurements from two complete years (February 2007 to February 2009) at Belgrano station (Antarctica, 78°S, 35°W) are presented. Belgrano is a coastal station lying approximately 20 km from the Weddell Sea coast and located 256 m above sea level. A UV photometric ozone analyzer, model TEI 49C, was deployed with the double purpose of, in the first place, perform the quality control of ozonesounding before launching and, on second place, background ozone monitoring in a long term basis. The two years data analysis shows an annual ozone cycle with one month lag on surface ozone data and the solstices. The ozone maximum is reached in mid-winter (in July), while the minimum is attained in summer (in January) in opposition of typical mid-latitude continental observatories, but in agreement with other coastal observatories in Antarctica. The daily mean maximum observed during the whole period peaks at 36.5 ppbv in July and the minimum value observed was found to be 6.9 ppbv, in December. The mean surface ozone concentration value calculated during the observational period was 24.3 ppbv with a standard deviation of 7.7 ppbv. The fast transition night to day that takes place in Belgrano does not correlate with the seasonal ozone distribution suggesting that distribution may be controlled by transport mechanisms with a minor contribution of the photochemistry. It is also observed a higher day to day variation after the polar night, during the Antarctic spring and summer. Several depleted ozone events have been found along the observational period during the Austral spring (October-December) season, attributable to photochemical catalyzed ozone depletion from halogen chemistry. During those days, the ozone mixing ration drops until only a few ppbv in a short period of time (within a few hours). BrO observation from the satellite instrument SCIAMACHY shows large patterns of enhancements of BrO in the Weddell Sea during those days and calculated HYSPLIT

  13. Avian cholera in Southern Great Petrel (Macronectes giganteus) from Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Leotta, G.A.; Rivas, M.; Chinen, I.; Vigo, G.B.; Moredo, F.A.; Coria, N.; Wolcott, M.J.

    2003-01-01

    A southern giant petrel (Macronectes giganteus) was found dead at Potter Peninsula, King George Island, South Shetland, Antarctica. The adult male was discovered approximately 48 hr after death. Macroscopic and microscopic lesions were compatible with avian cholera and the bacterium Pasteurella multocida subsp. gallicida, serotype A1 was isolated from lung, heart, liver, pericardial sac, and air sacs. In addition, Escherichia coli was isolated from pericardial sac and air sacs. This is the first known report of avian cholera in a southern giant petrel in Antarctica.

  14. Climate change during the last deglaciation in Antarctica

    SciTech Connect

    Mayewski, P.A.; Twickler, M.S.; Whitlow, S.I.

    1996-06-14

    Greenland ice core records provide clear evidence of rapid changes in climate in a variety of climate indicators. In this work, rapid climate change events in the Northern and Southern hemispheres are compared on the basis of an examination of changes in atmospheric circulation developed from two ice cores. High-resolution glaciochemical series, covering the period 10,000 to 16,000 years ago, from a central Greenland ice core and a new site in east Antarctica display similar variability. These findings suggest that rapid climate change events occur more frequently in Antarctica than previously demonstrated. 21 refs,. 2 figs.

  15. Practical analysis of tide gauges records from Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galassi, Gaia; Spada, Giorgio

    2015-04-01

    We have collected and analyzed in a basic way the currently available time series from tide gauges deployed along the coasts of Antarctica. The database of the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL) holds relative sea level information for 17 stations, which are mostly concentrated in the Antarctic Peninsula (8 out of 17). For 7 of the PSMSL stations, Revised Local Reference (RLR) monthly and yearly observations are available, spanning from year 1957.79 (Almirante Brown) to 2013.95 (Argentine Islands). For the remaining 11 stations, only metric monthly data can be obtained during the time window 1957-2013. The record length of the available time series is not generally exceeding 20 years. Remarkable exceptions are the RLR station of Argentine Island, located in the Antarctic Peninsula (AP) (time span: 1958-2013, record length: 54 years, completeness=98%), and the metric station of Syowa in East Antarctica (1975-2012, 37 years, 92%). The general quality (geographical coverage and length of record) of the time series hinders a coherent geophysical interpretation of the relative sea-level data along the coasts of Antarctica. However, in an attempt to characterize the relative sea level signals available, we have stacked (i.e., averaged) the RLR time series for the AP and for the whole Antarctica. The so obtained time series have been analyzed using simple regression in order to estimate a trend and a possible sea-level acceleration. For the AP, the the trend is 1.8 ± 0.2 mm/yr and for the whole Antarctica it is 2.1 ± 0.1 mm/yr (both during 1957-2013). The modeled values of Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA) obtained with ICE-5G(VM2) using program SELEN, range between -0.7 and -1.6 mm/yr, showing that the sea-level trend recorded by tide gauges is strongly influenced by GIA. Subtracting the average GIA contribution (-1.1 mm/yr) to observed sea-level trend from the two stacks, we obtain 3.2 and 2.9 mm/yr for Antarctica and AP respectively, which are interpreted

  16. Fit between Africa and Antarctica: A Continental Drift Reconstruction.

    PubMed

    Dietz, R S; Sproll, W P

    1970-03-20

    A computerized (smallest average misfit) best fit position is obtained for the juxtaposition of Africa and Antarctica in a continental drift reconstruction. An S-shaped portion of the Weddell and Princess Martha Coast regions of western East Antarctica is fitted into a similar profile along southeastern Africa. The total amount of overlap is 36,300 square kilometers, and the underlap is 23,600 square kilometers; the total mismatch is thus of 59,900 square kilometers. The congruency along the 1000-fathom isobath is remarkably good and suggests that this reconstruction is valid within the overall framework of the Gondwana supercontinent.

  17. The GRAD high-altitude balloon flight over Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eichhorn, G.; Coldwell, R. L.; Dunnam, F. E.; Rester, A. C.; Trombka, J. I.; Starr, R.

    1989-01-01

    The Gamma Ray Advanced Detector (GRAD) consists of a n-type germanium detector inside an active bismuth-germanate Compton and charged particle shield with additional active plastic shielding across the aperture. It will be flown on a high-altitude balloon at 36 km altitude at a latitude of 78 deg S over Antarctica for observations of gamma radiation emitted by the radioactive decay of Co-56 in the supernova SN1987A, for assessment of the performance of bismuth-germanate scintillation material in the radiation environment of near space, for gathering information on the gamma-ray background over Antarctica, and for testing fault-tolerant software.

  18. Hydrocarbons in benthic marine algae of the Vestfold Hills, Antarctica

    SciTech Connect

    Dhargalkar, V.K.; Bhosle, N.B.

    1987-02-01

    Recently, Antarctic continent has been the center for diverse research activities. This has resulted in a large number of research and supply vessels visiting Antarctica, which may lead to the contamination of Antarctic environment due to unintentional release of petroleum products. It is, therefore, essential to monitor the concentration of various pollutants in water, sediment, flora and fauna of this region which may also serve as a baseline data for future comparison. With this in view, total hydrocarbon concentration in some marine benthic algae collected from the Vestfold Hills, Antarctica was studied using fluorescence spectroscopy.

  19. Declassified Intelligence Satellite Photography (DISP) Coverage of Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bindschadler, Robert; Seider, Wendy

    1998-01-01

    This report summarizes the results of a nine-week summer project examining all Declassified Intelligence Satellite Photography (DISP) of Antarctica. It was discovered that the data were collected in three separate missions during 1962 and 1963. The first two missions covered only the coastal areas, while the third mission covered the entire continent. Many of the 1782 frames collected were cloudy. This is especially true of West Antarctica. An optimal set of photographs covering the entire Antarctic coastline is identified along with some examples that show changes in the coastline which have occurred since the early 1960s.

  20. Identification of small open reading frames in the Glaciozyma antarctica genome

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mat-Sharani, Shuhaila; Bharudin, Izwan; Zainuddin, Nursyafiqi; Abdul-Murad, Abdul-Munir; Abu-Bakar, Farah-Diba; Najimuddin, Nazalan; Mahadi, Nor-Muhammad; Firdaus-Raih, Mohd

    2015-09-01

    Glaciozyma antarctica is an obligate psychrophilic yeast that was isolated from Casey Research Station, Antarctica. The objective of this study was to identify small Open Reading Frames (sORFs) in the G. antarctica genome. Small ORFs have been found in other organisms including Saccharomyces cerevisiae and human and they have been known to partake in a diverse variety of functions. In this study, ORFs were searched from the existing G. antarctica genome annotations and this resulted 294 sORFs (of at most 100 amino acids) which represented 4% of the 7857 annotated ORFs. Several of these sORFs were validated by mapping to EST and transcriptome of G. antarctica.

  1. Particles and iodine compounds in coastal Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roscoe, Howard K.; Jones, Anna E.; Brough, Neil; Weller, Rolf; Saiz-Lopez, Alfonso; Mahajan, Anoop S.; Schoenhardt, Anja; Burrows, John P.; Fleming, Zoe L.

    2015-07-01

    Aerosol particle number concentrations have been measured at Halley and Neumayer on the Antarctic coast, since 2004 and 1984, respectively. Sulphur compounds known to be implicated in particle formation and growth were independently measured: sulphate ions and methane sulphonic acid in filtered aerosol samples and gas phase dimethyl sulphide for limited periods. Iodine oxide, IO, was determined by a satellite sensor from 2003 to 2009 and by different ground-based sensors at Halley in 2004 and 2007. Previous model results and midlatitude observations show that iodine compounds consistent with the large values of IO observed may be responsible for an increase in number concentrations of small particles. Coastal Antarctica is useful for investigating correlations between particles, sulphur, and iodine compounds, because of their large annual cycles and the source of iodine compounds in sea ice. After smoothing all the measured data by several days, the shapes of the annual cycles in particle concentration at Halley and Neumayer are approximated by linear combinations of the shapes of sulphur compounds and IO but not by sulphur compounds alone. However, there is no short-term correlation between IO and particle concentration. The apparent correlation by eye after smoothing but not in the short term suggests that iodine compounds and particles are sourced some distance offshore. This suggests that new particles formed from iodine compounds are viable, i.e., they can last long enough to grow to the larger particles that contribute to cloud condensation nuclei, rather than being simply collected by existing particles. If so, there is significant potential for climate feedback near the sea ice zone via the aerosol indirect effect.

  2. The Center for Astrophysical Research in Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harper, D. A.

    1998-09-01

    The Antarctic Plateau is the coldest, driest place on earth. Instruments deployed there enjoy unique advantages for observations requiring (1) the lowest possible thermal background emission, (2) the high transparency and extreme stablity of the Antarctic atmosphere at wavelengths sensitive to water vapor absorption, or (3) continuous access to the polar sky. The Center for Astrophysical Research in Antarctica (CARA) was formed in 1991 to establish observatory at the South Pole and to pursue a set of research projects which can exploit the unique advantages of the site. The projects are knit together by overlapping scientific questions being approached with instruments sensitive to wavelengths from one micron to one millimeter; by the logistical aspects of running a common observatory at a remote site; and by a common type of experiment which places emphasis on large scale, uniform, high sensitivity observations. Center projects study the spatial structure of the cosmic microwave background, star and planet formation, galaxy structure and evolution, and the physics and chemistry of the interstellar medium. During the past seven years, CARA has established a year-round observatory at the South Pole; confirmed the transparency, darkness, and stability of the Antarctic sky; installed four major telescope facilities, and used them to conduct scientific investigations. Now, with facilities in place, with established methods of operating equipment in the antarctic environment, with a knowledge of the site characteristics in hand, and with a major modernization program underway at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, the potential of the South Pole site for astrophysical research is only beginning to be realized. Future instruments of exceptional resolution and sensitivity are possible and would provide a valuable complement to airborne and space-based telescopes which will be deployed during the first decades of the new century.

  3. A mesoscale vortex over Halley Station, Antarctica

    SciTech Connect

    Turner, J.; Lachlan-Cope, T.A.; Warren, D.E. ); Duncan, C.N. )

    1993-05-01

    A detailed analysis of the evolution and structure of a mesoscale vortex and associated cloud comma that developed at the eastern edge of the Weddell Sea, Antarctica, during the early part of January 1986 is presented. The system remained quasi-stationary for over three days close to the British research station Halley (75[degrees]36'S, 26'42[degrees]W) and gave severe weather with gale-force winds and prolonged snow. The formation and development of the system were investigated using conventional surface and upper-air meteorological observations taken at Halley, analyses from the U.K. Meteorological Office 15-level model, and satellite imagery and sounder data from the TIROS-N-NOAA series of polar orbiting satellites. The thermal structure of the vortex was examined using atmospheric profiles derived from radiance measurements from the TIROS Operational Vertical Sounder. Details of the wind field were examined using cloud motion vectors derived from a sequence of Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer images. The vortex developed inland of the Brunt Ice Shelf in a strong baroclinic zone separating warm air, which had been advected polewards down the eastern Weddell Sea, and cold air descending from the Antarctic Plateau. The system intensified when cold, continental air associated with an upper-level short-wave trough was advected into the vortex. A frontal cloud band developed when slantwise ascent of warm air took place at the leading edge of the cold-air outbreak. Most of the precipitation associated with the low occurred on this cloud band. The small sea surface-atmospheric temperature differences gave only limited heat fluxes and there was no indication of deep convection associated with the system. The vortex was driven by baroclinic forcing and had some features in common with the baroclinic type of polar lows that occur in the Northern Hemisphere. 25 refs., 14 figs.

  4. Electric field measurements from Halley, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicoll, Keri; Harrison, R. Giles

    2016-04-01

    Antarctica is a unique location for the study of atmospheric electricity. Not only is it one of the most pollutant free places on Earth, but its proximity to the south magnetic pole means that it is an ideal location to study the effects of solar variability on the atmospheric electric field. This is due to the reduced shielding effect of the geomagnetic field at the poles which leads to a greater flux of incoming Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCRs) as well as an increased probability of energetic particle precipitation from SEPs and relativistic electrons. To investigate such effects, two electric field mills of different design were installed at the British Antarctic Survey Halley base in February 2015 (75. 58 degrees south, 26.66 degrees west). Halley is situated on the Brunt Ice Shelf in the south east of the Weddell Sea and has snow cover all year round. Preliminary analysis has focused on selection of fair weather criteria using wind speed and visibility measurements which are vital to assess the effects of falling snow, blowing snow and freezing fog on the electric field measurements. When the effects of such adverse weather conditions are removed clear evidence of the characteristic Carnegie Curve diurnal cycle exists in the Halley electric field measurements (with a mean value of 50V/m and showing a 40% peak to peak variation in comparison to the 34% variation in the Carnegie data). Since the Carnegie Curve represents the variation in thunderstorm activity across the Earth, its presence in the Halley data confirms the presence of the global atmospheric electric circuit signal at Halley. The work presented here will discuss the details of the Halley electric field dataset, including the variability in the fair weather measurements, with a particular focus on magnetic field fluctuations.

  5. Space Radar Image of Weddell Sea, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1994-01-01

    This Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C/X-band Synthetic Aperture Radar color composite shows a portion of the Weddell Sea, which is adjacent to the continent of Antarctica. The image shows extensive coverage of first-year sea ice mixtures and patches of open water inside the ice margin. The image covers a 100 kilometer by 30 kilometer (62 mile by 18.5 mile) region of the southern ocean, centered at approximately 57 degrees south latitude and 3 degrees east longitude, which was acquired on October 3, 1994. Data used to create this image were obtained using the L-band (horizontally transmitted and vertically received) in red; the L-band (horizontally transmitted and received) in green; and the C-band (horizontally transmitted and received) in blue. The sea ice, which appears rust-brown in the image, is composed of loosely packed floes from approximately 1 meter to 2 meters (3 feet to 6.5 feet) thick and ranging from 1 meter to 20 meters (3 feet to 65.5 feet) in diameter. Large patches of open water, shown as turquoise blue, are scattered throughout the area, which is typical for ice margins experiencing off-ice winds. The thin, well-organized lines clearly visible in the ice pack are caused by radar energy reflected by floes riding the crest of ocean swells. The wispy, black features seen throughout the image represent areas where new ice is forming. Sea ice, because it acts as an insulator, reduces the loss of heat between the relatively warm ocean and cold atmosphere. This interaction is an important component of the global climate system. Because of the unique combination of winds, currents and temperatures found in this region, ice can extend many hundreds of kilometers north of Antarctica each winter, which classifies the Weddell Sea as one of nature's greatest ice-making engines. During the formation of sea ice, great quantities of salt are expelled from the frozen water. The salt increases the density of the upper layer of sea water, which then sinks to great depths

  6. Epilithic lichens in the Beacon sandstone formation, Victoria Land, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hale, M. E.; Friedmann, E. I. (Principal Investigator)

    1987-01-01

    The epilithic lichen flora on the Beacon sandstone formation in Victoria Land consists of seven species: Acarospora gwynnii Dodge & Rudolph, Buellia grisea Dodge & Baker, B. pallida Dodge & Baker, Carbonea capsulata (Dodge & Baker) Hale comb. nov., Lecanora fuscobrunnea Dodge & Baker, Lecidea cancriformis Dodge & Baker, and L. siplei Dodge & Baker. The typification of the species is given along with descriptions and distribution in Antarctica.

  7. Antarcticite: A New Mineral, Calcium Chloride Hexahydrate, Discovered in Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Torii, T; Ossaka, J

    1965-08-27

    A new mineral, calcium chloride hexahydrate, was discovered in the Don Juan Pond in Victoria Land, Antarctica. The optical properties, chemical analysis, and powder patterns obtained by x-ray diffraction agree with those of artificial calcium chloride hexahydrate. The name Antarcticite is proposed for the new mineral.

  8. An evolutionary insight into Newcastle disease viruses isolated in Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Soñora, Martin; Moreno, Pilar; Echeverría, Natalia; Fischer, Sabrina; Comas, Victoria; Fajardo, Alvaro; Cristina, Juan

    2015-08-01

    The disease caused by Newcastle disease virus (NDV) is a severe threat to the poultry industry worldwide. Recently, NDV has been isolated in the Antarctic region. Detailed studies on the mode of evolution of NDV strains isolated worldwide are relevant for our understanding of the evolutionary history of NDV. For this reason, we have performed Bayesian coalescent analysis of NDV strains isolated in Antarctica to study evolutionary rates, population dynamics, and patterns of evolution. Analysis of F protein cleavage-site sequences of NDV isolates from Antarctica suggested that these strains are lentogenic. Strains isolated in Antarctica and genotype I reference strain Ulster/67 diverged from ancestors that existed around 1958. The time of the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) was established to be around 1883 for all class II viruses. A mean rate of evolution of 1.78 × 10(-3) substitutions per site per year (s/s/y) was obtained for the F gene sequences of NDV strains examined in this study. A Bayesian skyline plot indicated a decline in NDV population size in the last 25 years. The results are discussed in terms of the possible role of Antarctica in emerging or re-emerging viruses and the evolution of NDV populations worldwide.

  9. Mass Casualty Incident Response and Aeromedical Evacuation in Antarctica

    PubMed Central

    Mills, Christopher N.; Mills, Gregory H.

    2011-01-01

    Antarctica is one of the most remote regions on Earth. Mass casualty incident (MCI) responses in Antarctica are prone to complications from multiple environmental and operational challenges. This review of the current status of MCI risks and response strategies for Antarctica focuses on aeromedical evacuation, a critical component of many possible MCI scenarios. Extreme cold and weather, a lack of medical resources and a multitude of disparate international bases all exert unique demands on MCI response planning. Increasing cruise ship traffic is also escalating the risk of MCI occurrence. To be successful, MCI response must be well coordinated and undertaken by trained rescuers, especially in the setting of Antarctica. Helicopter rescue or aeromedical evacuation of victims to off-continent facilities may be necessary. Currently, military forces have the greatest capacity for mass air evacuation. Specific risks that are likely to occur include structure collapses, vehicle incapacitations, vehicle crashes and fires. All of these events pose concomitant risks of hypothermia among both victims and rescuers. Antarctica’s unique environment requires flexible yet robust MCI response planning among the many entities in operation on the continent. PMID:21691470

  10. Transcriptome of the Antarctic brooding gastropod mollusc Margarella antarctica.

    PubMed

    Clark, Melody S; Thorne, Michael A S

    2015-12-01

    454 RNA-Seq transcriptome data were generated from foot tissue of the Antarctic brooding gastropod mollusc Margarella antarctica. A total of 6195 contigs were assembled de novo, providing a useful resource for researchers with an interest in Antarctic marine species, phylogenetics and mollusc biology, especially shell production.

  11. Glacial-Age Dust Provenance in West Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borunda, A.; Winckler, G.; Goldstein, S. L.; Kaplan, M. R.

    2015-12-01

    Antarctic ice cores contain insoluble dust particles that may have been transported for thousands of miles, from distal continental sources, before being deposited on the ice sheet and incorporated into the ice core record. Knowing the dust sources, and observing how those sources have changed over time, informs our understanding of regional climate conditions in the potential source areas, as well as informing our reconstructions of atmospheric transport between the sources and the poles. Patagonia has been identified as a key dust source to East Antarctica during Ice Age climates; however, the dust sources to West Antarctica during these times have remained unknown. We present radiogenic isotope (Sr, Nd, Pb isotopes) and trace element data of the insoluble dust extracted from 15 WAIS Divide ice core and 4 Byrd ice core samples between ~40ky and the end of the Last Glacial Maximum, and combine these with a novel set of observations on potential sources of dust from around the Pacific sector of the polar Southern Hemisphere. We use these geochemical tools to identify, in a multi-dimensional view, the source(s) of dust to West Antarctica. We also identify the sources of dust across two millennial-scale climate events. The data indicate that Patagonia was a dominant source of dust for West Antarctica during glacial periods, highlighting the importance of southern South America as a dust source for broad swaths of the polar and sub-polar Southern Hemisphere.

  12. Antarctica: Arena for South American Cooperation or Conflict.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child, Jack

    A number of converging circumstances suggest that Antarctica may be a major object of geopolitical attention in South America in the decade to come. The Malvinas/Falklands crisis focused geopolitical attention on the South Atlantic and the chain of Southern (Austral) Islands which link the southern tip of South America to the Antarctic Peninsula.…

  13. The International Geophysical Year in Antarctica: Uncommon Collaborations, Unprecedented Results

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Belanger, Dian Olson

    2004-01-01

    When 1 July 1957 ''dawned'' in the dark of the south polar night, Americans at seven scientific stations scattered across Antarctica officially began systematic, synoptic observations of the air above and ice below. Joining scientists from 11 other countries on the polar continent, they were part of the International Geophysical Year, an 18-month…

  14. Ross Ice Shelf and the Queen Maude Mounains, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    Part of the Ross Ice Shelf and the Queen Maude Mounains of Antarctica (55.5N, 178.0W) are in the background of this scene, oriented toward the south. Low stratocumulus clouds are predominant throughout most of the scene.

  15. Airborne geophysical study in the pensacola mountains of antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Behrendt, John C.; Meister, L.; Henderson, J.R.

    1966-01-01

    A seismic reflection, gravity, and aeromagnetic reconnaissance was made in the Pensacola Mountains, Antarctica, during the 1965-66 austral summer. Prominent ice streams located between the Neptune and Patuxent Ranges and east of the Forrestal Range overlie channels in the rock surface 2000 meters below sea level which are probably of glacial origin. Seismic reflections show that the Filchner Ice Shelf is 1270 meters thick near its southern margin. Along the boundary between West and East Antarctica, Bouguer anomalies decrease from +60 milligals in West Antarctica to -80 milligals in East Antarctica. An abrupt change in crustal structure across this boundary is required to explain the 2 milligals per kilometer gradient. This may indicate a fault extending through the crust into the mantle. Aeromagnetic profiles delineate anomalies up to 1800 ?? associated with the basic stratiform intrusion which comprises the Dufek and Forrestal ranges. A probable minimum area of 9500 square kilometers is calculated for the intrusive body on the basis of the magnetic anomalies, making it one of the largest bodies of its type. The extension of this magnetic anomaly across a fault forming the north border of the Pensacola Mountains probably precludes transcurrent movement.

  16. Seismic Constraints on the Mantle Viscosity Structure beneath Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiens, Douglas; Heeszel, David; Aster, Richard; Nyblade, Andrew; Wilson, Terry

    2015-04-01

    Lateral variations in upper mantle viscosity structure can have first order effects on glacial isostatic adjustment. These variations are expected to be particularly large for the Antarctic continent because of the stark geological contrast between ancient cratonic and recent tectonically active terrains in East and West Antarctica, respectively. A large misfit between observed and predicted GPS rates for West Antarctica probably results in part from the use of a laterally uniform viscosity structure. Although not linked by a simple relationship, mantle seismic velocities can provide important constraints on mantle viscosity structure, as they are both largely controlled by temperature and water content. Recent higher resolution seismic models for the Antarctic mantle, derived from data acquired by new seismic stations deployed in the AGAP/GAMSEIS and ANET/POLENET projects, offer the opportunity to use the seismic velocity structure to place new constraints on the viscosity of the Antarctic upper mantle. We use an Antarctic shear wave velocity model derived from array analysis of Rayleigh wave phase velocities [Heeszel et al, in prep] and examine a variety of methodologies for relating seismic, thermal and rheological parameters to compute a suite of viscosity models for the Antarctic mantle. A wide variety of viscosity structures can be derived using various assumptions, but they share several robust common elements. There is a viscosity contrast of at least two orders of magnitude between East and West Antarctica at depths of 80-250 km, reflecting the boundary between cold cratonic lithosphere in East Antarctica and warm upper mantle in West Antarctica. The region beneath the Ellsworth-Whitmore Mtns and extending to the Pensacola Mtns. shows intermediate viscosity between the extremes of East and West Antarctica. There are also significant variations between different parts of West Antarctica, with the lowest viscosity occurring beneath the Marie Byrd Land (MBL

  17. Reconstruction of the East Africa and Antarctica continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen, L. C.; Hall, S. A.; Ball, P.; Bird, D. E.

    2015-12-01

    The Early Jurassic separation of Antarctica from Africa plays an important role in our understanding of the dispersal of Gondwana. Previously proposed reconstruction models often contain overlaps and gaps in the restored margins that reflect difficulties in accurately delineating the continent-ocean boundary (COB) and determining the amount and distribution of extended continental crust. This study focuses on the evolution of the African margin adjacent to the Mozambique Basin and the conjugate margin of Antarctica near the Riiser Larsen Sea. New satellite-derived gravity data have been used to trace the orientations and landward limits of fracture zones in the study area. A 3-D gravity inversion has produced a crustal thickness model that reliably quantifies the extent and amount of stretched crust. Information on crustal thickness along with the identification of fracture zones reveal the COBs that are located significantly closer to the coasts of Africa and Antarctica than previously recognized. Correlation of both fracture zone azimuths and the identified COBs over the conjugate margins suggest Antarctica began drifting away from Africa at approximately 171 Ma in a roughly SSE direction. Of several scenarios examined, the Beira High is most likely oceanic and may be a conjugate feature of the southern Astrid Ridge. An areal-balancing method that involves restoring the crust to a uniform pre-rift thickness has been used to perform the non-rigid reconstruction for both non-volcanic and volcanic margin with magmatic underplating. Based on the results, Africa underwent extension of 65-105 km while Antarctic crust was stretched by 90-190 km. Both margins reveal a trend of increasing extension from east to west. Various models tested to determine the direction of extension during rifting suggest that Antarctica underwent a counter-clockwise rotation with respect to Africa between 186-171 Ma prior to the onset of seafloor spreading.

  18. Pituitary-gonadal hormones during prolonged residency in Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sawhney, R. C.; Malhotra, A. S.; Prasad, Rajendra; Pal, Karan; Kumar, Rajesh; Bajaj, A. C.

    Plasma luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), prolactin (PRL) and testosterone levels were measured in nine eugonadal men in New Delhi and during the 1st week of different months of their stay at Dakshin Gangotri in Antarctica. During their 12-month stay in Antarctica, they were exposed to a severely cold climate, long polar nights and polar days, high wind velocity, increased amounts of solar and ultraviolet radiation and geomagnetism, as well as physical and social isolation. Plasma testosterone tended to increase in March, but a significant increase (P<0.05) was not seen until April. The mean testosterone levels in May, June, September and November were also significantly higher than the March or New Delhi values. The absolute values of LH, FSH and PRL did not show any month-to-month changes in Antarctica. However, when the hormone levels were expressed as a percentage of the individual annual Antarctic mean, significant differences as a percentage of the individual annual Antarctic mean, significant differences were observed. The testosterone peak in April, May and June was associated with an increase in LH. The nadirs of testosterone, LH, FSH and PRL were seen in either July or August. FSH showed the highest values in March, whereas the highest PRL values were seen in November. These observations suggest the presence of circannual variations in gonadotropin, PRL and LH in Antarctica which are independent of polar days and polar nights. It appears that factors other than the duration of daylight might be involved in regulating these changes. The significance of maintenance of testosterone levels in the supra-physiological range in Antarctica remains unknown but may be important in acclimatization/habituation to the extreme polar cold by increasing basal metabolic rate, protein synthesis and erythropoiesis.

  19. Pituitary-gonadal hormones during prolonged residency in Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Sawhney, R C; Malhotra, A S; Prasad, R; Pal, K; Kumar, R; Bajaj, A C

    1998-08-01

    Plasma luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), prolactin (PRL) and testosterone levels were measured in nine eugonadal men in New Delhi and during the 1st week of different months of their stay at Dakshin Gangotri in Antarctica. During their 12-month stay in Antarctica, they were exposed to a severely cold climate, long polar nights and polar days, high wind velocity, increased amounts of solar and ultraviolet radiation and geomagnetism, as well as physical and social isolation. Plasma testosterone tended to increase in March, but a significant increase (P < 0.05) was not seen until April. The mean testosterone levels in May, June, September and November were also significantly higher than the March or New Delhi values. The absolute values of LH, FSH and PRL did not show any month-to-month changes in Antarctica. However, when the hormone levels were expressed as a percentage of the individual annual Antarctic mean, significant differences as a percentage of the individual annual Antarctic mean, significant differences were observed. The testosterone peak in April, May and June was associated with an increase in LH. The nadirs of testosterone, LH, FSH and PRL were seen in either July or August. FSH showed the highest values in March, whereas the highest PRL values were seen in November. These observations suggest the presence of circannual variations in gonadotropin, PRL and LH in Antarctica which are independent of polar days and polar nights. It appears that factors other than the duration of daylight might be involved in regulating these changes. The significance of maintenance of testosterone levels in the supra-physiological range in Antarctica remains unknown but may be important in acclimatization/habituation to the extreme polar cold by increasing basal metabolic rate, protein synthesis and erythropoiesis.

  20. Geodesy in Antarctica: A pilot study based on the TAMDEF GPS network, Victoria Land, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vazquez Becerra, Guadalupe Esteban

    The objective of the research presented in this dissertation is a combination of practical and theoretical problems to investigate unique aspects of GPS (Global Positioning System) geodesy in Antarctica. This is derived from a complete analysis of a GPS network called TAMDEF (Trans Antarctic Mountains Deformation), located in Victoria Land, Antarctica. In order to permit access to the International Terrestrial Reference Frame (ITRF), the McMurdo (MCM4) IGS (The International GNSS Service for Geodynamics, formerly the International GPS Service) site was adopted as part of the TAMDEF network. The following scientific achievements obtained from the cited analysis will be discussed as follows: (1) The GPS data processing for the TAMDEF network relied on the PAGES (Program for Adjustment of GPS Ephemerides) software that uses the double-differenced iono-free linear combination, which helps removing a big partial of bias (mm level) in the final positioning. (2) To validate the use of different antenna types in TAMDEF, an antenna testing experiment was conducted using the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) antenna calibration data, appropriate for each antenna type. Sub-daily and daily results from the antenna testing are at the sub-millimeter level, based on the fact that 24-hour solutions were used to average any possible bias. (3) A potential contributor that might have an impact on the TAMDEF stations positioning is the pseudorange multipath effect; thus, the root mean squared variations were estimated and analyzed in order to identify the most and least affected sites. MCM4 was found to be the site with highest multipath, and this is not good at all, since MCM4 is the primary ITRF access point for this part of Antarctica. Additionally, results from the pseudorange multipath can be used for further data cleaning to improve positioning results. (4) The Ocean Tide Modeling relied on the use of two models: CATS02.01 (Circum Antarctic Tidal Simulation) and TPXO6.2 (TOPEX

  1. Breakup of the Larsen Ice Shelf, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Recent Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite imagery analyzed at the University of Colorado's National Snow and Ice Data Center revealed that the northern section of the Larsen B ice shelf, a large floating ice mass on the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula, has shattered and separated from the continent. This particular image was taken on March 5, 2002. The shattered ice formed a plume of thousands of icebergs adrift in the Weddell Sea. A total of about 3,250 square kilometers of shelf area disintegrated in a 35-day period beginning on January 31, 2002. Over the last five years, the shelf has lost a total of 5,700 square kilometers and is now about 40 percent the size of its previous minimum stable extent. Ice shelves are thick plates of ice, fed by glaciers, that float on the ocean around much of Antarctica. The Larsen B shelf was about 220 meters thick. Based on studies of ice flow and sediment thickness beneath the ice shelf, scientists believe that it existed for at least 400 years prior to this event and likely existed since the end of the last major glaciation 12,000 years ago. For reference, the area lost in this most recent event dwarfs Rhode Island (2,717 square kilometers) in size. In terms of volume, the amount of ice released in this short time is 720 billion tons--enough ice for about 12 trillion 10-kilogram bags. This is the largest single event in a series of retreats by ice shelves along the peninsula over the last 30 years. The retreats are attributed to a strong climate warming in the region. The rate of warming is approximately 0.5 degrees Celsius per decade, and the trend has been present since at least the late 1940s. Overall in the peninsula, the extent of seven ice shelves has declined by a total of about 13,500 square kilometers since 1974. This value excludes areas that would be expected to calve under stable conditions. Ted Scambos, a researcher with the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at

  2. Ca isotopic geochemistry of an Antarctic aquatic system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyons, W. Berry; Bullen, Thomas D.; Welch, Kathleen A.

    2017-01-01

    The McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, are a polar desert ecosystem. The hydrologic system of the dry valleys is linked to climate with ephemeral streams that flow from glacial melt during the austral summer. Past climate variations have strongly influenced the closed-basin, chemically stratified lakes on the valley floor. Results of previous work point to important roles for both in-stream processes (e.g., mineral weathering, precipitation and dissolution of salts) and in-lake processes (e.g., mixing with paleo-seawater and calcite precipitation) in determining the geochemistry of these lakes. These processes have a significant influence on calcium (Ca) biogeochemistry in this aquatic ecosystem, and thus variations in Ca stable isotope compositions of the waters can aid in validating the importance of these processes. We have analyzed the Ca stable isotope compositions of streams and lakes in the McMurdo Dry Valleys. The results validate the important roles of weathering of aluminosilicate minerals and/or CaCO3 in the hyporheic zone of the streams, and mixing of lake surface water with paleo-seawater and precipitation of Ca-salts during cryo-concentration events to form the deep lake waters. The lakes in the McMurdo Dry Valleys evolved following different geochemical pathways, evidenced by their unique, nonsystematic Ca isotope signatures.

  3. Expressed sequence tag analysis of Antarctic hairgrass Deschampsia antarctica from King George Island, Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hyoungseok; Cho, Hyun Hee; Kim, Il-Chan; Yim, Joung Han; Lee, Hong Kum; Lee, Yoo Kyung

    2008-04-30

    Deschampsia antarctica is the only monocot that thrives in the tough conditions of the Antarctic region. It is an invaluable resource for the identification of genes associated with tolerance to various environmental pressures. In order to identify genes that are differentially regulated between greenhouse-grown and Antarctic field-grown plants, we initiated a detailed gene expression analysis. Antarctic plants were collected and greenhouse plants served as controls. Two different cDNA libraries were constructed with these plants. A total of 2,112 cDNA clones was sequenced and grouped into 1,199 unigene clusters consisting of 243 consensus and 956 singleton sequences. Using similarity searches against several public databases, we constructed a functional classification of the ESTs into categories such as genes related to responses to stimuli, as well as photosynthesis and metabolism. Real-time PCR analysis of various stress responsive genes revealed different patterns of regulation in the different environments, suggesting that these genes are involved in responses to specific environmental factors.

  4. Record low ozone measured at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, during the austral spring of 1993

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, B.J.; Deshler, T.

    1994-12-31

    The annual springtime ozone hole over Antarctica has been studied extensively since it was first reported. The University of Wyoming has participated in monitoring the development of the ozone hole over Antarctica since 1986 using balloonborne instruments to measure vertical profiles of ozone and particles at McMurdo Station, Antarctica. During austral spring 1993, record minimums in total column ozone were observed along with a record low within the main ozone layer at 12-20 kilometers (km). 6 refs., 2 figs.

  5. Late Holocene Deglaciation of Marie Byrd Land, West Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stone, J. O.; Balco, G.; Sugden, D. E.; Caffee, M.; Siddoway, C.; Sass, L.; Cowdery, S.

    2001-12-01

    The deglaciation history of West Antarctica provides a long-term record of West Antarctic ice sheet dynamics on timescales that are difficult to address observationally or by modeling. By dating moraine deposits stranded on mountain flanks as the ice sheet thinned, we are reconstructing the deglaciation history of a 70 km transect along the Boyd Glacier, in the Ford Ranges, Marie Byrd Land. Fresh erratics and abraded bedrock extend to summit level on most nunataks, indicating that these were overrun by ice during the last glaciation. Conversely, high summits near the coast are more intensely weathered than lower-lying peaks, and one erratic from this weathered zone gives a cosmogenic Be-10 exposure age of 103 ka, suggesting (though it does not prove) that these peaks stood above the surface of the glacial maximum ice sheet. If so, the age of an erratic immediately below the weathering boundary, 10.4 +/- 0.7 ka, dates the glacial maximum in the Ford Ranges. All other erratics, from glaciated surfaces at lower elevation, give younger exposure ages. Summit erratics from Mt Blades, Mt Passel and an unnamed nunatak in the eastern Fosdick Mtns indicate that these peaks emerged from the ice sheet at 6.8 +/- 0.5 ka, 3.6 +/- 0.3 ka, and 4.7 +/- 0.4 ka, respectively. Subsequent downwasting rates, inferred from the decrease in exposure ages with elevation on these mountains, were between 5 and 10 cm per year. The youngest age obtained so far, 590 +/- 70 years, comes from an erratic on the lower slopes of Mt Rea, 100-150 m above the Arthur and Boyd Glaciers. From these results we can draw the following conclusions about West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) deglaciation in the Ford Ranges: (i) Most thinning of the WAIS took place in the late Holocene. (ii) Therefore, recession post-dated climatic warming, which Antarctic ice cores indicate commenced at 20 ka, by 10-15 kyr. (iii) Recession post-dated all but the final stages of global eustatic sea level rise. The ice sheet grounding

  6. Abrupt Late Holocene Shift in Atmospheric Circulation Recorded by Mineral Dust in the Siple Dome Ice Core, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koffman, B. G.; Goldstein, S. L.; Kaplan, M. R.; Winckler, G.; Bory, A. J. M.; Biscaye, P.

    2015-12-01

    Atmospheric dust directly influences Earth's climate by altering the radiative balance and by depositing micronutrients in the surface ocean, affecting global biogeochemical cycling. In addition, mineral dust particles provide observational evidence constraining past atmospheric circulation patterns. Because dust can originate from both local and distant terrestrial sources, knowledge of dust provenance can substantially inform our understanding of past climate history, atmospheric transport pathways, and differences in aerosol characteristics between glacial and interglacial climate states. Dust provenance information from Antarctic ice cores has until now been limited to sites in East Antarctica. Here we present some of the first provenance data from West Antarctica. We use Sr-Nd isotopes to characterize dust extracted from late Holocene ice (~1000-1800 C.E.) from the Siple Dome ice core. The data form a tight array in Sr-Nd isotope space, with 87Sr/86Sr ranging between ~0.7087 and 0.7102, and ɛNd ranging between ~ -7 and -16. This combination is unique for Antarctica, with low Nd and low Sr isotope ratios compared to high-elevation East Antarctic sites, requiring a dust source from ancient (Archean to early Proterozoic) and unweathered continental crust, which mixes with young volcanic material. Both components are likely sourced from Antarctica. We also observe significant, systematic variability in Sr and Nd isotopic signatures through time, reflecting changes in the mixing ratio of these sources, and hypothesize that these changes are driven by shifts in circulation patterns. A large change occurs over about 10 years at ca. 1125 C.E. (ΔɛNd = +3 and Δ87Sr/86Sr = -0.0014). This shift coincides with changes in climate proxies in Southern Hemisphere paleoclimate records reflecting variability in the Westerlies. We therefore interpret the shift in dust provenance at Siple Dome to be related to larger-scale circulation changes. In general, the observed shifts

  7. Synchronous climate changes in antarctica and the north atlantic

    PubMed

    Steig; Brook; White; Sucher; Bender; Lehman; Morse; Waddington; Clow

    1998-10-02

    Central Greenland ice cores provide evidence of abrupt changes in climate over the past 100,000 years. Many of these changes have also been identified in sedimentary and geochemical signatures in deep-sea sediment cores from the North Atlantic, confirming the link between millennial-scale climate variability and ocean thermohaline circulation. It is shown here that two of the most prominent North Atlantic events-the rapid warming that marks the end of the last glacial period and the Bolling/Allerod-Younger Dryas oscillation-are also recorded in an ice core from Taylor Dome, in the western Ross Sea sector of Antarctica. This result contrasts with evidence from ice cores in other regions of Antarctica, which show an asynchronous response between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

  8. Ozone hits low levels over Antarctica, U. S

    SciTech Connect

    Zurer, P.

    1993-10-04

    This year's Antarctic ozone hole is as deep as any ever observed and is approaching the record geographical extent of 1992, according to preliminary satellite data. In addition, both groundbased and satellite observations indicate that ozone concentrations over the U.S. hit record lows earlier this year. For more than a decade, almost all the ozone at certain altitudes over Antarctica has been destroyed as the Sun returns to the polar region in September. This dramatic photochemical depletion, catalyzed by chlorine and bromine from man-made compounds, reaches its nadir in early October. Ozone levels return to near normal later in the season, when the circular pattern of winds that isolates air over Antarctica breaks down, and ozone-rich air pours in from the north.

  9. Synchronous climate changes in Antarctica and the North Atlantic

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Steig, E.J.; Brook, E.J.; White, J.W.C.; Sucher, C.M.; Bender, M.L.; Lehman, S.J.; Morse, D.L.; Waddington, E.D.; Clow, G.D.

    1998-01-01

    Central Greenland ice cores provide evidence of abrupt changes in climate over the past 100,000 years. Many of these changes have also been identified in sedimentary and geochemical signatures in deep-sea sediment cores from the North Atlantic, confirming the link between millennial-scale climate variability and ocean thermohaline circulation. It is shown here that two of the most prominent North Atlantic events - the rapid warming that makes the end of the last glacial period and the Bolling/Allerod-Younger Dryas oscillation - are also recorded in an ice core from Taylor Dome, in the western Ross Sea sector of Antarctica. This result contrasts with evidence from ice cores in other regions of Antarctica, which show an asynchronous response between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

  10. The subglacial geology of Wilkes Land, East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aitken, A. R. A.; Young, D. A.; Ferraccioli, F.; Betts, P. G.; Greenbaum, J. S.; Richter, T. G.; Roberts, J. L.; Blankenship, D. D.; Siegert, M. J.

    2014-04-01

    Wilkes Land is a key region for studying the configuration of Gondwana and for appreciating the role of tectonic boundary conditions on East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) behavior. Despite this importance, it remains one of the largest regions on Earth where we lack a basic knowledge of geology. New magnetic, gravity, and subglacial topography data allow the region's first comprehensive geological interpretation. We map lithospheric domains and their bounding faults, including the suture between Indo-Antarctica and Australo-Antarctica. Furthermore, we image subglacial sedimentary basins, including the Aurora and Knox Subglacial Basins and the previously unknown Sabrina Subglacial Basin. Commonality of structure in magnetic, gravity, and topography data suggest that pre-EAIS tectonic features are a primary control on subglacial topography. The preservation of this relationship after glaciation suggests that these tectonic features provide topographic and basal boundary conditions that have strongly influenced the structure and evolution of the EAIS.

  11. The significance of Antarctica for studies of global geodynamics

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sutherland, R.

    2007-01-01

    Antarctica has geometric significance for global plate kinematic studies, because it links seafloor spreading systems of the African hemisphere (Indian and Atlantic Oceans) with those of the Pacific. Inferences of plate motions back to 44 Ma, around the onset of rapid spreading south of Australia and formation of a new boundary through New Zealand, are consistent with Antarctic rifting and formation of the Adare Basin during 44-26 Ma (i.e., no additional plate motions are required in the South Pacific). The time period 52-44 Ma represents a profound global and South Pacific tectonic change, and significant details remain unresolved. For 74 Ma a significant nonclosure of the South Pacific plate-motion circuit is identified if Antarctic motion is not included. Alternate inferences of motion through Antarctica during the interval 74-44 Ma imply significantly different subduction volumes and directions around the Pacific, and imply different relative motions between hotspots

  12. Cretaceous and Tertiary extension throughout the Ross Sea, Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Decesari, Robert C.; Wilson, Douglas C.; Luyendyk, Bruce P.; Faulkner, Michael

    2007-01-01

    Marine geophysical data from the deep sea adjacent to the Ross Sea, Antarctica suggest that 70 km of extension occurred between East and West Antarctica from 46 to 2 Ma. The Northern and Victoria Land Basins in the western Ross Sea adjacent to the Transantarctic Mountains accommodated 95 km of this extension. Several kilometers of Oligocene sediments are found in the Central Trough and Eastern Basin in the eastern Ross Sea. Subsidence modeling accounts for these accumulations with about 40 km of extension in each basin centered on 35 Ma; therefore Ross Sea-wide Tertiary extension was comparable to extension in the deep-sea system. The early Tertiary geometry was of one oceanic rift that branched into at least three rifts in the continental lithosphere. This pattern is likely due to the contrast of physical properties and thermal state between the two different lithospheres at the continent-ocean boundary.

  13. Another bipolar deep-sea anemone: new species of Iosactis (Actiniaria, Endomyaria) from Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodríguez, Estefanía

    2012-06-01

    A new species of deep-sea burrowing sea anemone is described and illustrated from Antarctica. Iosactis antarctica sp. nov. is characterised by easily deciduous tentacles with sphincters in the base, smooth column, endodermal marginal sphincter, same mesenteries proximally and distally, 24 perfect mesenteries regularly arranged, diffuse retractor musculature and basilar muscles well developed. Iosactis antarctica sp. nov. is the second species of the deep-sea abyssal genus Iosactis; it differs from I. vagabunda in internal anatomy, cnidae and geographic distribution. The description of I. antarctica sp. nov. provides the opportunity to revaluate the morphology of the proximal end of this genus.

  14. ECC (Electrochemical Concentration Cell) ozonesonde observations at Mirny, Antarctica, during 1988

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Komhyr, W. D.; Lathrop, J. A.; Arbuzova, V. N.; Khattatov, V. U.; Nureyev, P. G.; Rudakov, V. V.; Zamyshlayev, I. V.

    1989-01-01

    Atmospheric ozone vertical distributions, air temperatures, and wind speed and direction data are presented for 40 balloon electrochemical concentration cell ozone soundings made at Mirny, Antarctica, in 1988.

  15. Petrified peat from a permian coal bed in Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schopf, J.M.

    1970-01-01

    Petrified plant remains that composed a Permian peat deposit occur at a coal horizon in a local area of Mount Augusta near the Beardmore Glacier in Antarctica. This discovery is the first in the entire Gondwana area that yields plant materials as exquisitely preserved as the materials of the well-known coal-ball localities of the Northern Hemisphere. A sampling of anatomical details is illustrated.

  16. Direct gravimetric determination of aerosol mass concentration in central antarctica.

    PubMed

    Annibaldi, Anna; Truzzi, Cristina; Illuminati, Silvia; Scarponi, Giuseppe

    2011-01-01

    In Antarctica, experimental difficulties due to extreme conditions have meant that aerosol mass has rarely been measured directly by gravimetry, and only in coastal areas where concentrations were in the range of 1-7 μg m(-3). The present work reports on a careful differential weighing methodology carried out for the first time on the plateau of central Antarctica (Dome C, East Antarctica). To solve problems of accurate aerosol mass measurements, a climatic room was used for conditioning and weighing filters. Measurements were carried out in long stages of several hours of readings with automatic recording of temperature/humidity and mass. This experimental scheme allowed us to sample from all the measurements (up to 2000) carried out before and after exposure, those which were recorded under the most stable humidity conditions and, even more importantly, as close to each other as possible. The automatic reading of the mass allowed us in any case to obtain hundreds of measurements from which to calculate average values with uncertainties sufficiently low to meet the requirements of the differential weighing procedure (±0.2 mg in filter weighing, between ±7% and ±16% both in aerosol mass and concentration measurements). The results show that the average summer aerosol mass concentration (aerodynamic size ≤10 μm) in central Antarctica is about 0.1 μg m(-3), i.e., about 1/10 of that of coastal Antarctic areas. The concentration increases by about 4-5 times at a site very close to the station.

  17. Sedimentary Rocks of the Buckeye Range, Horlick Mountains, Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Long, W E

    1962-04-27

    In the Buckeye Range of the Horlick Mountains, 4000 feet of sedimentary rocks nonconformably overlie a granitic basement and underlie a thick diabasic sill. The sedimentary section consists of Devonian sandstone and shale (Horlick formation), Carboniferous (?) tillite (Buckeye formation), Permian (?) platy and carbonaceous shale (Discovery Ridge formation), and Permian arkose, shale, and numerous coal beds (Mount Glossopteris formation). This apparently is the first report of a Paleozoic tillite in Antarctica.

  18. Victoria Land, Ross Sea, and Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    On December 19, 2001, MODIS acquired data that produced this image of Antarctica's Victoria Land, Ross Ice Shelf, and the Ross Sea. The coastline that runs up and down along the left side of the image denotes where Victoria Land (left) meets the Ross Ice Shelf (right). The Ross Ice Shelf is the world's largest floating body of ice, approximately the same size as France. Credit: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

  19. Pollutant Concentration in Runoff at McMurdo Station, Antarctica

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-08-25

    an outcrop of barren volcanic rock on the southern tip of Ross Island, Antarctica. Science support activities at the Station have created some...contained significant concentration of heavy metals and certain PAHs, prevention and mitigation are crucial for reducing contamination at McMurdo...the thresholds for chronic limits for aquatic water quality in saltwater, prevention and mitigation are crucial for re- ducing contamination at

  20. Pollutant Concentration in Runoff at McMurdo Station, Antarctica

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-08-01

    an outcrop of barren volcanic rock on the southern tip of Ross Island, Antarctica. Science support activities at the Station have created some... prevention and mitigation are crucial for reducing contamination at McMurdo Station. Human factors, such as awareness, cautiousness, improved chemical...chronic limits for aquatic water quality in saltwater, prevention and mitigation are crucial for re- ducing contamination at McMurdo Station. 15

  1. Transiting planet candidates with ASTEP 400 at Dome C, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mékarnia, D.; Guillot, T.; Rivet, J.-P.; Schmider, F.-X.; Abe, L.; Gonçalves, I.; Agabi, A.; Crouzet, N.; Fruth, T.; Barbieri, M.; Bayliss, D. D. R.; Zhou, G.; Aristidi, E.; Szulagyi, J.; Daban, J.-B.; Fanteï-Caujolle, Y.; Gouvret, C.; Erikson, A.; Rauer, H.; Bouchy, F.; Gerakis, J.; Bouchez, G.

    2016-11-01

    ASTEP 400, the main instrument of the ASTEP (Antarctica Search for Transiting ExoPlanets) programme, is a 40 cm telescope, designed to withstand the harsh conditions in Antarctica, achieving a photometric accuracy of a fraction of millimagnitude on hourly time-scales for planet-hosting southern bright (R ˜ 12 mag) stars. We review the performances of this instrument, describe its operating conditions, and present results from the analysis of observations obtained during its first three years (2010-2012) of operation, before its repatriation in 2014. During this time, we observed a total of 22 stellar fields (1° × 1° field of view). Each field, in which we measured stars up to magnitude R = 18 mag, was observed continuously during ˜7 to ˜30 d. More than 200 000 frames were recorded and 310 000 stars processed, using an implementation of the optimal image subtraction photometry algorithm. We found 43 planetary transit candidates. 20 of these candidates were observed using spectroscopic follow-ups including four targets classified as good planet candidates. Our results demonstrate that accurate near-continuous photometric observations are achievable from the Concordia station at Dome C in Antarctica, even if we were not able to reach the nominal photometric precision of the instrument. We conducted a correlation analysis between the rms noise and a large number of external parameters and found that source of the ˜1 mmag correlated noise is not obvious and does not depend on a single parameter. However, our analysis provided some hints and guidance to increase the photometric accuracy of the instrument. These improvements should equip any future telescope operating in Antarctica.

  2. Soil formation in Seymour Island, Weddell Sea, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Souza, Katia Karoline Delpupo; Schaefer, Carlos Ernesto G. R.; Simas, Felipe Nogueira Bello; Spinola, Diogo Noses; de Paula, Mayara Daher

    2014-11-01

    The Antarctic Peninsula marks the climatic transition between Maritime and Continental Antarctica. Ice-free areas at the western side of the Peninsula (Maritime Antarctica) have been increasingly studied in the last 10 years whereas soils on the eastern coast have been relatively less studied. The objective of the present study is to analyze the properties of soils developed on Seymour Island, in the Weddell sea sector, eastern coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, in order to identify the main factors and processes involved in soil formation under semi-polar desert conditions in this part of Antarctica. Twenty-one pedons were described, sampled and analyzed for their physical, chemical and mineralogical attributes. Most of the soils were classified as Gelisols and Cryosols by the Soil Taxonomy and WRB/FAO, respectively. Three soil groups were found: immature alkaline soils on sandstones and siltstones, acid sulfate and ornithogenic soils. Soils have little cryoturbation and are all affected by salinization with natric and salic characters. Acid sulfate soils are the most weathered soils in Seymour Island. Due to the dry climate, phosphatization is still incipient with P-rich ornithogenic layers with little interaction with the mineral substrate. The Soil Taxonomy and WRB/FAO systems lack adequate classification criteria to classify all soils developed in transitional areas that are affected by a combination of salinization, sulfurization and phosphatization.

  3. An assessment of forward and inverse GIA solutions for Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martín-Español, Alba; King, Matt A.; Zammit-Mangion, Andrew; Andrews, Stuart B.; Moore, Philip; Bamber, Jonathan L.

    2016-09-01

    In this work we assess the most recent estimates of glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) for Antarctica, including those from both forward and inverse methods. The assessment is based on a comparison of the estimated uplift rates with a set of elastic-corrected GPS vertical velocities. These have been observed from an extensive GPS network and computed using data over the period 2009-2014. We find systematic underestimations of the observed uplift rates in both inverse and forward methods over specific regions of Antarctica characterized by low mantle viscosities and thin lithosphere, such as the northern Antarctic Peninsula and the Amundsen Sea Embayment, where its recent ice discharge history is likely to be playing a role in current GIA. Uplift estimates for regions where many GIA models have traditionally placed their uplift maxima, such as the margins of Filchner-Ronne and Ross ice shelves, are found to be overestimated. GIA estimates show large variability over the interior of East Antarctica which results in increased uncertainties on the ice-sheet mass balance derived from gravimetry methods.

  4. Ice crystal precipitation at Dome C site (East Antarctica)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santachiara, G.; Belosi, F.; Prodi, F.

    2016-01-01

    For the first time, falling ice crystals were collected on glass slides covered with a thin layer of 2% formvar in chloroform at the Dome Concordia site (Dome C), Antarctica. Samplings were performed in the framework of the 27th Italian Antarctica expedition of the Italian National Program for Research in Antarctica in the period 21 February-6 August 2012. Events of clear-sky precipitations and precipitations from clouds were considered and the replicas obtained were examined under Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). Several shapes of ice crystals were identified, including "diamond dust" (plates, pyramids, hollow and solid columns), and crystal aggregates varying in complexity. Single events often contained both small (10 μm to 50 μm) and large (hundreds of microns) crystals, suggesting that crystals can form simultaneously near the ground (height of a few hundred metres) and at higher layers (height of thousands of metres). Images of sampled crystal replicas showed that single bullets are not produced separately, but by the disintegration of combinations of bullets. Rimed ice crystals were absent in the Dome C samples, i.e. the only mode of crystal growth was water vapour diffusion. On considering the aerosol in the sampled crystals, we reached the conclusion that inertial impaction, interception and Brownian motion were insufficient to explain the scavenged aerosol. We therefore presume that phoretic forces play a role in scavenging during the crystal growth process.

  5. The effect of volcanic aerosols on ultraviolet radiation in Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsitas, Steven R.; Yung, Yuk L.

    Volcanic eruptions can inject large amounts of aerosol into the atmosphere, and, at large solar zenith angles, scattering by these aerosols can actually increase the flux of UV-B (290-320 nm) radiation reaching the surface. This is surprising since aerosols increase the reflection of sunlight to space. As previous explanations of this phenomenon are heuristic and incomplete, we first provide a rigorous and complete explanation of how this surprising effect occurs. This phenomenon makes Antarctica during spring the most susceptible place on Earth to the scattering effect of volcanic aerosols, due to the combined effect of the spring ozone hole and the large solar zenith angles characteristic of this time of year. We show that an aerosol layer lying above Antarctica during spring will decrease the integrated daily dose of biologically weighted irradiance, weighted by the erythema action spectrum, by only up to 5%. Hence the effects of any significant destruction of ozone induced by volcanic aerosols will not be offset by aerosol scattering. Thus after a volcanic eruption, life in Antarctica during spring will suffer the combined effects of the spring ozone hole and ozone destruction induced by volcanic aerosols, with the latter effect only slightly offset by aerosol scattering.

  6. Enhanced LANDSAT images of Antarctica and planetary exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lucchitta, B. K.; Bowell, J. A.; Edwards, K.; Eliason, E. M.; Ferguson, H. M.

    1987-01-01

    Since early in the LANDSAT program, black-and-white paper prints of band 7 (near infrared) of the LANDSAT multispectral scanner have been used extensively to prepare semicontrolled maps of Antarctica. Image-processing techniques are now employed to enhance fine detail and to make controlled image-mosaic maps in color. LANDSAT multispectral images of Antarctica help to expand our knowledge of extraterrestrial bodies by showing bare-ice areas as bright blue patches; on such patches meteorites tend to be concentrated and are collected. Many subtle flow features in Antarctic ice streams resemble features at the mouths of Martian outflow channels, which suggests that the channels also contained ice. Furthermore, flow lines in Antarctic ice sheets that merge with ice shelves resemble Martian flow features associated with dissected terrain along the Martian northern highland margin, and support the concept that ice was involved in the transport of material from the southern highlands to the northern lowland plains. In Antarctica, as on Mars, the virtual absence of fluvial activity over millions of years has permitted the growth of glacial and eolian features to unusually large sizes.

  7. An assessment of forward and inverse GIA solutions for Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Martín-Español, Alba; King, Matt A; Zammit-Mangion, Andrew; Andrews, Stuart B; Moore, Philip; Bamber, Jonathan L

    2016-09-01

    In this work we assess the most recent estimates of glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) for Antarctica, including those from both forward and inverse methods. The assessment is based on a comparison of the estimated uplift rates with a set of elastic-corrected GPS vertical velocities. These have been observed from an extensive GPS network and computed using data over the period 2009-2014. We find systematic underestimations of the observed uplift rates in both inverse and forward methods over specific regions of Antarctica characterized by low mantle viscosities and thin lithosphere, such as the northern Antarctic Peninsula and the Amundsen Sea Embayment, where its recent ice discharge history is likely to be playing a role in current GIA. Uplift estimates for regions where many GIA models have traditionally placed their uplift maxima, such as the margins of Filchner-Ronne and Ross ice shelves, are found to be overestimated. GIA estimates show large variability over the interior of East Antarctica which results in increased uncertainties on the ice-sheet mass balance derived from gravimetry methods.

  8. Antarctica's protected areas are inadequate, unrepresentative, and at risk.

    PubMed

    Shaw, Justine D; Terauds, Aleks; Riddle, Martin J; Possingham, Hugh P; Chown, Steven L

    2014-06-01

    Antarctica is widely regarded as one of the planet's last true wildernesses, insulated from threat by its remoteness and declaration as a natural reserve dedicated to peace and science. However, rapidly growing human activity is accelerating threats to biodiversity. We determined how well the existing protected-area system represents terrestrial biodiversity and assessed the risk to protected areas from biological invasions, the region's most significant conservation threat. We found that Antarctica is one of the planet's least protected regions, with only 1.5% of its ice-free area formally designated as specially protected areas. Five of the distinct ice-free ecoregions have no specially designated areas for the protection of biodiversity. Every one of the 55 designated areas that protect Antarctica's biodiversity lies closer to sites of high human activity than expected by chance, and seven lie in high-risk areas for biological invasions. By any measure, including Aichi Target 11 under the Convention on Biological Diversity, Antarctic biodiversity is poorly protected by reserves, and those reserves are threatened.

  9. Early Precambrian mantle derived rocks in the southern Prince Charles Mountains, East Antarctica: age and isotopic constraints

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mikhalsky, E.V.; Henjes-Kunst, F.; Roland, N.W.

    2007-01-01

    Mafic and ultramafic rocks occurring as lenses, boudins, and tectonic slabs within metamorphic units in the southern Mawson Escarpment display mantle characteristics of either a highly enriched, or highly depleted nature. Fractionation of these mantle rocks from their sources may be as old as Eoarchaean (ca 3850 Ma) while their tectonic emplacement probably occurred prior to 2550 Ma (U-Pb SHRIMP data). These results provide for the first time evidence for Archaean suturing within East Antarctica. Similar upper mantle sources are likely present in the northern Mawson Escarpment. A younger age limit of these rocks is 2200 Ma, as indicated by presumably metamorphic zircon ages while their magmatic age may be constrained by single zircon dates at 2450-2250 Ma. The area of the northern Mawson Escarpment is most likely of ensimatic origin and includes mafic rocks which were derived from distinct mantle source(s) during Palaeoproterozoic time.

  10. Origin, distribution and glaciological implications of Jurassic high heat production granites in the Weddell Sea rift, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leat, Phil T.; Jordan, Tom A. R. M.; Ferraccioli, Fausto; Flowerdew, Michael; R, Riley, Teal; Vaughan, Alan P. M.; Whitehouse, Martin

    2013-04-01

    The distribution of heat flow in Antarctic continental crust is critical to understanding ice sheet nucleation, growth and basal rheology and hydrology. We identify a group of High Heat Production granites intruded into Palaeozoic sedimentary sequences which may contribute to locally high heat flow beneath the central part of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Four of the granite plutons are exposed above ice sheet level at Pagano Nunatak, Pirrit Hills, Nash Hills and Whitmore Mountains. A new U-Pb zircon age from Pirrit Hills of 177.9 ± 2.3 Ma confirms earlier Rb-Sr dating that suggested an Early-Middle Jurassic age for the granites, coincident with the Karoo-Ferrar large igneous province and the first stage of Gondwana break-up. Our recently-acquired aerogeophysical data indicate that the plutons are distributed unevenly over 1000 km2 and were intruded into the actively extending, locally transcurrent, Jurassic Weddell Sea Rift [1]. In the NW part of the rift, the Pirrit Hills, Nash Hills and Whitmore Mountains granites form small isolated intrusions within weakly deformed upper crust. In the SE part of the rift, where granite intrusion was strongly structurally controlled within transtensional structures, the Pagano Nunatak granite is the only outcrop of a probably multiphase, ca 180 km long granite intrusion. The granites are weakly peraluminous, S-type and have Th and U abundances up to 61 and 19 ppm respectively. Heat production of analysed granite samples is ca. 2.9-9.1 µWm-3, toward the upper limit of values for High Heat Production granites globally. The granites are thought to have been generated during mafic underplating of the Weddell Rift during eruption of the contemporaneous Karoo-Ferrar magmatism [2]. The high Th and U abundances may be related to fractionation of the high Th-U Ferrar basaltic magmas combined with assimilation of pelitic sedimentary rocks. The granites correspond to an area of West Antarctica that may have heat flow significantly above

  11. Seasonal variation on geochemical characteristics in the snow pit at Styx Glacier plateau, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hwang, H.; Lee, S. A.; Hong, S.; Han, Y.; Jun, S. J.; Hur, S. D.; Lee, H. G.

    2015-12-01

    Snow samples were collected from the wall of a 1.6 m snow pit at Styx Glacier plateau (73°50.975'S, 163°41.640'E) in Victoria Land, Antarctica, during 2014/2015 austral summer season. Here we present the data record for various chemical components such as stable water isotopes (δ18O, δD), major ions (Na+, Mg2+, Ca2+, NH4+, Cl-, SO42-, MSA), and trace elements including rare earth elements from the snow samples. Seasonal variations in δ18O, δD, and major ion values were clearly observed. The snow pit contained 3 austral winters and summers, from 2012 winter to 2014/2015 summer. Trace elements were determined by inductively coupled plasma-sector field mass spectrometer (ICP-SFMS) coupled to a high-efficiency sample introduction system (Apex-HF). Sample preparations and analytical operations were carried out under ultraclean conditions, class 10 clean benches in class 1000 clean room at Korea Polar Research Institute, due to their extremely low concentrations of trace element in Antarctic snow.

  12. Holocene paleoclimatic variation in the Schirmacher Oasis, East Antarctica: A mineral magnetic approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phartiyal, Binita

    2014-12-01

    An analysis of remanent magnetism and radiocarbon ages in the dry lacustrine/sediment fills of the Schirmacher Oasis (SO) in East Antarctica was conducted to reconstruct past climatic condition. The statistically run mineral magnetic data on paleontological statistics software package (multivariate cluster analysis) placed on accelerator mass spectrometer radiocarbon chronology of the three sediment sections, trace 6 phases of climatic fluctuation between 13 and 3 ka, (Phases 1, 3 and 5 represent cold periods while Phases 2, 4, and 6 represent warm periods). One short warm period (Phase 2, ca. 12.5 ka) occurred in the late Pleistocene, and two marked warm periods (Phase 4, 11-8.7 ka; Phase 6, 4.4-3 ka) occurred in the Holocene. High magnetic susceptibility (χ), saturation isothermal remanent magnetism (SIRM), and soft isothermal remanent magnetism (soft IRM) values correspond to colder periods and low values reflect comparatively warmer lacustrine phases. Holocene Optima (Phase 4) and Mid Holocene Hypsithermal (Phase 6) are distinguished by decreased values of concentrations dependent parameters. Remanence is preserved in the low-coercive minerals. Heavy metals in the sediments include, Fe, Rb, Zn, Mo, Co, Pb, Mn, Cu, and As in order of decreasing abundance.

  13. Carbon-Isotopic Dynamics of Streams, Taylor Valley, Antarctica: Biological Effects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neumann, K.; DesMarais, D. J.

    1998-01-01

    We have investigated the role of biological processes in the C-isotopic dynamics of the aquatic ecosystems in Taylor Valley, Antarctica. This cold desert ecosystem is characterized by the complete lack of vascular plants, and the presence of algal mats in ephemeral streams and perennially ice covered lakes. Streams having abundant algal mats and mosses have very low sigma CO2 concentrations, as well as the most depleted delta C-13 values (-4%). Previous work has shown that algal mats in these streams have delta C-13 values averaging -7.01%. These values are similar to those observed in the algal mats in shallow areas of the lakes in Taylor Valley, where CO2 is thought to be colimiting to growth. These low Sigma CO2 concentrations, and delta C(13) signatures heavier than the algal mats, suggest that CO2 may be colimiting in the streams, as well. Streams with little algal growth, especially the longer ones in Fryxell Basin, have higher Sigma CO2 concentrations and much more enriched isotopic signatures (as high as +8%). In these streams, the dissolution of isotopically enriched, cryogenic CaCO3 is probably the major source of dissolved carbonate. The delta C(13) geochemistry of Antarctic streams is radically different from the geochemistry of more temperate streams, as it is not affected by terrestrially produced, isotopically depleted Sigma CO2. These results have important implications for the understanding of "biogenic" carbonate that might have been produced from aquatic ecosystems in the past on Mars.

  14. Chemical compositions of sulfate and chloride salts over the last termination reconstructed from the Dome Fuji ice core, inland Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oyabu, Ikumi; Iizuka, Yoshinori; Uemura, Ryu; Miyake, Takayuki; Hirabayashi, Motohiro; Motoyama, Hideaki; Sakurai, Toshimitsu; Suzuki, Toshitaka; Hondoh, Takeo

    2014-12-01

    The flux and chemical composition of aerosols impact the climate. Antarctic ice cores preserve the record of past atmospheric aerosols, providing useful information about past atmospheric environments. However, few studies have directly measured the chemical composition of aerosol particles preserved in ice cores. Here we present the chemical compositions of sulfate and chloride salts from aerosol particles in the Dome Fuji ice core. The analysis method involves ice sublimation, and the period covers the last termination, 25.0-11.0 thousand years before present (kyr B.P.), with a 350 year resolution. The major components of the soluble particles are CaSO4, Na2SO4, and NaCl. The dominant sulfate salt changes at 16.8 kyr B.P. from CaSO4, a glacial type, to Na2SO4, an interglacial type. The sulfate salt flux (CaSO4 plus Na2SO4) inversely correlates with δ18O in Dome Fuji over millennial timescales. This correlation is consistent with the idea that sulfate salt aerosols contributed to the last deglacial warming of inland Antarctica by reducing the aerosol indirect effect. Between 16.3 and 11.0 kyr B.P., the presence of NaCl suggests that winter atmospheric aerosols are preserved. A high NaCl/Na2SO4 fraction between 12.3 and 11.0 kyr B.P. indicates that the contribution from the transport of winter atmospheric aerosols increased during this period.

  15. Antarctica: The Continuing Experiment. Foreign Policy Association Headline Series, No. 273.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Quigg, Philip W.

    One of a series of booklets on world issues examines the sharpened differences between those nations that have declared sovereignty over parts of Antarctica and those that have not; between those nations that have arbitrarily assumed responsibility for the administration of Antarctica and the smaller, more numerous nations that believe their…

  16. Survival and Recovery of Phaeocystis Antarctica (Prymnesiophyceae) from Prolonged Darkness and Freezing

    EPA Science Inventory

    The colony-forming haptophyte Phaeocystis antarctica is an important primary producer in the Ross Sea, and must survive long periods of darkness and freezing in this extreme environment. We conducted experiments on the responses of P. antarctica-dominated phytoplankton assemblage...

  17. Colony Size of Phaeocystis Antarctica (Prymnesiophyceae) as Influenced by Zooplankton Grazers

    EPA Science Inventory

    The haptophyte Phaeocystis antarctica is a dominant phytoplankton species in the Ross Sea, Antarctica, and exists as solitary cells and mucilaginous colonies that differ by several orders of magnitude in size. Recent studies with P. globosa suggested that colony formation and enl...

  18. 45 CFR 674.4 - Restrictions on collection of meteorites in Antarctica.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 45 Public Welfare 3 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Restrictions on collection of meteorites in... SCIENCE FOUNDATION ANTARCTIC METEORITES § 674.4 Restrictions on collection of meteorites in Antarctica. No person may collect meteorites in Antarctica for other than scientific research purposes....

  19. 45 CFR 674.4 - Restrictions on collection of meteorites in Antarctica.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 45 Public Welfare 3 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Restrictions on collection of meteorites in... SCIENCE FOUNDATION ANTARCTIC METEORITES § 674.4 Restrictions on collection of meteorites in Antarctica. No person may collect meteorites in Antarctica for other than scientific research purposes....

  20. 45 CFR 674.4 - Restrictions on collection of meteorites in Antarctica.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 45 Public Welfare 3 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Restrictions on collection of meteorites in... SCIENCE FOUNDATION ANTARCTIC METEORITES § 674.4 Restrictions on collection of meteorites in Antarctica. No person may collect meteorites in Antarctica for other than scientific research purposes....

  1. 45 CFR 674.4 - Restrictions on collection of meteorites in Antarctica.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 45 Public Welfare 3 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Restrictions on collection of meteorites in... SCIENCE FOUNDATION ANTARCTIC METEORITES § 674.4 Restrictions on collection of meteorites in Antarctica. No person may collect meteorites in Antarctica for other than scientific research purposes....

  2. 45 CFR 674.4 - Restrictions on collection of meteorites in Antarctica.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 45 Public Welfare 3 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Restrictions on collection of meteorites in... SCIENCE FOUNDATION ANTARCTIC METEORITES § 674.4 Restrictions on collection of meteorites in Antarctica. No person may collect meteorites in Antarctica for other than scientific research purposes....

  3. Antibacterial, antifungal and antiprotozoal activities of fungal communities present in different substrates from Antarctica

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Antarctica is a pristine and extreme environment that represents a unique opportunity for taxonomic, ecological and biotechnological studies of the microorganisms. In the present work, the fungal communities of rhizosphere soil of Deschampsia antarctica, soil, ornithogenic soil, marine and lake sedi...

  4. Soluble Salt Accumulations in Taylor Valley, Antarctica: Implications for Paleolakes and Ross Sea Ice Sheet Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toner, J. D.; Sletten, R. S.; Prentice, M. L.

    2012-12-01

    Soluble salt accumulations in Taylor Valley, Antarctica, provide a history of paleolakes and the advance of the Ross Sea Ice Sheet (RSIS). We measured soluble salts in 89 soils throughout Taylor Valley in soil-water extractions. In western Taylor Valley, soluble salt accumulations are relatively high and are comprised primarily of Na, Ca, Cl, and SO4. In eastern Taylor Valley, soluble salt accumulations are much lower and are comprised primarily of Na and HCO3. Salt compositions measured in soil-water extractions are highly influenced by the dissolution of sparingly soluble salts (e.g. calcite and gypsum) and cation exchange reactions. Furthermore, during soil-water extractions, Ca from calcite or gypsum dissolution exchanges with exchangeable Na, K, and Mg. These processes can strongly influence both the total salt content measured in soils and ionic ratios. Thus, it is important to consider the effects of these reactions when interpreting soluble salt accumulations measured in soil-water extractions. Calcite dissolution and cation exchange reactions also appear to have a widespread natural occurrence, resulting in the Na-HCO3 compositions of soils, streams, and lakes in eastern Taylor Valley. The soluble salt data supports the hypotheses that a lobe of the RSIS expanded into eastern Taylor Valley and dammed proglacial paleolakes. However, in contrast to previous studies, our findings indicate that the RSIS advanced deeper into Taylor Valley and that paleolakes were less extensive. By comparing soluble salt distributions across Taylor Valley, we conclude that a lobe of the RSIS filled all of eastern Taylor Valley and dammed paleolakes in western Taylor Valley up to 300 m elevation. Following ice retreat, smaller paleolakes formed in both western and eastern Taylor Valley up to about 120 m, with a prominent still stands at 80 m that was controlled by the elevation of a major valley threshold.

  5. Erosion-driven uplift in the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains of East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paxman, G. J. G.; Watts, A. B.; Ferraccioli, F.; Jordan, T. A.; Bell, R. E.; Jamieson, S. S. R.; Finn, C. A.

    2016-10-01

    The relative roles of climate and tectonics in mountain building have been widely debated. Central to this debate is the process of flexural uplift in response to valley incision. Here we quantify this process in the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains, a paradoxical tectonic feature in cratonic East Antarctica. Previous studies indicate that rifting and strike-slip tectonics may have provided a key trigger for the initial uplift of the Gamburtsevs, but the contribution of more recent valley incision remains to be quantified. Inverse spectral (free-air admittance and Bouguer coherence) methods indicate that, unusually for continents, the coherence between free-air gravity anomalies and bedrock topography is high (>0.5) and that the elastic thickness of the lithosphere is anomalously low (<15 km), in contrast to previously reported values of up to ∼70 km. The isostatic effects of two different styles of erosion are quantified: dendritic fluvial incision overprinted by Alpine-style glacial erosion in the Gamburtsevs and outlet glacier-type selective linear erosion in the Lambert Rift, part of the East Antarctic Rift System. 3D flexural models indicate that valley incision has contributed ca. 500 m of peak uplift in the Gamburtsevs and up to 1.2 km in the Lambert Rift, which is consistent with the present-day elevation of Oligocene-Miocene glaciomarine sediments. Overall, we find that 17-25% of Gamburtsev peak uplift can be explained by erosional unloading. These relatively low values are typical of temperate mountain ranges, suggesting that most of the valley incision in the Gamburtsevs occurred prior to widespread glaciation at 34 Ma. The pre-incision topography of the Gamburtsevs lies at 2-2.5 km above sea-level, confirming that they were a key inception point for the development of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. Tectonic and/or dynamic processes were therefore responsible for ca. 80% of the elevation of the modern Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains.

  6. Climate in West Antarctica over the last century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steig, E. J.; White, J. W.; Ding, Q.

    2011-12-01

    There have been significant changes in atmospheric circulation over West Antarctica in the last few decades. These changes have been linked to ozone depletion in the stratosphere, greenhouse gases in the troposphere, and rising temperatures in the equatorial Pacific. The circulation changes have resulted in sea ice declines and increased temperatures on the West Antarctic ice sheet, and may also explain recent oceanographic changes linked to ice shelf thinning (Steig et al, 2011). It remains an open question whether these are exceptional changes to Antarctic climate, or fall within the range of unforced variability. Instrumental climate records are too short and too sparse in the Antarctic to address this question. Ice core records obtained from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) and Antarctic Peninsula provide an opportunity to extend the observational record of West Antarctic climate into the past. We present δ18O records from the WAIS Divide site in central West Antarctica, along with both new and previously published data from shallow records from the U.S. "ITASE" program in West Antarctica (Steig et al., 2005; Schneider et al., 2006) and British Antarctic Survey records from the Peninsula (Thomas et al., 2009). The West Antarctic δ18O records are highly correlated with temperature -- explaining about 80% of the decadal variance -- and capture unequivocally the warming trend of the last few decades across most of West Antarctica. Centennial variations are also captured, with the same scaling (about 0.8%/°C) (Fegyveresi et al., 2011). The covariance of δ18O and temperature occurs because both are increased under conditions of anomalously strong meridional flow. The δ18O signal is further amplified by the presence of open water near the Antarctic coastline, due to reduced sea ice divergence from the same northerly flow. Extremes in δ18O are frequently associated with strong El Niño events. The response is particularly strong when warming occurs in the

  7. Changes in sleep patterns during prolonged stays in Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhattacharyya, Moushum; Pal, Madhu Sudan; Sharma, Yogendra Kumar; Majumdar, Dhurjati

    2008-11-01

    Various countries have permanent research bases in Antarctica that are manned year-round by a few members of an expedition team, facing extremes of temperature with the associated hardships. Acclimatisation to such an environment is associated with pyschophysiological changes along with alterations in sleep patterns. The present study was undertaken to explore the changes in sleep patterns of six members of the Indian expedition team during their winter stay at Maitri, the permanent research station of India in Antarctica. The mean (± SEM) age, height and weight of the subjects were 35.7 ± 2.32 years, 168.3 ± 2.37 cm and 71.0 ± 1.88 kg, respectively. Polysomnographic sleep recordings were obtained as baseline data in November 2004 in Delhi (altitude 260 m, latitude 29° N, longitude 77° E); data on the same parameters were collected at Maitri, Antarctica (altitude 120 m, latitude 70° 45' 39″ S, longitude 11° 44' 49″ E) from January to December 2005. A one-way analysis of variance with repeated measures showed a significant variation with time (month effect) in most of the sleep parameters recorded. Total sleep time decreased from Delhi baseline values in all months, sleep efficiency decreased significantly during winter months, duration of waking period after sleep onset increased significantly in winter, sleep latency increased immediately after exposure in January, stages 3 and 4 (slow wave sleep) reduced during dark winter months, whereas stages 1 and 2 and rapid eye movement sleep increased during dark winter months. This study observed a prevailing general trend of sleep disturbances amongst overwintering members in a modern Antarctic station.

  8. Soils of the Galindez Island, Argentine archipelago, Western Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abakumov, Evgeny; Parnikoza, Ivan

    2015-04-01

    Antarctic Peninsula is a part of Antarctica which is characterized by increased soil diversity, caused by specific of parent materials and diversity of non-vascular and vascular plants. Soils of Galindez Island have been investigated during the 18-th Ukranian Antarctic Expedition 2013/14. This Island situated in Argentine archipelago (coastal part of Antarctic Peninsula). Soils of Galindez Island presented by following types: Leptosols, Lithosols, Histic Lithosols and Leptosols and some Gleyic soils, located in lowlands and coastal parts. An average solum profile thickness is 3-19 cm which result from the small depth of debris's, underplayed by massive crystallic rocks. The permafrost layer is located within the massive rock, but not in coarse friable parent material. The soils with bird influence are widely spread both in coastal and central part of Island. In the coastal parts we can find typical Ornithosols in the penguin rockeries areas. The main aim of our investigation was characterization of soils formed under vegetation, exactly under Deschampsia antarctica Desv. localities. Argentine Islands is the central part of D. antarctica spreading area in region of Antarctic peninsula. Probably, these islands colonized by hairgrass mainly due to ornitogenic activity. So, coastal population appearance related with Larus dominicanus nest areas and feeding activity. Thus, we found typical post ornithogenic soils here. This kind of soils we also observed in population of hairgrass of Galindez mainland where it was connected with the other Antarctic bird - Catharacta maccormicki activity. Thus, the soil diversity and soil geochemistry of the Galindez Island are closely related to the activity of birds. The spatial pattern of soils, their chemistry and organic matter quality is discussed in relation with distribution of bird nesting and feeding activity.

  9. Mesoscale cyclogenesis dynamics over the southwestern Ross Sea, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carrasco, Jorge F.; Bromwich, David H.

    1993-07-01

    Previous work has shown that frequent mesoscale cyclogenesis adjacent to Franklin Island is linked to the strong and persistent katabatic winds from East Antarctica which funnel into Terra Nova Bay and then blow out over the southwestern Ross Sea. Four mesoscale cyclones that formed near Terra Nova Bay between February 16 and 20, 1988 are examined to more clearly define the governing mechanisms. These events are investigated using all available observations, including automatic weather station data, high-resolution satellite images, satellite soundings, and hemispheric synoptic analyses. The first two cyclones formed on low-level baroclinic zones established by the synoptic scale advection of warm moist air toward the cold continental air blowing gently from East Antarctica. In the second case, baroclinic instability of this small-scale cold front was apparently triggered by the enhanced upward vertical motion associated with the approach of a midtropospheric trough. The third mesocyclone formed shortly after on a baroclinic zone over the polar plateau; the second vortex completely disrupted the usual katabatic drainage over the plateau and forced warm moist air over the coastal slopes. All three cyclones moved to the north in the prevailing cyclonic flow, but the plateau vortex lasted for only 6 hours. The fourth mesoscale low formed in conjunction with an abrupt and intense surge of katabatic air from Terra Nova Bay which resharpened the coastal baroclinic zone. At the same time a transiting midtropospheric trough probably associated with lower tropospheric upward vertical motion apparently accelerated the katabatic winds and triggered the vortex formation. A similar katabatic wind-forced mesocyclone formed near Byrd Glacier. The two vortices moved to the east-southeast and northeast, respectively, apparently being steered by the generating katabatic airstreams, and merged just to the north of the Ross Ice Shelf. The combined vortex reintensified as another

  10. Reconstruction of the East Africa and Antarctica continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen, Luan C.; Hall, Stuart A.; Bird, Dale E.; Ball, Philip J.

    2016-06-01

    The Early Jurassic separation of Antarctica from Africa plays an important role in our understanding of the dispersal of Gondwana and Pangea. Previous reconstruction models contain overlaps and gaps in the restored margins that reflect difficulties in accurately delineating the continent-ocean-boundary (COB) and determining the amount and distribution of extended continental crust. This study focuses on the evolution of the African margin adjacent to the Mozambique Basin and the conjugate Antarctic margin near the Riiser-Larsen Sea. Satellite-derived gravity data have been used to trace the orientations and landward limits of fracture zones. A 3-D gravity inversion has produced a crustal thickness model that reliably quantifies the extent and amount of stretched crust. Crustal thicknesses together with fracture zone terminations reveal COBs that are significantly closer to the African and Antarctic coasts than previously recognized. Correlation of fracture zone azimuths and identified COBs suggests Antarctica began drifting away from Africa at approximately 171 Ma in a roughly SSE direction. An areal-balancing method has been used to restore the crust to a uniform prerift thickness so as to perform a nonrigid reconstruction for both nonvolcanic and volcanic margins. Both margins reveal a trend of increasing extension from east to west. Our results suggest Africa underwent extension of 60-120 km, while Antarctic crust was stretched by 105-180 km. Various models tested to determine the direction of extension during rifting suggest that Antarctica moved away from Africa in a WNW-ESE direction during the period between 184 and 171 Ma prior to the onset of seafloor spreading.

  11. Increased Ocean Access to Totten Glacier, East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blankenship, D. D.; Greenbaum, J. S.; Young, D. A.; Richter, T. G.; Roberts, J. L.; Aitken, A.; Legresy, B.; Warner, R. C.; van Ommen, T. D.; Siegert, M. J.

    2015-12-01

    The Totten Glacier is the largest ice sheet outlet in East Antarctica, draining 3.5 meters of eustatic sea level potential from the Aurora Subglacial Basin (ASB) into the Sabrina Coast. Recent work has shown that the ASB has drained and filled many times since largescale glaciation began including evidence that it collapsed during the Pliocene. Steady thinning rates observed near Totten Glacier's grounding line since the beginning of the satellite altimetry record are the largest in East Antarctica and the nature of the thinning suggests that it is driven by enhanced basal melting due to ocean processes. Warm Modified Circumpolar Deep Water (MCDW), which has been linked to glacier retreat in West Antarctica, has been observed in summer and winter on the Sabrina Coast continental shelf in the 400-500 m depth range. Using airborne geophysical data acquired over multiple years we delineate seafloor valleys connecting the inner continental shelf to the cavity beneath Totten Glacier that cut through a large sill centered along the ice shelf calving front. The sill shallows to depths of about 300 mbsl and was likely a grounding line pinning point during Holocene retreat, however, the two largest seafloor valleys are deeper than the observed range of thermocline depths. The deeper of the two valleys, a 4 km-wide trough, connects to the ice shelf cavity through an area of the coastline that was previously believed to be grounded but that our analysis demonstrates is floating, revealing a second, deeper entryway to ice shelf cavity. The previous coastline was charted using satellite-based mapping techniques that infer subglacial properties based on surface expression and behavior; the new geophysical analysis techniques we use enable inferences of subglacial characteristics using direct observations of the ice-water interface. The results indicate that Totten Glacier and, by extension, the Aurora Subglacial Basin are vulnerable to MCDW that has been observed on the nearby

  12. Status of DORIS stations in Antarctica for precise geodesy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Willis, P.; Amalvict, M.; Shibuya, K.

    2005-01-01

    In Antarctica, besides the quite numerous GPS stations, four DORIS stations are permanently operating. In addition to the permanent DORIS stations, episodic campaigns took place at DomeC/Conccordia and on Sorsdal and Lambert glaciers. In this paper, we first collect general information concerning the stations and the campaigns (location, start of measurements, etc). We then present the results of observations of the permanent stations keeping in mind that we are primarily interested here in the vertical component, which is the most uncertain component.

  13. Ice Velocity Map of Antarctica measured with ALOS PALSAR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mouginot, J.; Scheuchl, B.; Rignot, E. J.

    2010-12-01

    Ice velocity is fundamental characteristic of the dynamics of ice sheet and is essential to know for measuring the mass budget of ice sheet and for controlling ice sheet numerical models with realistic boundary conditions. Until recently, data were mostly available on a discrete basis over small areas with variable precision. Here, we report on our results of processing ice velocity from he interferometric synthetic-aperture radar data acquired by ALOS PALSAR in 2007, 2008 and 2009 by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and distributed by NASA's Alaska Satellite Facility (ASF). The goal of our project is to produce a new set of Earth Science Data Record (ESDR): high-resolution digital maps of ice velocity of the Antarctic ice sheet. This new ESDR will be based on spaceborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data from multiple missions. It will be distributed to the scientific community via institutional links already in place at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). The EDSR will benefit glaciologists and ice sheet modelers, but also climate modelers interested in how ice sheets are evolving, physical oceanographers studying sea level change and changes in oceanic circulation, solid earth scientists interested in post-glacial rebound, atmospheric scientists interested in surface mass balance in Antarctica. This effort will establish a long-term legacy for quantitative measurements of the dynamics of polar ice sheets. Areas north of 78 degrees south were first covered by RADARSAT-1 during the RAMP campaign. ALOS PALSAR and ENVISAT ASAR were tasked to cover the area in 2007, 2008 and 2009. PALSAR 46-day speckle tracking works well even in areas where C-band sensors lose signal coherence, which helps us to complete a full coverage of Antarctica's coastal regions. One challenge for L-band data is the sensitivity to ionosphere disturbances and another is to lower data noise in vast interior where flow velocities drop to below a few meters per year. We

  14. Data report for the Siple Coast (Antarctica) project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bindschadler, R. A.; Stephenson, S. N.; Roberts, E. P.; Macayeal, D. R.; Lindstrom, D. R.

    1988-01-01

    This report presents data collected during three field seasons of glaciological studies in the Antarctica and describes the methods employed. The region investigated covers the mouths of Ice Streams B and C (the Siple Coast) and Crary Ice Rise on the Ross Ice Shelf. Measurements included in the report are as follows: surface velocity and deformation from repeated satellite geoceiver positions; surface topography from optical levelling; radar sounding of ice thickness; accumulation rates; near-surface densities and temperature profiles; and mapping from aerial photography.

  15. Detection of evolutionarily distinct avian influenza a viruses in antarctica.

    PubMed

    Hurt, Aeron C; Vijaykrishna, Dhanasekaran; Butler, Jeffrey; Baas, Chantal; Maurer-Stroh, Sebastian; Silva-de-la-Fuente, M Carolina; Medina-Vogel, Gonzalo; Olsen, Bjorn; Kelso, Anne; Barr, Ian G; González-Acuña, Daniel

    2014-05-06

    ABSTRACT Distinct lineages of avian influenza viruses (AIVs) are harbored by spatially segregated birds, yet significant surveillance gaps exist around the globe. Virtually nothing is known from the Antarctic. Using virus culture, molecular analysis, full genome sequencing, and serology of samples from Adélie penguins in Antarctica, we confirmed infection by H11N2 subtype AIVs. Their genetic segments were distinct from all known contemporary influenza viruses, including South American AIVs, suggesting spatial separation from other lineages. Only in the matrix and polymerase acidic gene phylogenies did the Antarctic sequences form a sister relationship to South American AIVs, whereas distant phylogenetic relationships were evident in all other gene segments. Interestingly, their neuraminidase genes formed a distant relationship to all avian and human influenza lineages, and the polymerase basic 1 and polymerase acidic formed a sister relationship to the equine H3N8 influenza virus lineage that emerged during 1963 and whose avian origins were previously unknown. We also estimated that each gene segment had diverged for 49 to 80 years from its most closely related sequences, highlighting a significant gap in our AIV knowledge in the region. We also show that the receptor binding properties of the H11N2 viruses are predominantly avian and that they were unable to replicate efficiently in experimentally inoculated ferrets, suggesting their continuous evolution in avian hosts. These findings add substantially to our understanding of both the ecology and the intra- and intercontinental movement of Antarctic AIVs and highlight the potential risk of an incursion of highly pathogenic AIVs into this fragile environment. IMPORTANCE Avian influenza viruses (AIVs) are typically maintained and spread by migratory birds, resulting in the existence of distinctly different viruses around the world. However, AIVs have not previously been detected in Antarctica. In this study, we

  16. Allan Hills 77005 - A new meteorite type found in Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcsween, H. Y., Jr.; Taylor, L. A.; Stolper, E. M.

    1979-01-01

    A unique 482.5 g meteorite found in Antarctica appears to be related by igneous differentiation to shergottite achondrites, which have close similarities with terrestrial basaltic rocks. Zoned maskelynite with similar compositional ranges and plagioclase of such intermediate compositions as are unknown in other achondrites occur in both shergottites and the Allan Hills meteorite. The degree of silica saturation, however, strongly distinguishes the two meteorite types. It is suggested that the Allan Hills meteorite may represent a cumulate rock formed earlier than the shergottites from the same or a similar parent magma.

  17. Advanced systems data for mapping Emperor Penguin habitats in Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sanchez, Richard D.; Kooyman, Gerald L.

    2004-01-01

    Commercial orbital sensor systems combined with other resource data from the U.S. Geological Survey National Civil Applications Program (NCAP) may offer an effective way of mapping Emperor penguin habitats and their response to regional climate change in Antarctica. This project examined these resources to determine their applicability for mapping Emperor penguin habitats to support the National Science Foundation. This work is especially significant to investigate satellite-based imaging as an alternative to intrusive in-the-field enumeration of Emperor penguins and the potential of applying these procedures to support The National Map (TNP).

  18. An assessment of forward and inverse GIA solutions for Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bamber, Jonathan L.; Martin, Alba; King, Matt; Zammit-Mangion, Andrew

    2016-04-01

    GIA has, until recently, been estimated using forward models that attempt to determine how the solid Earth responds to changes in ice-ocean loading through time. These models require knowledge of spatially-varying Earth rheology, including mantle viscosity, and ice load history, both of which have large uncertainties for Antarctica. Recent advances in GIA models include consideration of three-dimensional variations in Earth rheology and power-law rheologies. Such GIA models predict remarkably different patterns of uplift over Antarctica when compared to those using one-dimensional Earth models, such as a shift in the uplift maximum from the Ross to the Wedell Sea (van der Wal et al., 2015). However, large uncertainties still remain in the ice loading history models (A. et al 2014 and van der Wal et al., 2015) and substantial regional differences are found between Antarctic reconstructions. An alternative approach is to use observations of crustal motion from GPS, combined with mass trends from GRACE to invert for GIA. However, this is an undetermined problem which requires assumptions on the density profile of the ice column for which numerical models have been commonly used (Gunter el al., 2014). Here we present a novel solution to the inverse problem using state-of-the-art methods in statistical modelling of spatio-temporal processes. Specifically, we combine observational data, including satellite radar and laser altimetry, GRACE, GPS and InSAR, with prior information on the spatial and temporal smoothness of the underlying process to solve, simultaneously, for ice mass trends and GIA. This is achieved via a spatio-temporal Bayesian hierarchical model and the resulting solution is only dependent on length and smoothness properties obtained from numerical models, but is otherwise entirely data-driven. We compare the most recent forward and inverse GIA solutions for Antarctica with a set of 68 observed vertical velocities over the period 2009 -- 2014 from the GPS

  19. Positive mass balance of the Ross Ice Streams, West Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Joughin, Ian; Tulaczyk, Slawek

    2002-01-18

    We have used ice-flow velocity measurements from synthetic aperture radar to reassess the mass balance of the Ross Ice Streams, West Antarctica. We find strong evidence for ice-sheet growth (+26.8 gigatons per year), in contrast to earlier estimates indicating a mass deficit (-20.9 gigatons per year). Average thickening is equal to approximately 25% of the accumulation rate, with most of this growth occurring on Ice Stream C. Whillans Ice Stream, which was thought to have a significantly negative mass balance, is close to balance, reflecting its continuing slowdown. The overall positive mass balance may signal an end to the Holocene retreat of these ice streams.

  20. Remote Sensing and Skywave Digital Communication from Antarctica

    PubMed Central

    Bergadà, Pau; Deumal, Marc; Vilella, Carles; Regué, Joan R.; Altadill, David; Marsal, Santi

    2009-01-01

    This paper presents an overview of the research activities undertaken by La Salle and the Ebro Observatory in the field of remote sensing. On 2003 we started a research project with two main objectives: implement a long-haul oblique ionospheric sounder and transmit the data from remote sensors located at the Spanish Antarctic station Juan Carlos I to Spain. The paper focuses on a study of feasibility of two possible physical layer candidates for the skywave link between both points. A DS-SS based solution and an OFDM based solution are considered to achieve a reliable low-power low-rate communication system between Antarctica and Spain. PMID:22303166

  1. Remote sensing and skywave digital communication from antarctica.

    PubMed

    Bergadà, Pau; Deumal, Marc; Vilella, Carles; Regué, Joan R; Altadill, David; Marsal, Santi

    2009-01-01

    This paper presents an overview of the research activities undertaken by La Salle and the Ebro Observatory in the field of remote sensing. On 2003 we started a research project with two main objectives: implement a long-haul oblique ionospheric sounder and transmit the data from remote sensors located at the Spanish Antarctic station Juan Carlos I to Spain. The paper focuses on a study of feasibility of two possible physical layer candidates for the skywave link between both points. A DS-SS based solution and an OFDM based solution are considered to achieve a reliable low-power low-rate communication system between Antarctica and Spain.

  2. Geodetic Network For Crustal Deformation Control of Northernvictoria Land (antarctica)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Capra, A.; Bitelli, G.; Gandolfi, S.; Mancini, F.; Sarti, P.; Vittuari, L.

    VLNDEF (Victoria Land Network for DEFormation control) project started in 1999 with the aim to measure a network for the study of regional geodynamics of northern Victoria Land. In 1999-2000 and 2000-01 italian expeditions, a network of 25 stations with an average distance of 70 km covering the area from Terra Nova Bay, italian sta- tion in Antarctica, to the northern Oates Coast on Pacific ocean, about 700 km long and about 300 km large, was established and surveyed. The network design and stations location were based on principal faults of the area pointed out by most recent tecton- ics studies. The research activity is made within GIANT (Geodetic Infrastructure of ANTarctica) program and ANTEC (ANtarctic neoTECtonics) Group of Specialists of SCAR (Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research).The network coordinates are de- fined in most recent ITRF 2000 system through the emanation from GPS permanent station TNB1. TNB1 was included in SCAR GPS Epoch measurements campaigns and, consequently, connected to IGS network in 2000. VLNDEF includes the first italian reference network about 5000 square km around Terra Nova Bay, and a small network for Mt.Melbourne volcano monitoring. The reference network was surveyed three time, while the detail network was surveyed five time. The data were processed with different software, more recently with Bernese and Gipsy. The processing results and a preliminary approach for deformation analysis are presented.

  3. Reactive chlorine chemistry in the boundary layer of coastal Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zielcke, Johannes; Poehler, Denis; Friess, Udo; Hay, Tim; Eger, Philipp; Kreher, Karin; Platt, Ulrich

    2015-04-01

    A unique feature of the polar troposphere is the strong impact of halogen photochemistry, in which reactive halogen species are responsible for ozone depletion as well as the oxidation of elemental mercury and dimethyl sulphide. The source, however, as well as release and recycling mechanisms of these halogen species - for some species even abundances - are far from being completely known, especially of chlorine and iodine compounds. Here we present active long-path differential optical absorption spectroscopy (LP-DOAS) measurements conducted during austral spring 2012 at Ross Island, Antarctica, observing several species (BrO, O3, NO2, IO, ClO, OBrO, OClO, OIO, I2, CHOCHO, HCHO, HONO). For the first time, ClO was detected and quantified in the marine boundary layer of coastal Antarctica, with typical mixing ratios around 20 pptv and maxima around 50 pptv. Meteorological controls on the mixing ratio of ClO as well as the interplay with other halogen compounds will be discussed, such as the lack of observed OClO (< 1 pptv). The results seem to reflect previously in chamber studies observed dependences on ozone levels and solar irradiance.

  4. The larval alimentary canal of the Antarctic insect, Belgica antarctica.

    PubMed

    Nardi, James B; Miller, Lou Ann; Bee, Charles Mark; Lee, Richard E; Denlinger, David L

    2009-09-01

    On the Antarctica continent the wingless midge, Belgica antarctica (Diptera, Chironomidae) occurs further south than any other insect. The digestive tract of the larval stage of Belgica that inhabits this extreme environment and feeds in detritus of penguin rookeries has been described for the first time. Ingested food passes through a foregut lumen and into a stomodeal valve representing an intussusception of the foregut into the midgut. A sharp discontinuity in microvillar length occurs at an interface separating relatively long microvilli of the stomodeal midgut region, the site where peritrophic membrane originates, from the midgut epithelium lying posterior to this stomodeal region. Although shapes of cells along the length of this non-stomodeal midgut epithelium are similar, the lengths of their microvilli increase over two orders of magnitude from anterior midgut to posterior midgut. Infoldings of the basal membranes also account for a greatly expanded interface between midgut cells and the hemocoel. The epithelial cells of the hindgut seem to be specialized for exchange of water with their environment, with the anterior two-thirds of the hindgut showing highly convoluted luminal membranes and the posterior third having a highly convoluted basal surface. The lumen of the middle third of the hindgut has a dense population of resident bacteria. Regenerative cells are scattered throughout the larval midgut epithelium. These presumably represent stem cells for the adult midgut, while a ring of cells, marked by a discontinuity in nuclear size at the midgut-hindgut interface, presumably represents stem cells for the adult hindgut.

  5. Surface and snowdrift sublimation at Princess Elisabeth station, East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thiery, W.; Gorodetskaya, I. V.; Bintanja, R.; Van Lipzig, N. P. M.; Van den Broeke, M. R.; Reijmer, C. H.; Kuipers Munneke, P.

    2012-08-01

    In the near-coastal regions of Antarctica, a significant fraction of the snow precipitating onto the surface is removed again through sublimation - either directly from the surface or from drifting snow particles. Meteorological observations from an Automatic Weather Station (AWS) near the Belgian research station Princess Elisabeth in Dronning Maud Land, East-Antarctica, are used to study surface and snowdrift sublimation and to assess their impacts on both the surface mass balance and the surface energy balance during 2009 and 2010. Comparison to three other AWSs in Dronning Maud Land with 11 to 13 yr of observations shows that sublimation has a significant influence on the surface mass balance at katabatic locations by removing 10-23% of their total precipitation, but at the same time reveals anomalously low surface and snowdrift sublimation rates at Princess Elisabeth (17 mm w.e. yr-1 compared to 42 mm w.e. yr-1 at Svea Cross and 52 mm w.e. yr-1 at Wasa/Aboa). This anomaly is attributed to local topography, which shields the station from strong katabatic influence, and, therefore, on the one hand allows for a strong surface inversion to persist throughout most of the year and on the other hand causes a lower probability of occurrence of intermediately strong winds. This wind speed class turns out to contribute most to the total snowdrift sublimation mass flux, given its ability to lift a high number of particles while still allowing for considerable undersaturation.

  6. Multiple sources of alkanes in Quaternary oceanic sediment of Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kvenvolden, K.A.; Rapp, J.B.; Golan-Bac, M.; Hostettler, F.D.

    1987-01-01

    Normal alkanes (n-C13n-C36), isoprenoid hydrocarbons (i-C15, i-C16, i-C18, i-C19, and i-C20) triterpanes (C27C32), and (C27C29) are present in low concentrations offshore Antarctica in near-surface, Quaternary sediment of the Wilkes Land continental margin and of the western Ross Sea. The distributions of these hydrocarbons are interpreted relative to possible sources and processes. The hydrocarbons appear to be mixtures of primary and recycled material from marine and terrigenous sources. The n-alkanes are most abundant and are characterized by two distinct populations, one of probable marine origin and the other likely from terrigenous, vascular plant sources. Because the continent of Antarctica today is devoid of higher plants, the plant-derived hydrocarbons in these offshore sediments probably came from wind-blown material and recycled Antarctic sediment that contains land-plant remains from an earlier period of time. Isoprenoid hydrocarbons are partially recycled and mainly of marine origin; the dominance of pristane over phytane suggests oxic paleoenvironmental conditions. Both modern and ancient triterpanes and steranes are present, and the distribution of these indicates a mixture of primary and recycled bacterial, algal, and possible higher-plant materials. Although the sampled sediments were deposited during the Quaternary, they apparently contain a significant component of hydrocarbons of pre-Quaternary age. ?? 1987.

  7. Lead Sources to the Amundsen Sea, West Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Ndungu, Kuria; Zurbrick, Cheryl M; Stammerjohn, Sharon; Severmann, Silke; Sherrell, Robert M; Flegal, A Russell

    2016-06-21

    The global prevalence of industrial lead (Pb) contamination was exemplified decades ago by the predominance of anthropogenic Pb in samples of Antarctic surface ice and in Southern Ocean surface waters. Decreases in environmental Pb contamination corresponding with the near-global phase-out of leaded automobile gasoline beginning in the 1970s have since been observed. Measurements of Pb concentration in snow and ice core samples from Antarctica show that recent fluxes of industrial Pb to Antarctica have similarly declined. Here, we present measurements of Pb concentrations and isotopic compositions in seawater and surface sediments from the Amundsen Sea continental shelf including the Amundsen Sea Polynya. Both sets of measurements show that most (∼60-95%) of the Pb at our sites, at the time of sampling, is natural in source: that is, derived from the weathering of Antarctic continental rocks. These fluxes of natural Pb then become entrained into polynya waters either from sediment resuspension or from the transport of sediment-laden glacial melt waters to the polynya.

  8. Ship-based Aerosol Optical Depth Measurements Near Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakerin, S. M.; Smirnov, A.; Kabanov, D. M.; Turchinovich, Y. S.; Holben, B. N.; Radionov, V. F.; Slutsker, I.

    2006-12-01

    Aerosol optical properties over the oceans were studied in November 2005 January 2006 onboard the R/V Akademik Fedorov within the framework of the 51st Russian Antarctic Expedition. Measurements were made with the handheld sunphotometer Microtops II. The sunphotometer was calibrated against the AERONET reference CIMEL radiometer. The direct sun measurements were acquired in five spectral channels at 340, 440, 675, 870 and 936 nm. Aerosol optical depth was retrieved by applying the AERONET processing algorithm (Version 2). The paper presents results of measurements along the Atlantic transect and in the Antarctic region, where the main data volume was obtained (spanning 20 days). During the measurement period near Antarctica aerosol optical depth was low (daily averages varied within 0.02-0.04 at a wavelength 440 nm). Average spectral dependence of aerosol optical depth showed usual monotonic behavior, decreasing from 0.037 at 440 nm to 0.022 at 870 nm. Daily averaged Angstrom parameter was 0.84. Spatial and temporal variations in the Antarctic region were less or about 0.02 which is comparable with the measurement uncertainty. For a few days Microtops was collocated with the stationary sunphotometer ABAS-3 from the coastal Antarctic station Myrnyi and took simultaneous measurements. Presented results are compared with the long-term observations in Antarctica.

  9. Ultimate Eocene (Priabonian) Chondrichthyans (Holocephali, Elasmobranchii) of Antarctica

    PubMed Central

    Kriwet, Jürgen; Engelbrecht, Andrea; Mörs, Thomas; Reguero, Marcelo; Pfaff, Cathrin

    2017-01-01

    The Eocene La Meseta Formation on Seymour Island, Antarctic Peninsula, is known for its remarkable wealth of fossil remains of chondrichthyans and teleosts. Chondrichthyans seemingly were dominant elements in the Antarctic Paleogene fish fauna, but decreased in abundance from middle to late Eocene, during which time remains of bony fishes increase. This decline of chondrichthyans at the end of the Eocene generally is related to sudden cooling of seawater, reduction in shelf area, and increasing shelf depth due to the onset of the Antarctic thermal isolation. The last chondrichthyan records known so far include a chimeroid tooth plate from TELM 6 (Lutetian) and a single pristiophorid rostral spine from TELM 7 (Priabonian). Here, we present new chondrichthyan records of Squalus, Squatina, Pristiophorus, Striatolamia, Palaeohypotodus, Carcharocles, and Ischyodus from the upper parts of TELM 7 (Priabonian), including the first record of Carcharocles sokolovi from Antarctica. This assemblage suggests that chondrichthyans persisted much longer in Antarctic waters despite rather cool sea surface temperatures of approximately 5°C. The final disappearance of chondrichthyans at the Eocene–Oligocene boundary concurs with abrupt ice sheet formation in Antarctica. Diversity patterns of chondrichthyans throughout the La Meseta Formation appear to be related to climatic conditions rather than plate tectonics. PMID:28298806

  10. Cape Adare - A sentinel for change in Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, G. S.; Cary, C.; Cummings, V.; Hawes, I.; Hong, S. G.; Coleman, M.

    2015-12-01

    Cape Adare stretches some 40km beyond the Antarctic Continent across the Continental Shelf. It is flanked to the east by the northern Ross Sea and to the West by Robertson Bay. The following characteristics make it an ideal monitoring and observation point to understand the impact of warm ocean and climate propogating into Antarctica from the Southern Ocean: 1) Robertson Bay is some 500m deep and has the potential to record deep water inflow which is predicted as climate warms and is also indicated as the biggest risk for melting Antarctic ice shelves. 2) Cape Adare also lies between the Antarctic continental high pressure and the Southern Ocean low pressure 3) Ridley Beach at the tip of the Peninsula is home to Antarctica's largest Adelie Penguin Colony In November 2015 we will conduct a pilot survey of the marine and terrestrial ecology and physical setting, with a view to determining what opportunities exist for a long term monitoring system. Cape Adare and the Ridley Beach Penguin Colony also offers the advantage of being on the edge of the proposed Ross Sea marine protected area and may represent an opportunity to monitor the associated ecosystem.

  11. Advances in permafrost and periglacial research in Antarctica: A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guglielmin, Mauro

    2012-06-01

    Recently the research on permafrost, periglacial morphology and processes had a great stimulus especially from the International Polar Year. Permafrost areas of continental Antarctica with its extreme dry and cold environment can be considered an analog of extraterrestrial landscapes like those on Mars, but also preserve much paleoclimatic information of this crucial part of the global climatic system. On the other hand, maritime Antarctica is one of the areas of the world currently affected by the greatest air warming and provides a unique opportunity to understand the impacts of climate change on permafrost and its related ecosystems. Despite the significant recent progress, some gaps on permafrost distribution still remain as the network for permafrost and active layer monitoring needs further enlargement and better standardization. Ground ice, its age and stability over time need further investigation, as well as the role of living organisms on the weathering processes within the cryotic rocks, the landscape evolution of continental Antartica could be improved providing potential implications also for a better understanding and modeling of life and landscape evolution of other planets.

  12. Increasing Ocean Access to Totten Glacier, East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenbaum, J. S.; Blankenship, D. D.; Young, D. A.; Aitken, A.; Richter, T. G.; Roberts, J. L.; Warner, R. C.; van Ommen, T. D.; Siegert, M. J.

    2014-12-01

    The Totten Glacier Ice Shelf (TGIS) is the primary outlet of the Aurora Subglacial Basin, draining 6.9 meters of eustatic sea level potential into the Sabrina Coast (SC) alongside the Moscow University Ice Shelf that fringes the coastline. The TGIS and surrounding grounded ice has the largest thinning signal in East Antarctica and the nature of the thinning suggests that it is driven by enhanced basal melting due to ocean processes. Warm Modified Circumpolar Deep Water (MCDW), which has been linked to glacier retreat in West Antarctica, has been observed in summer and winter on the SC continental shelf in the 400-500 m depth range. Here we show, using new data from recent aerogeophysical flights, that entrances to the cavity exist that are deeper than this range of thermocline depths, indicating that the TGIS is vulnerable to intrusions of MCDW if the vertical structure of cavity inflow is similar to the nearest observations. We provide evidence that a new entry to the cavity has opened likely due to the interplay between thinning ice and subglacial channels that could be related to regional mass loss acceleration observed in 2006. This new connection may increase access of warm water to the east side of the ice shelf, potentially destabilizing the low-lying area to the east of the TGIS.

  13. Baseline metal concentrations in Paramoera walkeri from East Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Palmer, Anne S; Snape, Ian; Stark, Jonathan S; Johnstone, Glenn J; Townsend, Ashley T

    2006-11-01

    Remediation of the Thala Valley waste disposal site near Casey Station, East Antarctica was conducted in the austral summer of 2003/2004. Biomonitoring of the adjacent marine environment was undertaken using the gammaridean amphipod Paramoera walkeri as a sentinel species [Stark, J.S., Johnstone, G.J., Palmer, A.S., Snape, I., Larner, B.L., Riddle, M.J., in press, . Monitoring the remediation of a near shore waste disposal site in Antarctica using the amphipod Paramoera walkeri and diffusive gradients in thin films (DGTs). Marine Pollution Bulletin and references therein]. Determination of uptake of metals and hypothesis testing for differences that could be attributed to contamination required the establishment of baseline metal concentrations in P. walkeri. Baseline metal concentrations from two reference locations in the Windmill Islands are presented here. P. walkeri was a found to be a sensitive bioaccumulating organism that recorded spatial and temporal variability at the reference sites. Measurement of metals in P. walkeri required the development of a simple digestion procedure that used concentrated nitric acid. For the first time, rare earth metals were determined with additional clean procedures required to measure ultra low concentrations using magnetic sector ICP-MS. Certified and in-house reference materials were employed to ensure method reliability.

  14. Ocean mixing beneath Pine Island Glacier ice shelf, West Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kimura, Satoshi; Jenkins, Adrian; Dutrieux, Pierre; Forryan, Alexander; Naveira Garabato, Alberto C.; Firing, Yvonne

    2016-12-01

    Ice shelves around Antarctica are vulnerable to an increase in ocean-driven melting, with the melt rate depending on ocean temperature and the strength of flow inside the ice-shelf cavities. We present measurements of velocity, temperature, salinity, turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rate, and thermal variance dissipation rate beneath Pine Island Glacier ice shelf, West Antarctica. These measurements were obtained by CTD, ADCP, and turbulence sensors mounted on an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV). The highest turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rate is found near the grounding line. The thermal variance dissipation rate increases closer to the ice-shelf base, with a maximum value found ˜0.5 m away from the ice. The measurements of turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rate near the ice are used to estimate basal melting of the ice shelf. The dissipation-rate-based melt rate estimates is sensitive to the stability correction parameter in the linear approximation of universal function of the Monin-Obukhov similarity theory for stratified boundary layers. We argue that our estimates of basal melting from dissipation rates are within a range of previous estimates of basal melting.

  15. Genome and transcriptome analysis of the basidiomycetous yeast Pseudozyma antarctica producing extracellular glycolipids, mannosylerythritol lipids.

    PubMed

    Morita, Tomotake; Koike, Hideaki; Hagiwara, Hiroko; Ito, Emi; Machida, Masayuki; Sato, Shun; Habe, Hiroshi; Kitamoto, Dai

    2014-01-01

    Pseudozyma antarctica is a non-pathogenic phyllosphere yeast known as an excellent producer of mannosylerythritol lipids (MELs), multi-functional extracellular glycolipids, from vegetable oils. To clarify the genetic characteristics of P. antarctica, we analyzed the 18 Mb genome of P. antarctica T-34. On the basis of KOG analysis, the number of genes (219 genes) categorized into lipid transport and metabolism classification in P. antarctica was one and a half times larger than that of yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae (140 genes). The gene encoding an ATP/citrate lyase (ACL) related to acetyl-CoA synthesis conserved in oleaginous strains was found in P. antarctica genome: the single ACL gene possesses the four domains identical to that of the human gene, whereas the other oleaginous ascomycetous species have the two genes covering the four domains. P. antarctica genome exhibited a remarkable degree of synteny to U. maydis genome, however, the comparison of the gene expression profiles under the culture on the two carbon sources, glucose and soybean oil, by the DNA microarray method revealed that transcriptomes between the two species were significantly different. In P. antarctica, expression of the gene sets relating fatty acid metabolism were markedly up-regulated under the oily conditions compared with glucose. Additionally, MEL biosynthesis cluster of P. antarctica was highly expressed regardless of the carbon source as compared to U. maydis. These results strongly indicate that P. antarctica has an oleaginous nature which is relevant to its non-pathogenic and MEL-overproducing characteristics. The analysis and dataset contribute to stimulate the development of improved strains with customized properties for high yield production of functional bio-based materials.

  16. Vehicle Impact Testing of Snow Roads at McMurdo Station, Antarctica

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-06-01

    McMurdo Station, Antarctica Co ld R eg io ns R es ea rc h an d En gi ne er in g La bo ra to ry Sally A. Shoop, Margaret A. Knuth, Wendy L...Vehicle Impact Testing of Snow Roads at McMurdo Station, Antarctica Sally A. Shoop, Margaret A. Knuth, and Monica Preston Cold Regions Research and...kilograms ERDC/CRREL TR-14-9 xii ERDC/CRREL TR-14-9 1 1 Introduction 1.1 Issue McMurdo Station, Antarctica , has approximately 20 miles (32 km

  17. Dioszegia antarctica sp. nov. and Dioszegia cryoxerica sp. nov., psychrophilic basidiomycetous yeasts from polar desert soils in Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rodriguez, Russell J.; Connell, L.; Redman, R.; Barrett, A.; Iszard, M.; Fonseca, A.

    2010-01-01

    During a survey of the culturable soil fungal population in samples collected in Taylor Valley, South Victoria Land, Antarctica, 13 basidiomycetous yeast strains with orange-coloured colonies were isolated. Phylogenetic analyses of internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and partial LSU rRNA gene sequences showed that the strains belong to the Dioszegia clade of the Tremellales (Tremellomycetes, Agaricomycotina), but did not correspond to any of the hitherto recognized species. Two novel species, Dioszegia antarctica sp. nov. (type strain ANT-03-116T =CBS 10920T =PYCC 5970T) and Dioszegia cryoxerica sp. nov. (type strain ANT-03-071T =CBS 10919T =PYCC 5967T), are described to accommodate ten and three of these strains, respectively. Analysis of ITS sequences demonstrated intrastrain sequence heterogeneity in D. cryoxerica. The latter species is also notable for producing true hyphae with clamp connections and haustoria. However, no sexual structures were observed. The two novel species can be considered obligate psychrophiles, since they failed to grow above 20 °C and grew best between 10 and 15 °C.

  18. Anaerobic psychrophiles from Lake Zub and Lake Untersee, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Townsend, Alisa; Pikuta, Elena V.; Guisler, Melissa; Stahl, Sarah; Hoover, Richard B.

    2009-08-01

    The study of samples from Antarctica 2008 and 2009 expeditions organized and successfully conducted by Richard Hoover led to the isolation of diverse anaerobic strains with psychrotolerant and psychrophilic physiology. Due to the fact that Lake Untersee has never been subject to microbiological study, this work with the samples has significant and pioneering impact to the knowledge about the biology of this unique ecosystem. Also, the astrobiological significance for the study of these ecosystems is based on new findings of ice covered water systems on other bodies of our solar system. Anaerobic psychrotolerant strain LZ-22 was isolated from a frozen sample of green moss with soils around the rhizosphere collected near Lake Zub in Antarctica. Morphology of strain LZ-22 was observed to be motile, rod shaped and spore-forming cells with sizes 1 x 5-10 μm. This new isolate is a mesophile with the maximum temperature of growth at 40°C. Strain LZ-22 is able to live on media without NaCl and in media with up to 7 % (w/v) NaCl. It is catalase negative and grows only on sugars with the best growth rate being on lactose. The strain is a neutrophile and grows between pH 5 and 9.0 with the optimum at 7.8. Another two strains UL7-96mG and LU-96m7P were isolated from deep water samples of Lake Untersee. Proteolytic strain LU-96m7P had a truly psychrophilic nature and refused to grow at room temperature. Sugarlytic strain UL7-96mG was found to be psychrotolerant, but its rate of growth at 3°C was very high compared with other mesophiles. Two homoacetogenic psychrophilic strains A7AC-96m and AC-DS7 were isolated and purified from samples of Lake Untersee; both of them are able to grow chemolithotrophically on H2+CO2. In the presence of lactate, these strains are able to grow only at 0-18 °C, and growth at 22 °C was observed only with yeast extract stimulation. In this paper, physiological and morphological characteristics of novel psychrophilic and psychrotolerant isolates

  19. Anaerobic Psychrophiles from Lake Zub and Lake Untersee, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Townsend, Alisa; Pikuta, Elena V.; Guisler, Melissa; Stahl, Sarah; Hoover, Richard B.

    2009-01-01

    The study of samples from Antarctica 2008 and 2009 expeditions organized and successfully conducted by Richard Hoover led to the isolation of diverse anaerobic strains with psychrotolerant and psychrophilic physiology. Due to the fact that Lake Untersee has never been subject to microbiological study, this work with the samples has significant and pioneering impact to the knowledge about the biology of this unique ecosystem. Also, the astrobiological significance for the study of these ecosystems is based on new findings of ice covered water systems on other bodies of our solar system. Anaerobic psychrotolerant strain LZ-22 was isolated from a frozen sample of green moss with soils around the rhizosphere collected near Lake Zub in Antarctica. Morphology of strain LZ-22 was observed to be motile, rod shaped and spore-forming cells with sizes 1 x 5-10 micron. This new isolate is a mesophile with the maximum temperature of growth at 40C. Strain LZ-22 is able to live on media without NaCl and in media with up to 7% (w/v) NaCl. It is catalase negative and grows only on sugars with the best growth rate being on lactose. The strain is a neutrophile and grows between pH 5 and 9.0 with the optimum at 7.8. Another two strains UL7-96mG and LU-96m7P were isolated from deep water samples of Lake Untersee. Proteolytic strain LU-96m7P had a truly psychrophilic nature and refused to grow at room temperature. Sugarlytic strain UL7-96mG was found to be psychrotolerant, but its rate of growth at 3C was very high compared with other mesophiles. Two homoacetogenic psychrophilic strains A7AC-96m and AC-DS7 were isolated and purified from samples of Lake Untersee; both of them are able to grow chemolithotrophically on H2+CO2. In the presence of lactate, these strains are able to grow only at 0-18C, and growth at 22C was observed only with yeast extract stimulation. In this paper, physiological and morphological characteristics of novel psychrophilic and psychrotolerant isolates from

  20. Ice Velocity Mapping in Antarctica: A Game Changing ESDR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scheuchl, B.; Mouginot, J.; Rignot, E. J.

    2011-12-01

    We present a new ESDR, an accomplishment of historical importance for geophysics: A complete mapping of the flow of ice surface over the Antarctic continent. This ESDR is based on data from a suite of spaceborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) sensors acquired during the International Polar Year 2007-2009. It is a reference digital mosaic of ice motion that will establish a long-term legacy for quantitative measurements of the dynamics of polar ice sheets. The resulting map will benefit glaciologists and ice sheet modelers, but also climate modelers interested in how ice sheets are evolving, physical oceanographers studying sea level change and changes in oceanic circulation, solid earth scientists interested in post-glacial rebound, and atmospheric scientists interested in surface mass balance in Antarctica. The ESDR will be made available to the scientific community via institutional links already in place. The data products have a simple definition: Ice velocity, in meters per year, measured on a regular earth fixed grid, at 1km resolution. A higher resolution product will be made available in subsequent years. The product is a snapshot of the entire continent as opposed to a series of discrete measurements. Calibration and mosaicking of the data required the development of new algorithms and workflows fully utilizing the unique combination of sensors available. Sensor-based stacking of the multiple coverages available further reduces the error of the product where possible. An error map is part of the ESDR; it was constructed to be distributed with the ice motion information. We also released the first complete and accurate map of grounding line positions around Antarctica combining 19 years of satellite data. This map completely refines the coastline of Antarctica since prior maps included large (km to 10 km) errors. This work was conducted at the Department of Earth System Science, University of California Irvine under a contract with the National Aeronautics

  1. The Bess-Polar II Long Duration Flight Above Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sasaki, Makoto; Yamamoto, Akira; Yoshimura, Koji; Makida, Yasuhiro; Matsuda, Shinya; Hasegawa, Masaya; Horikoshi, Atsushi; Tanaka, Ken-ichi; Suzuki, Junichi; Nishimura, Jun; Sakai, Ken-ichi; Shinoda, Ryoko; Orito, Reio; Matsukawa, Yosuke; Kusumoto, Akira; Yoshida, Tetsuya; Fuke, Hideyuki; Mitchell, John W.; Streitmatter, Robert E.; Hams, Thomas; Sasaki, Makoto; Seo, Eun-suk; Lee, Moo-hyon; Kim, Ki-chun; Thakur, Needharika

    2008-01-01

    The Balloon-borne Experiment with a Superconducting Spectrometer, BESS, has been developed to study elementary particle phenomena in the early universe through measurements of low energy antiprotons to investigate their origin and through a search for antihelium. The BESS collaboration carried out nine northern latitude flights between 1993 and 2002. BESS-Polar is an advanced program of the BESS collaboration to study these topics with much greater precision using long duration flights above Antarctica. The BESS-Polar spectrometer was successfully developed to accumulate much larger numbers of events during long duration flights around the South Pole. Approximately a factor of four reductions in the amount of material in the particle beam enables measurement of much lower energy antiprotons down to 100 MeV (at top of atmosphere). The first BESS-Polar flight (BESS-Polar I) of 8.5 days was carried out above Antarctica in December 2004. recording 900 million cosmic-ray events. The second BESS-Polar flight (BESS-Polar 11) was successfully carried out in the austral summer season of 2007-2008. Based on experience with BESS-Polar I, the spectrometer was improved in performance and achieved long term stability during the flight. A newly constructed magnet with a larger liquid He capacity and improved thermal insulation and an upgraded data storage system with larger capacity of hard disk drives (HDDs) enabled longer observation time. BESS-Polar II was launched on December 22, 2007 from Williams Field, McMurdo Station, in Antarctica. The spectrometer worked properly and observed cosmic rays for about 24.5 days at float altitude, recording 4.6 billion events on the HDDs until the limit of the magnet operation was reached on January 16, 2008. The flight was terminated and the spectrometer was safely landed on the West Antarctic ice sheet (1000 km from the South Pole) on January 21, 2008. Here, the BESS-Polar instrument is discussed, highlighting improvements made for BESS

  2. The BESS-Polar II Long Duration Flight above Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sasaki, Makoto

    The Balloon-borne Experiment with a Superconducting Spectrometer, BESS, has been developed to study elementary particle phenomena in the early universe through measurements of low energy antiprotons to investigate their origin and through a search for antihelium. The BESS collaboration carried out nine northern latitude flights between 1993 and 2002. BESS- Polar is an advanced program of the BESS collaboration to study these topics with much greater precision using long duration flights above Antarctica. The BESS-Polar spectrometer was successfully developed to accumulate much larger numbers of events during long duration flights around the South Pole. Approximately a factor of four reductions in the amount of material in the particle beam enables measurement of much lower energy antiprotons down to 100 MeV (at top of atmosphere). The first BESS-Polar flight (BESS-Polar I) of 8.5 days was carried out above Antarctica in December 2004, recording 900 million cosmic-ray events. The second BESS-Polar flight (BESS-Polar II) was successfully carried out in the austral summer season of 2007-2008. Based on experience with BESS-Polar I, the spectrometer was improved in performance and achieved long term stability during the flight. A newly constructed magnet with a larger liquid He capacity and improved thermal insulation and an upgraded data storage system with larger capacity of hard disk drives (HDDs) enabled longer observation time. BESS-Polar II was launched on December 22, 2007 from Williams Field, McMurdo Station, in Antarctica. The spectrometer worked properly and observed cosmic rays for about 24.5 days at float altitude, recording 4.6 billion events on the HDDs until the limit of the magnet operation was reached on January 16, 2008. The flight was terminated and the spectrometer was safely landed on the West Antarctic ice sheet ( 1000 km from the South Pole) on January 21, 2008. Here, the BESS-Polar instrument is discussed, highlighting improvements made for BESS

  3. Antarctica, supercontinents and the palaeogeography of the Cambrian 'explosion'

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalziel, Ian

    2014-05-01

    Laurentia is bordered by latest Precambrian-Cambrian rifted margins and must therefore have been located within a Precambrian supercontinent. Geochronologic and geochemical evidence indicates that it was attached to parts of the East Antarctic craton within the Rodinian supercontinent in the late Mesoproterozoic. The Mawson craton of Antarctica rifted from the proto-Pacific margin of Laurentia during the Neooproterozoic, colliding with the present 'southern cone' of Laurentia at ~600 Ma along the Shackleton Range suture zone as Gondwana and Laurentia amalgamated to form the ephemeral Pannotia supercontinental assembly at the end of the Precambrian. The abrupt appearance of almost all animal phyla in the fossil record is often colloquially referred to as the Cambrian 'explosion' of life on Earth. It is also named 'Darwin's dilemma,' as he appreciated that this seemingly mysterious event posed a major problem for his theory of evolution by natural selection. It coincided with a time of major marine transgression over all the continents. Although the metazoan 'explosion' is now seen as more protracted than formerly recognized, it is still regarded one of the most critical events in the history of the biosphere. One of the most striking aspects of the earliest Cambrian fossils is geographic differentiation. In particular, the first benthic trilobite faunas on Laurentia, ancestral North America, and the newly amalgamated southern supercontinent of Gondwana are distinctly different. This has led to the suggestion of an unknown vicariant event intervening between an ancestral trilobite clade and higher members that are represented in the fossil record, possibly one related to the breakup of a supercontinent. Igneous rocks along the Panthalassic margin of Gondwana, including South America, southernmost Africa and the Ellsworth-Whitmore crustal block of Antarctica, and along the proto-Appalachian margin of Laurentia indicate that final separation of Laurentia from

  4. The Ca(2+)/Calmodulin/CaMKK2 Axis: Nature's Metabolic CaMshaft.

    PubMed

    Marcelo, Kathrina L; Means, Anthony R; York, Brian

    2016-10-01

    Calcium (Ca(2+)) is an essential ligand that binds its primary intracellular receptor calmodulin (CaM) to trigger a variety of downstream processes and pathways. Central to the actions of Ca(2+)/CaM is the activation of a highly conserved Ca(2+)/CaM kinase (CaMK) cascade that amplifies Ca(2+) signals through a series of subsequent phosphorylation events. Proper regulation of Ca(2+) flux is necessary for whole-body metabolism and disruption of Ca(2+) homeostasis has been linked to various metabolic diseases. Here we provide a synthesis of recent advances that highlight the roles of the Ca(2+)/CaMK axis in key metabolic tissues. An appreciation of this information is critical to understanding the mechanisms by which Ca(2+)/CaM-dependent signaling contributes to metabolic homeostasis and disease.

  5. Desulfurizing Ability of the CaOsatd.-CaCl2-CaF2 Slags

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Jiazhan; Kobayashi, Yoshinao

    2017-04-01

    Desulfurizing ability of the CaO-CaCl2-CaF2 slags saturated with CaO has been investigated from the viewpoint of the sulfide capacity and CaO solubility. The CaO-CaCl2-CaF2 slags containing small amounts of Cu2O and CaS were inserted in a CaO crucible with metallic copper. The CaO crucible was sealed in a nickel holder to prevent the evaporation of CaCl2, then heated up and kept at temperatures from 1573 K (1300 °C) to 1673 K (1400 °C) for 24 hours, which enabled the system inside the CaO crucible to reach the equilibrium. As expected, the sulfide capacity derived from the data obtained as well as CaO solubility of the slag increase with an increase in temperature at a constant ratio of CaCl2/CaF2. The solubility of CaO increases by the replacement of CaF2 with CaCl2, whereas the sulfide capacity slightly decreases and the activity coefficient of CaS ( γ CaS) increases. This suggests that CaF2 has stronger interaction with CaS than CaCl2. The sulfur distribution ratio between carbon-saturated iron melts and the CaO-CaCl2 slag has been calculated to be about 10 000 at 1573 K (1300 °C) using the sulfide capacity obtained, which value is still large enough even with the replacement of CaF2 by CaCl2.

  6. Desulfurizing Ability of the CaOsatd.-CaCl2-CaF2 Slags

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Jiazhan; Kobayashi, Yoshinao

    2016-12-01

    Desulfurizing ability of the CaO-CaCl2-CaF2 slags saturated with CaO has been investigated from the viewpoint of the sulfide capacity and CaO solubility. The CaO-CaCl2-CaF2 slags containing small amounts of Cu2O and CaS were inserted in a CaO crucible with metallic copper. The CaO crucible was sealed in a nickel holder to prevent the evaporation of CaCl2, then heated up and kept at temperatures from 1573 K (1300 °C) to 1673 K (1400 °C) for 24 hours, which enabled the system inside the CaO crucible to reach the equilibrium. As expected, the sulfide capacity derived from the data obtained as well as CaO solubility of the slag increase with an increase in temperature at a constant ratio of CaCl2/CaF2. The solubility of CaO increases by the replacement of CaF2 with CaCl2, whereas the sulfide capacity slightly decreases and the activity coefficient of CaS (γ CaS) increases. This suggests that CaF2 has stronger interaction with CaS than CaCl2. The sulfur distribution ratio between carbon-saturated iron melts and the CaO-CaCl2 slag has been calculated to be about 10 000 at 1573 K (1300 °C) using the sulfide capacity obtained, which value is still large enough even with the replacement of CaF2 by CaCl2.

  7. Don Juan Basin, Wright Valley, Antarctica: Model for Surface Processes on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Englert, P.; Bishop, J. L.; Gibson, E. K.; Patel, S.; Koeberl, C.

    2014-09-01

    Mineral, chemical, and soluble salt composition of drill core samples from Don Juan Basin, Wright Valley, Antarctica, indicate that the formation of the most saline terrestrial pond may include groundwater discharge and near surface flow processes.

  8. A continuous 770-year record of volcanic activity from east Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, John C.; Narita, Hideki; Maeno, Norikazu

    1991-09-01

    A 100-m ice core from east Antarctica has been analyzed for volcanic activity using dielectric profiling. Reasonably accurate dates are given for the eruptions of Tambora (1815), Agung (1963), Krakatoa (1883), and the well-known eruption of 1259.

  9. Autophagy in Antarctica: combating dehydration stress in the world's southernmost insect.

    PubMed

    Teets, Nicholas M; Denlinger, David L

    2013-04-01

    The midge Belgica antarctica is the only insect endemic to Antarctica and has the southernmost range of any insect. In its natural environment, B. antarctica frequently faces desiccating conditions, as environmental water is frozen for up to 9 months annually. The molecular mechanisms by which B. antarctica tolerates extreme dehydration are poorly understood, but recent work from our laboratory reports genome-wide expression changes in response to extreme dehydration (~40% water loss), the first genome-scale transcriptome reported for an Antarctic animal. Among transcripts differentially regulated during dehydration, there is coordinated upregulation of numerous genes involved in autophagy, including genes responsible for autophagosome synthesis and autophagy-associated transcription factors. Also, several genes and pathways that interact with and regulate autophagy, e.g., sestrins and proteasomal genes, are concurrently upregulated. This suggests that autophagy and related processes are key elements regulating stress tolerance in this extreme environment.

  10. From sea to land: assessment of the bio-transport of phosphorus by penguins in Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qin, Xianyan; Sun, Liguang; Blais, Jules M.; Wang, Yuhong; Huang, Tao; Huang, Wen; Xie, Zhouqing

    2014-01-01

    In Antarctica, the marine ecosystem is dynamically interrelated with the terrestrial ecosystem. An example of the link between these two ecosystems is the biogeochemical cycle of phosphorus. Biovectors, such as penguins, transport phosphorus from sea to land, play a key role in this cycle. In this paper, we selected three colonies of penguins, the most important seabirds in Antarctica, and computed the annual quantity of phosphorus transferred from sea to land by these birds. Our results show that adult penguins from colonies at Ardley Island, the Vestfold Hills, and Ross Island could transfer phosphorus in the form of guano at up to 12 349, 167 036, and 97 841 kg/a, respectively, over their breeding period. These quantities are equivalent to an annual input of 3.96×109-1.63×1010 kg of seawater to the land of Antarctica. Finally, we discuss the impact of phosphorus on the ice-free areas of the Antarctica.

  11. Sleep and circadian rhythms in long duration space flight - Antarctica as an analogue environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gander, Philippa H.

    1992-01-01

    The feasibility of using Antarctica as an environment for studying the impact of unusual 24 h environmental cycles (zeitgebers) on the circadian system is discussed. Adaptation of circadian rhythms and sleep of three scientists travelling from New Zealand to Antarctica during summer (which is analogous to arrival at a lunar base during the lunar day) has been studied. Data obtained indicate that sleep occurred at the same clock time, but sleep quality was poorer in Antarctica, which can be explained by the fact that the circadian system delayed by about 2 h in Antarctica, as would be expected in a weaker zeitgeber environment. It is suggested that sleep could be improved by altering patterns of exposure to the available zeitgebers to increase their effective strength.

  12. Evidence for Cambrian deformation in the Ellsworth-Whitmore Mountains terrane, Antarctica: Stratigraphic and tectonic implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duebendorfer, Ernest M.; Rees, Margaret N.

    1998-01-01

    The Ellsworth-Whitmore Mountains terrane is a large geologically and geophysically defined crustal block that lies between the Transantarctic Mountains and West Antarctica. The Cambrian position of the terrane is controversial, with many workers placing it between East Antarctica and southern Africa and distant from Cambrian orogenic belts. We present structural and stratigraphic evidence for Cambrian deformation in the Heritage Range, Ellsworth Mountains. From our revised stratigraphy and structural history of the Heritage Range, we propose that the Ellsworth-Whitmore Mountains block was located within the belt of Pan-African deformation, within the Late Cambrian continental arc, and was part of a collage of allochthonous terranes that included the Queen Maud terrane and probably the Bowers terrane of Antarctica. These terranes were situated outboard of Coats Land in the Cambrian and were subsequently translated and accreted to East Antarctica, probably during early Paleozoic time.

  13. Aerobiology Over Antarctica - A New Initiative for Atmospheric Ecology.

    PubMed

    Pearce, David A; Alekhina, Irina A; Terauds, Aleks; Wilmotte, Annick; Quesada, Antonio; Edwards, Arwyn; Dommergue, Aurelien; Sattler, Birgit; Adams, Byron J; Magalhães, Catarina; Chu, Wan-Loy; Lau, Maggie C Y; Cary, Craig; Smith, David J; Wall, Diana H; Eguren, Gabriela; Matcher, Gwynneth; Bradley, James A; de Vera, Jean-Pierre; Elster, Josef; Hughes, Kevin A; Cuthbertson, Lewis; Benning, Liane G; Gunde-Cimerman, Nina; Convey, Peter; Hong, Soon Gyu; Pointing, Steve B; Pellizari, Vivian H; Vincent, Warwick F

    2016-01-01

    The role of aerial dispersal in shaping patterns of biodiversity remains poorly understood, mainly due to a lack of coordinated efforts in gathering data at appropriate temporal and spatial scales. It has been long known that the rate of dispersal to an ecosystem can significantly influence ecosystem dynamics, and that aerial transport has been identified as an important source of biological input to remote locations. With the considerable effort devoted in recent decades to understanding atmospheric circulation in the south-polar region, a unique opportunity has emerged to investigate the atmospheric ecology of Antarctica, from regional to continental scales. This concept note identifies key questions in Antarctic microbial biogeography and the need for standardized sampling and analysis protocols to address such questions. A consortium of polar aerobiologists is established to bring together researchers with a common interest in the airborne dispersion of microbes and other propagules in the Antarctic, with opportunities for comparative studies in the Arctic.

  14. Novel Penta-Unsaturated Alkenones From Lake Fryxell, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaraula, C. B.; Brassell, S. C.; Kenig, F.; Doran, P. T.

    2007-12-01

    Novel methyl octatriaconta-pentaen-one (C38:5m), methyl and ethyl nonatriaconta-pentaen-one (C39:5m and C39:5e, respectively) and methyl tetradec-pentaen-one (C40:5m) are identified from chromatographic and mass spectrometric properties of a bottom sediment sample from perennially ice-covered Lake Fryxell in Antarctica. The pentaunsaturated alkenones comprise 15%, 28% and 12% of the total C38, C39 and C40 homologous series. These alkenone biomarkers also consist of tetra , tri-, and diunsaturated methyl and ethyl ketones from C37 to C40. Low salinity and extremely cold conditions year round may have strongly influenced the number of unsaturations in the biomarkers and chain length of the alkenones. As also suggested by accompanying cholesterol and alkene biomarkers, these alkenones are key biomarkers of haptophycean algae of the Class Prymnesiophyceae, but the specific species that biosynthesizes these alkenones in the lake are still unknown.

  15. The landsat image mosaic of the Antarctica Web Portal

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rusanowski, C.J.

    2007-01-01

    People believe what they can see. The Poles exist as a frozen dream to most people. The International Polar Year wants to break the ice (so to speak), open up the Poles to the general public, support current polar research, and encourage new research projects. The IPY officially begins in March, 2007. As part of this effort, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), are developing three Landsat mosaics of Antarctica and an Antarctic Web Portal with a Community site and an online map viewer. When scientists are able to view the entire scope of polar research, they will be better able to collaborate and locate the resources they need. When the general public more readily sees what is happening in the polar environments, they will understand how changes to the polar areas affect everyone.

  16. Stratospheric dryness: Antiphased desiccation over Micronesia and Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tuck, A. F.; Russell, James M., III; Harries, John E.

    1993-06-01

    HALOE observations of water vapor and methane during the period 21 September-15 October 1992 are used to examine the role of Antarctic drying in the lower stratosphere. Zonal mean cross-sections of [2 CH4+H2O] show the probability of transport of Antarctic type dryness to latitudes as distant as 20°N, with major water vapor deficits evident between 10 and 100 mb to 10°S. Examination of monthly mean tropical 100 mb temperatures and of Antarctic temperatures suggests that the observations are consistent with stratospheric dryness being achieved by the combined effects of tropopause freeze-drying over the Micronesia region during northern winter and drying through the influence of the very low temperatures over Antarctica during southern winter. This paper presents these intriguing new results, and offers a possible explanation.

  17. Stratospheric dryness - Antiphased desiccation over Micronesia and Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tuck, A. F.; Russell, James M., III; Harries, John E.

    1993-01-01

    HALOE observations of water vapor and methane during the period 21 September - 15 October 1992 are used to examine the role of Antarctic drying in the lower stratosphere. Zonal mean cross-sections of 2 CH4 + H2O show the probability of transport of Antarctic type dryness to latitudes as distant as 20 deg N, with major water vapor deficits evident between 10 and 100 mb to 10 deg S. Examination of monthly mean tropical 100 mb temperatures and of Antarctic temperatures suggests that the observations are consistent with stratospheric dryness being achieved by the combined effects of tropopause freeze-drying over the Micronesia region during northern winter and drying through the influence of the very low temperatures over Antarctica during southern winter. This paper presents these intriguing new results, and offers a possible explanation.

  18. Aerobiology Over Antarctica – A New Initiative for Atmospheric Ecology

    PubMed Central

    Pearce, David A.; Alekhina, Irina A.; Terauds, Aleks; Wilmotte, Annick; Quesada, Antonio; Edwards, Arwyn; Dommergue, Aurelien; Sattler, Birgit; Adams, Byron J.; Magalhães, Catarina; Chu, Wan-Loy; Lau, Maggie C. Y.; Cary, Craig; Smith, David J.; Wall, Diana H.; Eguren, Gabriela; Matcher, Gwynneth; Bradley, James A.; de Vera, Jean-Pierre; Elster, Josef; Hughes, Kevin A.; Cuthbertson, Lewis; Benning, Liane G.; Gunde-Cimerman, Nina; Convey, Peter; Hong, Soon Gyu; Pointing, Steve B.; Pellizari, Vivian H.; Vincent, Warwick F.

    2016-01-01

    The role of aerial dispersal in shaping patterns of biodiversity remains poorly understood, mainly due to a lack of coordinated efforts in gathering data at appropriate temporal and spatial scales. It has been long known that the rate of dispersal to an ecosystem can significantly influence ecosystem dynamics, and that aerial transport has been identified as an important source of biological input to remote locations. With the considerable effort devoted in recent decades to understanding atmospheric circulation in the south-polar region, a unique opportunity has emerged to investigate the atmospheric ecology of Antarctica, from regional to continental scales. This concept note identifies key questions in Antarctic microbial biogeography and the need for standardized sampling and analysis protocols to address such questions. A consortium of polar aerobiologists is established to bring together researchers with a common interest in the airborne dispersion of microbes and other propagules in the Antarctic, with opportunities for comparative studies in the Arctic. PMID:26909068

  19. Extraction of intracellular protein from Glaciozyma antarctica for proteomics analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faizura, S. Nor; Farahayu, K.; Faizal, A. B. Mohd; Asmahani, A. A. S.; Amir, R.; Nazalan, N.; Diba, A. B. Farah; Muhammad, M. Nor; Munir, A. M. Abdul

    2013-11-01

    Two preparation methods of crude extracts of psychrophilic yeast Glaciozyma antarctica were compared in order to obtain a good recovery of intracellular proteins. Extraction with mechanical procedures using sonication was found to be more effective for obtaining good yield compare to alkaline treatment method. The procedure is simple, rapid, and produce better yield. A total of 52 proteins were identified by combining both extraction methods. Most of the proteins identified in this study involves in the metabolic process including glycolysis pathway, pentose phosphate pathway, pyruyate decarboxylation and also urea cyle. Several chaperons were identified including probable cpr1-cyclophilin (peptidylprolyl isomerase), macrolide-binding protein fkbp12 and heat shock proteins which were postulate to accelerate proper protein folding. Characteristic of the fundamental cellular processes inferred from the expressed-proteome highlight the evolutionary and functional complexity existing in this domain of life.

  20. Mini Neutron Monitors at Concordia Research Station, Central Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poluianov, Stepan; Usoskin, Ilya; Mishev, Alexander; Moraal, Harm; Kruger, Helena; Casasanta, Giampietro; Traversi, Rita; Udisti, Roberto

    2015-12-01

    Two mini neutron monitors are installed at Concordia research station (Dome C, Central Antarctica, 75° 06' S, 123° 23' E, 3,233 m.a.s.l.). The site has unique properties ideal for cosmic ray measurements, especially for the detection of solar energetic particles: very low cutoff rigidity < 0.01 GV, high elevation and poleward asymptotic acceptance cones pointing to geographical latitudes > 75° S. The instruments consist of a standard neutron monitor and a "bare" (lead-free) neutron monitor. The instrument operation started in mid-January 2015. The barometric correction coefficients were computed for the period from 1 February to 31 July 2015. Several interesting events, including two notable Forbush decreases on 17 March 2015 and 22 June 2015, and a solar particle event of 29 October 2015 were registered. The data sets are available at cosmicrays.oulu.fi and nmdb.eu.

  1. Antarctica natural laboratory and space analogue for psychological research.

    PubMed

    Suedfeld, P; Weiss, K

    2000-01-01

    This introduction to the special issue traces the history of psychosocial concerns related to Antarctic exploration, from the heroic age of early explorers through the International Geophysical Year (IGY) of 1957 to 1958 to recent and current systematic research projects. The introduction discusses the organization and topics of international psychological investigations in polar stations and summarizes the articles that follow. Living in Antarctica imposes some unusual restrictions as well as opportunities, and it requires psychological adaptation to extreme environmental circumstances. The thrust of previous scientific and popular literature has been to focus on the negative effects of the situation and ignore the positive ones; however, ongoing studies are bringing about a more balanced view. Having an accurate understanding is important not only intrinsically and for appropriate application in the Antarctic itself but also in analogous extreme and unusual environments. These include extended space flight and space habitation, such as the projected voyage to Mars.

  2. New magnetic anomaly map of East Antarctica and surrounding regions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Golynsky, A.; Blankenship, D.; Chiappini, M.; Damaske, D.; Ferraccioli, F.; Finn, C.; Golynsky, D.; Goncharov, A.; Ishihara, T.; Ivanov, S.; Jokat, W.; Kim, H.R.; König, M.; Masolov, V.; Nogi, Y.; Sand, M.; Studing, M.; ,

    2007-01-01

    community over East Antarctica and surrounding regions, significantly upgrade the Antarctic Digital Magnetic Anomaly Project (ADMAP) compilation and lead to substantial improvements in magnetic anomaly pattern recognition. New data have been matched in one inverse operation by minimizing the data differences for the areas of overlap. The aeromagnetic data show many previously unknown magnetic patterns, lineaments and trends, defining the spatial extent of Ferrar volcanics and plutonic Granite Harbour Intrusives in the Transantarctic Mountains and previously unknown tectonic trends of the East Antarctic craton. Regional aeromagnetic investigations have successfully delineated Early Paleozoic inherited crustal features along the flanks of the West Antarctic Rift System and the southern boundary of the Archean Ruker Terrane in the Prince Charles Mountains. Magnetic records along the East Antarctic continental margin provide new constraints on the breakup of Gondwana.

  3. In silico analysis of subtilisin from Glaciozyma antarctica PI12

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mustafha, Siti Mardhiah; Murad, Abdul Munir Abdul; Mahadi, Nor Muhammad; Kamaruddin, Shazilah; Bakar, Farah Diba Abu

    2015-09-01

    Subtilisin constitute as a major player in industrial enzymes that has a wide range of application especially in the detergent industry. In this study, a cDNA encoding for subtilisin (GaSUBT) was extracted from the psychrophilic yeast, Glaciozyma antarctica PI12, PCR amplified and sequenced. Various bioinformatics tools were used to characterize the GaSUBT. GaSUBT contains 1587 bp nucleotides encoding for 529 amino acids. The predicted molecular weight of the deduced protein is 55.34 kDa with an isoelectric point of 6.25. GaSUBT was predicted to possess a signal peptide and pro-peptide consisting of a peptidase inhibitor I9 sequence. From the sequence alignment analysis of deduced amino acids with other subtilisins in the NCBI database showed that the sequences surrounding the catalytic triad that forms the catalytic domain are well conserved.

  4. Records of past ice sheet fluctuations in interior East Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Liu, Xiaohan; Huang, Feixin; Kong, Ping; Fang, Aimin; Li, Xiaoli

    2007-01-01

    The results of a land-based multi-disciplinary study of the past ice surface elevation in the Grove Mountains of interior East Antarctica support a dynamic evolution of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS). Moraine boulders of sedimentary rocks and spore pollen assemblage imply a significant shrinkage of the EAIS, with its margin retreating south of the Grove Mountains (~450 km south of recent coast line) before the middle Pliocene. The exposure ages indicate that the ice sheet subsequently re-advanced, with the ice surface rising locally at least 450 m higher than today. It then went back down constantly from before 2.3 Ma to 1.6 Ma. The glacial topography and existence of soil show that the ice surface fluctuation continued since the early Quaternary, but with highest levels never exceeding ~100 m higher than today.

  5. Aerosol size distribution at Nansen Ice Sheet Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belosi, F.; Contini, D.; Donateo, A.; Santachiara, G.; Prodi, F.

    2012-04-01

    During austral summer 2006, in the framework of the XXII Italian Antarctic expedition of PNRA (Italian National Program for Research in Antarctica), aerosol particle number size distribution measurements were performed in the 10-500 range nm over the Nansen Ice Sheet glacier (NIS, 74°30' S, 163°27' E; 85 m a.s.l), a permanently iced branch of the Ross Sea. Observed total particle number concentrations varied between 169 and 1385 cm- 3. A monomodal number size distribution, peaking at about 70 nm with no variation during the day, was observed for continental air mass, high wind speed and low relative humidity. Trimodal number size distributions were also observed, in agreement with measurements performed at Aboa station, which is located on the opposite side of the Antarctic continent to the NIS. In this case new particle formation, with subsequent particle growth up to about 30 nm, was observed even if not associated with maritime air masses.

  6. Recent 137Cs deposition in sediments of Admiralty Bay, Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Sanders, Christian J; Santos, Isaac R; Patchineelam, Sambasiva R; Schaefer, Carlos; Silva-Filho, Emmanoel V

    2010-05-01

    Cesium-137, radium-226 and lead-210 profiles of a 25 cm sediment core give an indication of recent changes in land-ocean interactions at a polar coastal environment (Admiralty Bay, King George Island, Antarctica). The linear sedimentation accumulation rate at the study site calculated from the unsupported (210)Pb profile was 6.7 mm/year from 1965 to 2005. A 3.5-fold increase in (137)Cs concentrations was observed in the top layer of this sediment core. This sharp increase seems to indicate a recent redistribution of fallout radionuclides previously deposited on soil, vegetation and snow. These results imply enhanced land-ocean interactions at this site likely as a result of climate change. Because our results are based on a single core, additional investigations are needed to confirm our observations.

  7. Particle-size distribution in soils of West Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abakumov, E. V.

    2010-03-01

    The particle-size distribution in soils sampled near Russian polar stations in West Antarctica has been studied. It is shown that the soils of the Subantarctic zone (the Bellingshausen Station on King George Island) are characterized by a higher content of silt and clay in the fine earth fraction and by a higher content of the fine earth fraction in comparison with the soils of the proper Antarctic tundra barrens near the Lenin-gradskaya Station and the Antarctic cold desert near the Russkaya Station. In the latter soils, the content of rock fragments is higher than that in the soils of the Antarctic tundra barrens. In the soils of the tundra barrens, a considerable accumulation of fine earth may take place in large cavities (hollows) on the stony bedrock surface. Desert pavements are formed in both types of Antarctic landscapes.

  8. Curation of US Martian Meteorites Collected in Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindstrom, M.; Satterwhite, C.; Allton, J.; Stansbury, E.

    1998-01-01

    To date the ANSMET field team has collected five martian meteorites (see below) in Antarctica and returned them for curation at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) Meteorite Processing Laboratory (MPL). ne meteorites were collected with the clean procedures used by ANSMET in collecting all meteorites: They were handled with JSC-cleaned tools, packaged in clean bags, and shipped frozen to JSC. The five martian meteorites vary significantly in size (12-7942 g) and rock type (basalts, lherzolites, and orthopyroxenite). Detailed descriptions are provided in the Mars Meteorite compendium, which describes classification, curation and research results. A table gives the names, classifications and original and curatorial masses of the martian meteorites. The MPL and measures for contamination control are described.

  9. Seasonal variations of snow chemistry and mineral dust in the snow pit at GV7, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kang, Jung-Ho; Hwang, Heejin; Han, Yongchoul; Hong, Sang Bum; Lee, Khanghyun; Do Hur, Soon; Frezzotti, Massimo; Narcisi, Biancamaria

    2015-04-01

    We conducted the scientific ice coring project led by PNRA and KOPRI during the 2013/2014 Italian-Korean Antarctic Expedition in the framework of International Partnerships in Ice Core Science (IPICS) to understand the climatic variability in the last 2000 years. In the part of project, we collected a 3.0 m-depth snow pit at the site of GV7 (S 70° 41'17.1", E 158° 51'48.9", 1950 m a.s.l.), Antarctica. Here, we present the results obtained from the analysis of the water isotope compositions, the major ion concentrations, and the mineral dust concentrations from the snow pit. Snow densities and temperatures also measured in the field. At KOPRI, the samples were melted, then the stable water isotopes, major ions, and particle size distribution were analyzed with the cavity ring-down spectrometers (L1102-i, Piccaro), ion chromatography (ICS-2100, Thermo), and coulter counter (Multisizer 3, Beckman Coulter), respectively. The δ18O varies between -38.3 and -24.1o with a mean value of -31.0o. The δD ranges between -331 and -186o with a mean value of -243o. Among the ion concentrations (Na+, Ca2+, Mg2+, Cl-, SO42-, CH3SO3-(MSA)) from the snow pit, MSA concentrations show a clear seasonal variation. The mineral dust in the pit characterized with the differences of the concentration and the particle size distribution by the seasonality. These data allow us to assume about 4.5 years of snow deposition covered from 2009 to 2013 by these oscillations of the isotopes and geochemical characteristics.

  10. Growth of modern branched columnar stromatolites in Lake Joyce, Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Mackey, T J; Sumner, D Y; Hawes, I; Jungblut, A D; Andersen, D T

    2015-07-01

    Modern decimeter-scale columnar stromatolites from Lake Joyce, Antarctica, show a change in branching pattern during a period of lake level rise. Branching patterns correspond to a change in cyanobacterial community composition as preserved in authigenic calcite crystals. The transition in stromatolite morphology is preserved by mineralized layers that contain microfossils and cylindrical molds of cyanobacterial filaments. The molds are composed of two populations with different diameters. Large diameter molds (>2.8 μm) are abundant in calcite forming the oldest stromatolite layers, but are absent from younger layers. In contrast, <2.3 μm diameter molds are common in all stromatolites layers. Loss of large diameter molds corresponds to the transition from smooth-sided stromatolitic columns to branched and irregular columns. Mold diameters are similar to trichome diameters of the four most abundant living cyanobacteria morphotypes in Lake Joyce: Phormidium autumnale morphotypes have trichome diameters >3.5 μm, whereas Leptolyngbya antarctica, L. fragilis, and Pseudanabaena frigida morphotypes have diameters <2.3 μm. P. autumnale morphotypes were only common in mats at <12 m depth. Mats containing abundant P. autumnale morphotypes were smooth, whereas mats with few P. autumnale morphotypes contained small peaks and protruding bundles of filaments, suggesting that the absence of P. autumnale morphotypes allowed small-scale topography to develop on mats. Comparisons of living filaments and mold diameters suggest that P. autumnale morphotypes were present early in stromatolite growth, but disappeared from the community through time. We hypothesize that the mat-smoothing behavior of P. autumnale morphotypes inhibited nucleation of stromatolite branches. When P. autumnale morphotypes were excluded from the community, potentially reflecting a rise in lake level, short-wavelength roughness provided nuclei for stromatolite branches. This growth history provides a

  11. Increased future ice discharge from Antarctica owing to higher snowfall.

    PubMed

    Winkelmann, R; Levermann, A; Martin, M A; Frieler, K

    2012-12-13

    Anthropogenic climate change is likely to cause continuing global sea level rise, but some processes within the Earth system may mitigate the magnitude of the projected effect. Regional and global climate models simulate enhanced snowfall over Antarctica, which would provide a direct offset of the future contribution to global sea level rise from cryospheric mass loss and ocean expansion. Uncertainties exist in modelled snowfall, but even larger uncertainties exist in the potential changes of dynamic ice discharge from Antarctica and thus in the ultimate fate of the precipitation-deposited ice mass. Here we show that snowfall and discharge are not independent, but that future ice discharge will increase by up to three times as a result of additional snowfall under global warming. Our results, based on an ice-sheet model forced by climate simulations through to the end of 2500 (ref. 8), show that the enhanced discharge effect exceeds the effect of surface warming as well as that of basal ice-shelf melting, and is due to the difference in surface elevation change caused by snowfall on grounded versus floating ice. Although different underlying forcings drive ice loss from basal melting versus increased snowfall, similar ice dynamical processes are nonetheless at work in both; therefore results are relatively independent of the specific representation of the transition zone. In an ensemble of simulations designed to capture ice-physics uncertainty, the additional dynamic ice loss along the coastline compensates between 30 and 65 per cent of the ice gain due to enhanced snowfall over the entire continent. This results in a dynamic ice loss of up to 1.25 metres in the year 2500 for the strongest warming scenario. The reported effect thus strongly counters a potential negative contribution to global sea level by the Antarctic Ice Sheet.

  12. Hydrological Controls on Ecosystem Dynamics in Lake Fryxell, Antarctica

    PubMed Central

    Rytel, Alexander L.; Lyons, W. Berry; McKnight, Diane M.; Jaros, Christopher; Gooseff, Michael N.; Priscu, John C.

    2016-01-01

    The McMurdo Dry Valleys constitute the largest ice free area of Antarctica. The area is a polar desert with an annual precipitation of ∼ 3 cm water equivalent, but contains several lakes fed by glacial melt water streams that flow from four to twelve weeks of the year. Over the past ∼20 years, data have been collected on the lakes located in Taylor Valley, Antarctica as part of the McMurdo Dry Valley Long-Term Ecological Research program (MCM-LTER). This work aims to understand the impact of climate variations on the biological processes in all the ecosystem types within Taylor Valley, including the lakes. These lakes are stratified, closed-basin systems and are perennially covered with ice. Each lake contains a variety of planktonic and benthic algae that require nutrients for photosynthesis and growth. The work presented here focuses on Lake Fryxell, one of the three main lakes of Taylor Valley; it is fed by thirteen melt-water streams. We use a functional regression approach to link the physical, chemical, and biological processes within the stream-lake system to evaluate the input of water and nutrients on the biological processes in the lakes. The technique has been shown previously to provide important insights into these Antarctic lacustrine systems where data acquisition is not temporally coherent. We use data on primary production (PPR) and chlorophyll-A (CHL)from Lake Fryxell as well as discharge observations from two streams flowing into the lake. Our findings show an association between both PPR, CHL and stream input. PMID:27441705

  13. Bed conditions of Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brisbourne, A. M.; Smith, A. M.; Vaughan, D. G.; King, E. C.; Davies, D.; Bingham, R. G.; Smith, E. C.; Nias, I. J.; Rosier, S. H. R.

    2017-01-01

    Although 90% of Antarctica's discharge occurs via its fast-flowing ice streams, our ability to project future ice sheet response has been limited by poor observational constraints on the ice-bed conditions used in numerical models to determine basal slip. We have helped address this observational deficit by acquiring and analyzing a series of seismic reflection profiles to determine basal conditions beneath the main trunk and tributaries of Pine Island Glacier (PIG), West Antarctica. Seismic profiles indicate large-scale sedimentary deposits. Combined with seismic reflection images, measured acoustic impedance values indicate relatively uniform bed conditions directly beneath the main trunk and tributaries, comprising a widespread reworked sediment layer with a dilated sediment lid of minimum thickness 1.5 ± 0.4 m. Beneath a slow-moving intertributary region, a discrete low-porosity sediment layer of 7 ± 3 m thickness is imaged. Despite considerable basal topography, seismic observations indicate that a till layer at the ice base is ubiquitous beneath PIG, which requires a highly mobile sediment body to maintain an abundant supply. These results are compatible with existing ice sheet models used to invert for basal shear stress: existing basal conditions upstream will not inhibit further rapid retreat of PIG if the high-friction region currently restraining flow, directly upstream of the grounding line, is breached. However, small changes in the pressure regime at the bed, as a result of stress reorganization following retreat, may result in a less-readily deformable bed and conditions which are less likely to maintain high ice-flow rates.

  14. Hydrological Controls on Ecosystem Dynamics in Lake Fryxell, Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Herbei, Radu; Rytel, Alexander L; Lyons, W Berry; McKnight, Diane M; Jaros, Christopher; Gooseff, Michael N; Priscu, John C

    2016-01-01

    The McMurdo Dry Valleys constitute the largest ice free area of Antarctica. The area is a polar desert with an annual precipitation of ∼ 3 cm water equivalent, but contains several lakes fed by glacial melt water streams that flow from four to twelve weeks of the year. Over the past ∼20 years, data have been collected on the lakes located in Taylor Valley, Antarctica as part of the McMurdo Dry Valley Long-Term Ecological Research program (MCM-LTER). This work aims to understand the impact of climate variations on the biological processes in all the ecosystem types within Taylor Valley, including the lakes. These lakes are stratified, closed-basin systems and are perennially covered with ice. Each lake contains a variety of planktonic and benthic algae that require nutrients for photosynthesis and growth. The work presented here focuses on Lake Fryxell, one of the three main lakes of Taylor Valley; it is fed by thirteen melt-water streams. We use a functional regression approach to link the physical, chemical, and biological processes within the stream-lake system to evaluate the input of water and nutrients on the biological processes in the lakes. The technique has been shown previously to provide important insights into these Antarctic lacustrine systems where data acquisition is not temporally coherent. We use data on primary production (PPR) and chlorophyll-A (CHL)from Lake Fryxell as well as discharge observations from two streams flowing into the lake. Our findings show an association between both PPR, CHL and stream input.

  15. Formation of Ice Eddies in Mountain Valleys of East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyer, C. R.; Creyts, T. T.; Rice, J. R.

    2014-12-01

    Observations show complex structures deep in ice sheets. Folds and accretion ice have been reported for both Greenland and Antarctica. Mismatched stratigraphy in the nearby GRIP and GISP2 cores in Greenland as well as overturning in the NEEM ice core suggest variable behavior within the ice sheet. Furthermore, ice penetrating radar data taken across both ice sheets shows folding at scales up to half the ice thickness. Because individual strata can be traced through the folds, it is clear that ice flow dynamics play an important role. Here we consider the possible formation of recirculation eddies in subglacial mountain valleys. Modeling the ice as a creeping homogeneous power-law shear-thinning viscous fluid, recirculation eddies are shown to form in valleys when the angle of the wall is steep enough that fluid inside the valley cannot return to the main flow. This is analogous to Moffatt eddies for a Newtonian viscous fluid. Using a no-slip boundary condition at the valley wall, ice can recirculate in these valleys indefinitely. We examine eddies in the basal ice using theory and simulations based on topography of the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains in central East Antarctica. The Gamburtsevs are a large mountain range (~750km×250km) with steep relief typical of an alpine glacier system. Analytic results point to a necessary critical angle, and for a power-law shear-thinning fluid such as ice, these eddies occur at lower angles than in a Newtonian viscous fluid. We further develop metrics for determining valleys that are likely to contain eddies based on flow velocity and the total relief of the valley. Our simulations show that in some valleys eddies of order one hundred meters form. We then compare our simulations to radar observations to show potential for near-bed stratigraphic disturbances.

  16. Ice-forming nuclei in Antarctica: New and past measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belosi, F.; Santachiara, G.; Prodi, F.

    2014-08-01

    The paper provides a review of past and a few new measurements of Ice-forming Nuclei (IN) in Antarctica. The few available published data were mostly obtained adopting different devices and methods and for a limited period of time. Consequently, data are scattered and give an incomplete picture of the Antarctic situation. It should be pointed out, however, that ice nucleation is an intricate process, depending on many parameters (supersaturation relative to ice and water, aerosol physical-chemical properties, possible conditioning and preactivation of particles, different modes of nucleation). Therefore, the uncertainty does not concern the Antarctic continent alone, but all measurements performed world-wide. A comparison of the published data can be made between Saxena and Weintraub (1988) at Palmer Station, and Ardon-Dryer et al. (2011) at the South Pole, as both studies measured IN in the immersion mode, even if at different temperature. Saxena and Weintraub (1988) obtained in three filters IN concentrations of about 104 m- 3 at T = - 6 °C, - 11 °C and - 13 °C, and 103 m- 3 at T = - 17 °C, in an additional filter (February-December 1983). At the South Pole Ardon-Dryer et al. (2011) obtained a concentration of about 5 × 102 m- 3 at T = - 19 °C, and the IN concentration increased until about 40 × 103 m- 3 at the activation temperature of - 26 °C. Such values are higher than those measured by Bigg (1973) near Antarctica, using a thermal diffusion chamber (deposition or deposition-condensation modes). IN concentrations measured at Terra Nova Bay are lower than those reported above, and are comparable to values reported for the Scott Base, Byrd Station and cruises at latitude 60°-70° S.

  17. The southeastern Dronning Maud Land province in East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mieth, Matthias; Jokat, Wilfried; Jacobs, Joachim; Ruppel, Antonia; Damaske, Detlef; Läufer, Andreas

    2014-05-01

    Systematic airborne geophysical surveys conducted by the Alfred-Wegener-Institute over the last decades have investigated a significant part of Dronning Maud Land in East Antarctica and have revealed, amongst other findings, an aerogeophysical prominent province in southeastern Dronning Maud Land. Both its magnetic and gravity signature differs from those of the western and southwestern Dronning Maud Land, and we assume that it represents a distinct tectonic terrane. This province is characterized by a subdued magnetic anomaly field with elongated parallel positive anomalies, which are truncated by the Forster magnetic anomaly in the northwest, are flanked by the complex magnetic anomaly pattern of the Sør Rondane Mountains in the northeast, and continue presumably farther eastwards. Pronounced negative values of Bouguer gravity indicate thick continental crust of up to 50 km for this region in contrast to significantly higher values of Bouguer gravity in western and southwestern Dronning Maud Land. A few nunataks crop out within the northern portion of this province between the Wohlthat-Massiv and the Sør Rondane Mountains. In 2011 and 2012 collected rock samples from these nunataks and nearby moraines show a predominance of metasedimentary rocks of yet unknown age. Furthermore, undeformed late- to post-tectonic granitoids have been discovered within the southeastern DML province. The conclusions of these findings revise the speculation of a continuous suture zone connecting the Shackleton Range south of Coats Land in the west and the Lützow Holm Bay region in the east and supplement the hypotheses that East-Antarctica is rather a mosaic of different crustal fragments composed of Archaean nucleoids and of Proterozoic to Palaeozoic mobile belts, than to be primarily one stable craton.

  18. Microzooplankton herbivory and community structure in the Amundsen Sea, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Eun Jin; Jiang, Yong; Lee, SangHoon

    2016-01-01

    We examined microzooplankton abundance, community structure, and grazing impact on phytoplankton in the Amundsen Sea, Western Antarctica, during the early austral summer from December 2010 to January 2011. Our study area was divided into three regions based on topography, hydrographic properties, and trophic conditions: (1) the Oceanic Zone (OZ), with free sea ice and low phytoplankton biomass dominated by diatoms; (2) the Sea Ice Zone (SIZ), covered by heavy sea ice with colder water, lower salinity, and dominated by diatoms; and (3) the Amundsen Sea Polynya (ASP), with high phytoplankton biomass dominated by Phaeocystis antarctica. Microzooplankton biomass and communities associated with phytoplankton biomass and composition varied among regions. Heterotrophic dinoflagellates (HDF) were the most significant grazers in the ASP and OZ, whereas ciliates co-dominated with HDF in the SIZ. Microzooplankton grazing impact is significant in our study area, particularly in the ASP, and consumed 55.4-107.6% of phytoplankton production (average 77.3%), with grazing impact increasing with prey and grazer biomass. This result implies that a significant proportion of the phytoplankton production is not removed by sinking or other grazers but grazed by microzooplankton. Compared with diatom-based systems, Phaeocystis-based production would be largely remineralized and/or channeled through the microbial food web through microzooplankton grazing. In these waters the major herbivorous fate of phytoplankton is likely mediated by the microzooplankton population. Our study confirms the importance of herbivorous protists in the planktonic ecosystems of high latitudes. In conclusion, microzooplankton herbivory may be a driving force controlling phytoplankton growth in early summer in the Amundsen Sea, particularly in the ASP.

  19. Paleomagnetic study of the northern Ford Ranges, western Marie Byrd Land, West Antarctica: Motion between West and East Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Luyendyk, B.; Cisowski, S.; Smith, C.; Richard, S.; Kimbrough, D.

    1996-01-01

    A paleomagnetic study of Paleozoic and Mesozoic crystalline rocks in the northern Ford Ranges of Marie Byrd Land, West Antarctica, has determined a middle Cretaceous (circa 100 Ma) paleomagnetic pole and provided constraints on possible clockwise rotation of these ranges and on the rifting of east Gondwana. The 40Ar/39Ar thermochronology data from the Fosdick Mountains record a period of rapid cooling from ???700??C beginning at ???100 Ma. We relate this to extension, intrusion, and uplift associated with the beginning of rifting between Campbell Plateau and Marie Byrd Land. All rocks from the Fosdick and Chester Mountains are normally polarized. We interpret thermochronology and paleomagnetic data to infer that the region was extensively remagnetized in middle Cretaceous time. Inclinations in samples from the Chester Mountains are less steep than those from the Fosdick Mountains, which we interpret as ???25?? of south tilting of the Chesters. We interpret cooling age data for the time of magnetization to infer that the tilting began after 105 Ma and ended prior to 103 Ma. We further interpret this as constraining the beginning of extension between the Campbell Plateau and western Marie Byrd Land to the interval 105 to 103 Ma. Virtual geomagnetic poles from samples of Early Carboniferous age granodiorite from the western Phillips Mountains lie on the late Paleozoic apparent polar wander path for Australia transferred to Antarctica. Directions from 29 sites in the central and eastern Phillips and Fosdick Mountains give a Middle Cretaceous paleomagnetic pole at 222.3?? E, 70.5?? S (A95 6.1??, KAPPA 20.0). This pole is indistinguishable from other Middle Cretaceous poles for studies further east in Marie Byrd Land. Combining middle Cretaceous poles determined for three other studies of the Antarctic Peninsula. Thurston Island, and the Ruppert-Hobbs coasts with ours gives a Pacific West Antarctic pole at 215.2?? E, 73.5?? S (A95 4.0??, KAPPA 528.9). This pole is

  20. The environmental impact of sewage and wastewater outfalls in Antarctica: An example from Davis station, East Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Stark, Jonathan S; Corbett, Patricia A; Dunshea, Glenn; Johnstone, Glenn; King, Catherine; Mondon, Julie A; Power, Michelle L; Samuel, Angelingifta; Snape, Ian; Riddle, Martin

    2016-11-15

    We present a comprehensive scientific assessment of the environmental impacts of an Antarctic wastewater ocean outfall, at Davis station in East Antarctica. We assessed the effectiveness of current wastewater treatment and disposal requirements under the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty. Macerated wastewater has been discharged from an outfall at Davis since the failure of the secondary treatment plant in 2005. Water, sediment and wildlife were tested for presence of human enteric bacteria and antibiotic resistance mechanisms. Epibiotic and sediment macrofaunal communities were tested for differences between sites near the outfall and controls. Local fish were examined for evidence of histopathological abnormalities. Sediments, fish and gastropods were tested for uptake of sewage as measured by stable isotopes of N and C. Escherichia coli carrying antibiotic resistance determinants were found in water, sediments and wildlife (the filter feeding bivalve Laternula eliptica). Fish (Trematomus bernacchii) within close proximity to the outfall had significantly more severe and greater occurrences of histopathological abnormalities than at controls, consistent with exposure to sewage. There was significant enrichment of (15)N in T. bernacchii and the predatory gastropod Neobuccinum eatoni around the outfall, providing evidence of uptake of sewage. There were significant differences between epibiotic and sediment macrofaunal communities at control and outfall sites (<1.5 km), when sites were separated into groups of similar habitat types. Benthic community composition was also strongly related to habitat and environmental drivers such as sea ice. The combined evidence indicated that the discharge of wastewater from the Davis outfall is causing environmental impacts. These findings suggest that conditions in Antarctic coastal locations, such as Davis, are unlikely to be conducive to initial dilution and rapid dispersal of wastewater as

  1. Fluoride content in bones of Adelie penguins and environmental media in Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Xie, Zhouqing; Sun, Liguang

    2003-12-01

    Fluoride (F) distribution and its effects (fluorosis) were investigated in Antarctica. Droppings (L) excreta selected of aquatic birds, lake water, soil and moss (Polytrichum alpinum) showed a high F concentration. Although bones of Adelie penguin (Pygiscelis adeliae) and skua (Catharacta maccormicki) showed exceptionally very high F concentration in the range of 832 to 7187 mg kg(-1), their radiographs did not show any evidence of skeletal fluorosis. The possible reason and geochemical aspects of F in Antarctica region are discussed.

  2. Antarctic Bottom Water: Major Change in Velocity during the Late Cenozoic between Australia and Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Watkins, N D; Kennett, J P

    1971-08-27

    Paleomagnetic and micropaleontological studies of deep-sea sedimentary cores between Australia and Antarctica define an extensive area centered in the south Tasman Basin, where sediment as old as Early Pliocene has been systematically eroded by bottom currents. This major sedimentary disconformity has been produced by a substantial increase in velocity of Antarctic bottom water, possibly associated with late Cenozoic climatic cooling and corresponding increased glaciation of Antarctica.

  3. Antarctica Meta-Analysis: Psychosocial Factors Related to Long Duration Isolation and Confinement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leveton, Lauren; Shea, Camille; Slack, Kelley J.; Keeton, Kathryn E.; Palinkas, Lawrence A.

    2009-01-01

    This meta-analysis is examining the psychological effects of wintering-over in Antarctica. As an isolated, confined, and extreme (ICE) environment, Antarctica provides invaluable opportunities to experience stressors more common to spaceflight than to the average person s everyday life. Increased prevalence of psychological symptoms, syndromes, and psychiatric disorders, as well as positive effects, are expected to be associated with various demographic and environmental factors. Implications for spaceflight are discussed. Findings from statistical review of the Antarctic articles will be shared.

  4. CA-125 blood test

    MedlinePlus

    ... above 35 U/mL is considered abnormal. Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some ... 125 usually does not mean ovarian cancer is present. Most healthy women with an elevated CA-125 ...

  5. Tufted hairgrass (Deschampsia caespitosa) exhibits a lower photosynthetic plasticity than Antarctic hairgrass (D. antarctica).

    PubMed

    Bystrzejewska-Piotrowska, Grazyna; Urban, Pawel L

    2009-06-01

    The aim of our work was to assess photosynthetic plasticity of two hairgrass species with different ecological origins (a temperate zone species, Deschampsia caespitosa (L.) Beauv. and an Antarctic species, D. antarctica) and to consider how the anticipated climate change may affect vitality of these plants. Measurements of chlorophyll fluorescence showed that the photosystem II (PSII) quantum efficiency of D. caespitosa decreased during 4 d of incubation at 4 degrees C but it remained stable in D. antarctica. The fluorescence half-rise times were almost always lower in D. caespitosa than in D. antarctica, irrespective of the incubation temperature. These results indicate that the photosynthetic apparatus of D. caespitosa has poorer performance in these conditions. D. caespitosa reached the maximum photosynthesis rate at a higher temperature than D. antarctica although the values obtained at 8 degrees C were similar in both species. The photosynthetic water-use efficiency (photosynthesis-to-transpiration ratio, P/E) emerges as an important factor demonstrating presence of mechanisms which facilitate functioning of a plant in non-optimal conditions. Comparison of the P/E values, which were higher in D. antarctica than in D. caespitosa at low and medium temperatures, confirms a high degree of adjustability of the photosynthetic apparatus in D. antarctica and unveils the lack of such a feature in D. caespitosa.

  6. Continental Rifting and Transform Faulting Along the Jurassic Transantarctic Rift, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, Dwight L.; Rowley, Peter D.

    1986-04-01

    The Transantarctic rift, an extensional continental rift valley, formed between East and West Antarctica during latest Early and Middle Jurassic time and is represented today by the high Transantarctic Mountains, which contain large volumes of continental flood basalt, diabase, and gabbro. Transantarctic rifting marked the beginning of the breakup of Gondwanaland; it was contiguous and synchronous with continental rifting between East Antarctica-India and Africa as represented by the continental basalt and diabase of Queen Maud Land and the Karroo of southern Africa. During Late Jurassic time, about 150 Ma or slightly earlier, East and West Gondwanaland separated and new oceanic crust of the earliest Indian Ocean formed between East Antarctica-India and Africa. If, as assumed, West Antarctica and South America remained fixed through a tip-to-tip join between the Antarctic Peninsula and Tierra del Fuego, then this seafloor spreading required major right-lateral transform faulting of 500 to 1000 km on the Transantarctic rift system between East and West Antarctica. The Transantarctic Mountains were elevated at about the same time in Late Jurassic; such uplifts are characteristic of active rift margins worldwide. During Cenozoic time, extensional block faulting, independent of the Jurassic rifting, further disrupted large areas of West Antarctica. During the same time, the Transantarctic Mountains were further uplifted.

  7. Ag-Al-Ca

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carow-Watamura, U.; Louzguine, D. V.; Takeuchi, A.

    This document is part of Part 1 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/97.etType="URL"/> 'Systems from Ag-Al-Ca to Au-Pd-Si' of Subvolume B 'Physical Properties of Ternary Amorphous Alloys' of Volume 37 'Phase Diagrams and Physical Properties of Nonequilibrium Alloys' of Landolt-Börnstein - Group III 'Condensed Matter'. It contains the Chapter 'Ag-Al-Ca' with the content:

  8. Two-stage rifting of Zealandia-Australia-Antarctica: Evidence from 40Ar/39Ar thermochronometry of the Sisters shear zone, Stewart Island, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kula, Joseph; Tulloch, Andy; Spell, Terry L.; Wells, Michael L.

    2007-05-01

    The Sisters shear zone is a newly discovered Late Cretaceous detachment fault system exposed for 40 km along the southeast coast of Stewart Island, southernmost New Zealand. Footwall rocks consist of variably deformed ca. 310 and 105 Ma granites that range from undeformed to protomylonite, mylonite, and ultramylonite. The hanging wall includes non-marine conglomerate and brittley deformed granite. K-feldspar thermochronometry of the footwall indicates moderately rapid cooling (20 30 C°/m.y.) due to tectonic denudation over the interval ca. 89 82 Ma. Return to slow cooling at 82 Ma coincides with the age of the oldest seafloor adjacent to the Campbell Plateau and reflects the mechanical transition from continental extension to lithospheric rupture and formation of the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge. Our findings support a two-stage rift model for continental breakup of this part of the Gondwana margin. Stage one (ca. 101 88 Ma) is the northward propagation of continental extension and the Tasman Ridge as recorded in mylonite dredged from the Ross Sea and the Paparoa core complex. Stage two (ca. 89 82 Ma) is extension between the Campbell Plateau and West Antarctica leading to formation of the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge.

  9. One year observations of atmospheric reactive gases (O3, CO, NOx, SO2) at Jang Bogo base in Terra Nova Bay, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siek Rhee, Tae; Seo, Sora

    2016-04-01

    Antarctica is a remote area surrounded by the Southern Ocean and far from the influence of human activities, giving us unique opportunity to investigate the background variation of trace gases which are sensitive to the human activities. Korean Antarctic base, Jang Bogo, was established as a unique permanent overwintering base in Terra Nova Bay in February, 2014. One year later, we installed a package of instruments to monitor atmospheric trace gases at the base, which includes long-lived greenhouse gases, CO2, CH4, and N2O, and reactive gases, O3, CO, NOx, and SO2. The atmospheric chemistry observatory, where these scientific instruments were installed, is located ca. 1 km far from the main building and power plant, minimizing the influence of pollution that may come from the operation of the base. Here we focus on the reactive gases measured in-situ at the base; O3 displays a typical seasonal variation with high in winter and low in summer with seasonal amplitude of ~18 ppb, CO was high in September at ~56 ppb, probably implying the invasion of lower latitude air mass with biomass burning, and low in late summer due to photochemical oxidation. NO did not show clear seasonal variation, but SO2 reveals larger values in summer than in winter. We will discuss potential atmospheric processes behind these first observations of reactive gases in Terra Nova Bay, Antarctica.

  10. Geochemical and isotopic studies of syenites from the Yamato Mountains, East Antarctica: Implications for the origin of syenitic magmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, J.-X.; Shiraishi, K.; Ellis, D. J.; Sheraton, J. W.

    1995-04-01

    Voluminous syenites were intruded during the waning stage of the granulite facies metamorphism in the Yamato Mountains of East Antarctica. The area has been interpreted as part of a Cambrian continental collision zone with regional upper amphibolite to granulite facies metamorphism occurring during ca. 500-660 Ma period. Regardless of minor geochemical variations between different groups, all syenites are characterised by high K 20 + Na 20 (8-12%), K 20/Na 20 (˜2), Sr (800-3500 ppm), Ba (2000-8500 ppm), and comparatively high TiO 2, P 20 5, Zr, and light REES relative to I-type granites. They are significantly higher in Mg number (50-75) compared with typical calc-alkaline suites, igneous charnockites, or A-type granites and define a distinctive trend on an AFM (alkali-FeO tot-MgO) diagram. Their trace element distribution diagrams are characterised by pronounced enrichment in LIL and REES, large negative Nb and Ti anomalies, and no depletion in Sr or Ba relative to the neighbouring elements. In this regard, they closely resemble the ˜500 Ma post-tectonic mela-syenite to alkali basalt dikes widely occurring in East Antarctica. Such geochemical features are distinct from rift- or hotspot-related syenites, which are usually characterised by low K/Na ratios, negative Ba and Sr anomalies, and a lack of negative Nb anomalies. Initial isotopic compositions of the syenites are characterised by relatively low initial ɛNd values (-2.6 to -5.5) and high Sri ratios (0.7057-0.7088). Since the syenites are extremely enriched in Sr and Nd, such isotopic signatures are interpreted as reflecting the nature of the mantle source, rather than significant crystal contamination. Such isotopic signatures are also distinct from those of the rift- or hotspot-related syenites which are thought to be derived from depleted asthenospheric mantle. Considering the distinctive geochemical signatures of the Yamato syenites and their analogy to posttectonic alkaline mafic dikes in Antarctica

  11. Carbon and Oxygen Isotope Measurements of Ordinary Chondrite (OC) Meteorites from Antarctica Indicate Distinct Terrestrial Carbonate Species using a Stepped Acid Extraction Procedure Impacting Mars Carbonate Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, M. E.; Niles, P. B.; Locke, D.

    2015-12-01

    The purpose of this study is to characterize the stable isotope values of terrestrial, secondary carbonate minerals from five OC meteorites collected in Antarctica. These samples were selected for analysis based upon their size and collection proximity to known Martian meteorites. They were also selected based on petrologic type (3+) such that they were likely to be carbonate-free before falling to Earth. This study has two main tasks: 1) characterize the isotopic composition of terrestrial, secondary carbonate minerals formed on meteorites in Antarctica, and 2) study the mechanisms of carbonate formation in cold and arid environments with Antarctica as an analog for Mars. Two samples from each meteorite, each ~0.5g, was crushed and dissolved in pure phosphoric acid for 3 sequential reactions: a) Rx0 for 1 hour at 30°C, b) Rx1 for 18 hours at 30°C, and c) Rx2 for 3 hours at 150°C. CO2 was distilled by freezing with liquid nitrogen from each sample tube, then separated from organics and sulfides with a TRACE GC using a Restek HayeSep Q 80/100 6' 2mm stainless column, and then analyzed on a Thermo MAT 253 IRMS in Dual Inlet mode. This system was built at NASA/JSC over the past 3 years and proof tested with known carbonate standards to develop procedures, assess yield, and quantify expected uncertainties. Two distinct species of carbonates are found based on the stepped extraction technique: 1) Ca-rich carbonate released at low temperatures, and 2) Mg, or Fe-rich carbonate released at high temperatures. Preliminary results indicate that most of the carbonates present in the ordinary chondrites analyzed have δ13C=+5‰, which is consistent with formation from atmospheric CO2 δ13C=-7‰ at -20°C. The oxygen isotopic compositions of the carbonates vary between +4‰ and +34‰ with the Mg-rich and/or Fe-rich carbonates possessing the lowest δ18O values. This suggests that the carbonates formed under a wide range of temperatures. However, the carbonate oxygen

  12. Dronning Maud Lands (East Antarctica) significance for Late Mesoproterozoic/Early Neoproterozoic supercontinent reconstructions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacobs, Joachim; Elburg, Marlina; Laeufer, Andreas; Kleinhanns, Ilka C.; Henjes-Kunst, Friedhelm; Estrada, Solveig; Ruppel, Antonia; Damaske, Detlef; Montero, Pilar; Bea, Fernando

    2015-04-01

    The recent study of a so far white spot on the geological map of Dronning Maud Land (DML) during the international GEA expeditions sheds new light on the significance of major tectono-metamorphic provinces of Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctica. The western part of eastern DML allows the characterization and ground-truthing of a large and mostly ice-covered area, that is geophysically distinct and which was previously interpreted as a potentially older cratonic block south of a Late Neoproterozoic/EarlyPaleozoic mobile belt, which is exposed in the Sør Rondane Mts. (SRM). SHRIMP/SIMS zircon analyses of 20 samples together with new geochemistry indicate that the exposed basement consists of a ca. 1000-900 Ma juvenile terrane that is very similar to the juvenile rocks of the SW-Terrane of the SRM, a characteristic gabbro-trondhjemite-tonalite-granite suite. However, in contrast to the southern part of the SW-Terrane, our study area shows intense crustal reworking at medium to high-grade conditions between ca. 630-520 Ma, associated with significant felsic melt production, including A-type granitoid magmatism. Therefore, the study area, and thereby the aeromagnetically distinct SE DML province does neither represent the foreland of a Late Neoproterozoic/EarlyPaleozoic mobile belt, nor a craton, as has previously been speculated. It more likely represents the westward continuation of Rayner-age crust (1000-900 Ma) that has undergone additional protracted LN/EP overprinting. We interpret the southern part of the only weakly overprinted SW-Terrane as a mega-boudin within a broad, rheologically weaker, NW-SE trending LN/EP mobile belt. Rayner-type crust likely continues further west, where it abuts along the SW-trending Forster Magnetic Anomaly. The latter is interpreted as a suture, which separates typical Grenville-age crust of the Maud Belt to the W from Rayner-age crust to the E. The study area has therefore clearly Indian affinities. Its juvenile character with a

  13. Foraminifer- and diatom-based paleoceanographic study of Holocene sediments from the Sabrina Coast, East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vadman, K. J.; Shevenell, A.; Leventer, A.; Domack, E. W.; Huber, B. A.; Orsi, A. H.; Gulick, S. P. S.

    2015-12-01

    Cruise NBP14-02 conducted the first interdisciplinary oceanographic survey of the continental shelf adjacent to the Totten Glacier-Moscow University Ice Shelf system on the Sabrina Coast, East Antarctica. Hydrographic data indicate that this system is presently influenced by subsurface (>350 m) intrusion of relatively warm (>0°C) modified Circumpolar Deep Water (mCDW) via a cross-shelf trough. To assess the late Quaternary influence of mCDW, we collected marine sediment cores at two locations, each of which recovered a complete 10-13 m sequence of glacial diamict and Holocene laminated diatom ooze/mud. Chronology is constrained by 210Pb and species-specific foraminifer-based AMS 14C dates. Foraminifer CaCO3 is most abundant in surface sediments (0-0.2 mcd) and from 1.5 to 5 mcd. Planktic foraminifer, Neogloboquadrina pachyderma(s), dominates surface sediments and diatom muds downcore, but is less abundant in diatom oozes. Benthic foraminifer species, Bulimina aculeata, which prefers hemipelagic environments and bottom waters >0°C, dominates the living benthic assemblage. The fossil benthic assemblage is characterized by Trifarina angulosa, associated with oxygenated bottom waters and strong bottom currents, suggesting that this assemblage may record past changes in the shoreward flow of ocean currents and the location of oceanic frontal zones. T. angulosa presence in oozes of mat-forming diatom species associated with oceanic fronts, supports this interpretation. Modern benthic and planktic δ18O suggest a well-mixed water column. Below 1.5 mcd, foraminifer isotopes and diatom assemblages indicate surface stratification and increased biogenic productivity, suggesting that modern environmental conditions, including mCDW inflow, existed episodically during the Holocene. Paired T. angulosa δ18O and Mg/Ca analyses will provide additional information on past mCDW influence on this climatically sensitive region at the outlet of the extensive (287,000 km2) Aurora

  14. Routes of Ca2+ Shuttling during Ca2+ Oscillations

    PubMed Central

    Pecze, László; Blum, Walter; Schwaller, Beat

    2015-01-01

    In some cell types, Ca2+ oscillations are strictly dependent on Ca2+ influx across the plasma membrane, whereas in others, oscillations also persist in the absence of Ca2+ influx. We observed that, in primary mesothelial cells, the plasmalemmal Ca2+ influx played a pivotal role. However, when the Ca2+ transport across the plasma membrane by the “lanthanum insulation method” was blocked prior to the induction of the serum-induced Ca2+ oscillations, mitochondrial Ca2+ transport was found to be able to substitute for the plasmalemmal Ca2+ exchange function, thus rendering the oscillations independent of extracellular Ca2+. However, in a physiological situation, the Ca2+-buffering capacity of mitochondria was found not to be essential for Ca2+ oscillations. Moreover, brief spontaneous Ca2+ changes were observed in the mitochondrial Ca2+ concentration without apparent changes in the cytosolic Ca2+ concentration, indicating the presence of a mitochondrial autonomous Ca2+ signaling mechanism. In the presence of calretinin, a Ca2+-buffering protein, the amplitude of cytosolic spikes during oscillations was decreased, and the amount of Ca2+ ions taken up by mitochondria was reduced. Thus, the increased calretinin expression observed in mesothelioma cells and in certain colon cancer might be correlated to the increased resistance of these tumor cells to proapoptotic/pronecrotic signals. We identified and characterized (experimentally and by modeling) three Ca2+ shuttling pathways in primary mesothelial cells during Ca2+ oscillations: Ca2+ shuttled between (i) the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and mitochondria, (ii) the ER and the extracellular space, and (iii) the ER and cytoplasmic Ca2+ buffers. PMID:26396196

  15. Coastal-change and glaciological maps of Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, Richard S.

    2004-01-01

    Changes in the area and volume of polar ice sheets are intricately linked to changes in global climate, and the resulting changes in sea level may severely impact the densely populated coastal regions on Earth. Melting of the West Antarctic part alone of the Antarctic ice sheet could cause a sea-level rise of approximately 6 meters (m). The potential sea-level rise after melting of the entire Antarctic ice sheet is estimated to be 65 m (Lythe and others, 2001) to 73 m (Williams and Hall, 1993). In spite of its importance, the mass balance (the net volumetric gain or loss) of the Antarctic ice sheet is poorly known; it is not known for certain whether the ice sheet is growing or shrinking. In a review paper, Rignot and Thomas (2002) concluded that the West Antarctic part of the Antarctic ice sheet is probably becoming thinner overall; although the western part is thickening, the northern part is thinning. Joughin and Tulaczyk (2002), based on analysis of ice-flow velocities derived from synthetic aperture radar, concluded that most of the Ross ice streams (ice streams on the east side of the Ross Ice Shelf) have a positive mass balance. The mass balance of the East Antarctic is unknown, but thought to be in near equilibrium. Measurement of changes in area and mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet was given a very high priority in recommendations by the Polar Research Board of the National Research Council (1986), in subsequent recommendations by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) (1989, 1993), and by the National Science Foundation's (1990) Division of Polar Programs. On the basis of these recommendations, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) decided that the archive of early 1970s Landsat 1, 2, and 3 Multispectral Scanner (MSS) images of Antarctica and the subsequent repeat coverage made possible with Landsat and other satellite images provided an excellent means of documenting changes in the coastline of Antarctica (Ferrigno and Gould, 1987). The

  16. Measures Earth System Data Records (ESDR) of Ice Motion in Antarctica: Status, Impact and Future Products.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scheuchl, B.; Rignot, E. J.; Mouginot, J.

    2014-12-01

    Spaceborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data is an extremely useful tool for providing relevant information about the ice sheet ECV: ice vector velocity, grounding line position, and ice front location. Here, we provide an overview of the SAR Earth System Data Records (ESDR) for Antarctica part of MEaSUREs that includes: the first complete map of surface ice vector velocity in Antarctica, a map of grounding line positions around Antarctica, ice velocity time series for selected regions: Ross and Ronne-Filchner Ice Shelves and associated drainage basins, the Amundsen Sea Embayment of West Antarctica which is the largest contributor to sea level rise from Antarctica and the focus of rapid ice sheet retreat, and Larsen-B and -C ice shelves which is the second largest contribution to sea level rise from Antarctica. Other products include a database of ice shelf boundaries and drainage basins based on ice motion mapping and digital elevation models generated independently. Data continuity is a crucial aspect of this work and a fundamental challenge for the continuation of these products due to the lack of a dedicated interferometric mission on the cryosphere until the SAR mission under consideration between NASA and ISRO is approved. Four SAR missions ceased operations since IPY. CSA's RADARSAT-2 has provided important bridging data between these missions in Greenland and Antarctica. In 2014, ESA launched Sentinel-1a and JAXA launched ALOS-2 PALSAR, for which we will have limited data access. The Polar Space Task Group (PSTG) created by WMO has established a mandate to support cryospheric products from scientific research using international SARs which continues to play an active role in securing key data acquisitions over ice sheets. We will provide an overview of current efforts. This work was conducted at UC Irvine, Department of Earth System Science under a contract with NASA's MEaSUREs program.

  17. Nitrous Acid at Concordia (Inland Site) and Dumont d'Urville (Costal Site), East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kerbrat, M.; Legrand, M.; Preunkert, S.; Gallée, H.; Kleffman, J.

    2012-04-01

    One of the most recent important finding made in Antarctica after the discovery of the appearance of the Antarctic ozone hole in the early 80's was the discovery of a very oxidizing canopy over the South Pole region in relation with unexpected high levels of NO. There is a strong need however to extend investigations of the oxidation capacity of the lower atmosphere at the scale of the whole Antarctic continent, and in particular, over East Antarctica. That motivated the OPALE (Oxidant Production over Antarctic Land and its Export) project. Indeed the limited data gained by using aircraft sampling during ANTCI 2003 suggest that over the East Antarctic plateau even higher NO emissions persist. Among several not yet resolved questions related to the high level of oxidants over Antarctica is the role of nitrous acid (HONO). During the austral summer 2010/2011 the levels of nitrous acid (HONO) were for the first time investigated at Concordia (75°06'S, 123°33'E) and Dumont D'Urville (66°40'S, 140°01'E), two stations located in East Antarctica. Also for the first time in Antarctica, HONO was measured by deploying a long path absorption photometer (LOPAP). At Concordia, from the end of December 2010 to mid January 2011 HONO mixing ratios at 1 m above the snow surface ranged between 5 and 60 pptv. Diurnal cycles were observed with levels peaking in the morning (06:30 to 07:30) and the evening (19:00 to 20:00). At Dumont d'Urville, background mixing ratios close to 2 pptv were observed in February 2011. No clear diurnal cycles were observed at that site but several events of air masses export from inland Antarctica were encountered with enhanced HONO levels reaching 10 pptv at night. These first HONO data gained in East Antarctica are discussed in terms of sources and sinks along with synoptic weather conditions.

  18. Distribution of Clostridium perfringens and fecal sterols in a benthic coastal marine environment influenced by the sewage outfall from McMurdo Station, Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Edwards, D D; McFeters, G A; Venkatesan, M I

    1998-07-01

    The spatial distribution, movement, and impact of the untreated wastewater outfall from McMurdo Station, Antarctica, were investigated under early austral summer conditions. The benthic environment was examined to determine the distribution of Clostridium perfringens in sediment cores and the intestinal contents of native invertebrates and fish along a transect of stations. These stations extended ca. 411 m south of the outfall. The findings revealed that the concentration of C. perfringens decreased with depth in the sediment and distance from the outfall. High percentages of tunicates and sea urchins were colonized with this bacterium along the transect. Coprostanol concentrations were also measured in sediment samples taken from each of the transect stations, and a similar trend was observed. These results are in agreement with the findings of previous studies performed with the water column and collectively provide evidence that the disposal of domestic wastes deserves special consideration in polar marine environments.

  19. Long-Term Variability of Stratospheric Temperature Above Central Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shirochkov, A.; Makarova, L.

    Long-term variations of atmospheric temperature at different isobaric surfaces above central Antarctica and their possible coupling with correspondent changes in the near-Earth space were studied. Data of atmospheric balloon sounding at two Antarctic intercontinental stations Vostok and Amundsen-Scott (South Pole) taken for the last 40 years were used in this study. A central part of the Antarctica continent with its minimum of man-made pollution, uniformity of severe thermal and circulation regimes is an ideal place for study of the real climatic changes. It was found that stratospheric temperature at both stations averaged seasonally or annually does not demonstrate any meaningful correlation with correspondent sunspot number variations. On the other hand there is a notable correlation (r > 0,6) between stratospheric temperature at both stations and annually averaged values of the solar wind dynamic pressure. The latter parameter whose long-term time series were originally calculated by the authors is proportional to energy transferred to the Earth system " ma g n e t o s p here -ionosphere -atmosphere " from the outer space. A concept of the global electric circuit with a Electro-Motive Force generator located at the dayside magnetopause and driven by the solar wind energy is one of the possible realistic physical mechanisms capable to explain interaction between solar wind and middle atmosphere. Electrically conducting layers of ionosphere, ionic region in stratosphere and the Earth surface are the passive elements of this scheme. Mutual coupling between stratosphere thermal regimes at two stations (Vostok and South Pole) demonstrates obvious seasonal dependence: there is a good correlation between them in summer while it disappears in winter and equinoxes. It was found also that stratospheric temperature above South Pole Station varies in the same manner as correspondent parameter above North Pole as reported previously by Labitzke and Naujokat (2000). At both

  20. Spectral measurements of the atmospheric thermal infrared emission in Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palchetti, L.; Bianchini, G.; Del Guasta, M.; Baglioni, A.

    2012-12-01

    A better understanding of radiative effects of water vapor and clouds could be achieved through better spectrally-resolved measurements of the atmospheric thermal emission, particularly in the far infrared (FIR) region below 650 cm-1. To explore this relatively unknown region, an experiment, named Radiative Properties of Water Vapor and Clouds in Antarctica (PRANA, "Proprieta' Radiative del vapore Acqueo e delle Nubi in Antartide"), is under way at Concordia station in Antarctica since December 2011. This experiment exploits the high altitude and extremely dry air conditions found on the Antarctic Plateau to extend the ground-based infrared sounding capabilities to the water vapor pure rotational band. The experiment includes a spectroradiometer for the spectral characterization of the downwelling longwave radiance in the 100-1400 cm-1 spectral region and a LIDAR to characterize a possible cloud coverage. Measurements will be carried on for two years, thus covering systematically different sky conditions. Moreover, routine integrated measurements of downwelling and upwelling shortwave and longwave radiation components (performed within the Baseline Surface Radiation Network - BSRN) and daily radiosoundings of water vapor and temperature vertical profiles are performed from the base, providing an independent knowledge of the state of the observed atmosphere. Detailed specifications of the complete set of instruments are shown along with a preliminary analysis of spectroscopic data. The analysis shows that a spectrally-resolved measurement has the capability to identify and to quantify the effect of the different atmospheric components on the radiation budget, and at the same time it shows that it is necessary to improve the spectroscopic characterization of the water vapor rotational band to be used in radiative transfer models in order to perform this task at best. The spectral signature of thin ice clouds is also identified in the measurements and characterized in

  1. Ice loss from West Antarctica to the Bellingshausen Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bingham, R. G.; Smith, A.; King, E. C.; Gudmundsson, G. H.; Thomas, E. R.

    2014-12-01

    Determination of Antarctica's ice-sheet mass balance (more correctly, mass imbalance) is of paramount concern due to its impact on global sea levels. Monitoring with satellite remote sensing since the early 1990s has demonstrated that the imbalance has become progressively more negative, with losses dominated by the ocean-forced drawdown of ice from West Antarctica into the Amundsen and Bellingshausen Seas. Recent years have hosted unprecedented study and increased understanding of the ice-ocean processes contributing to Amundsen-Sea losses, leaving ocean-forced ice-dynamical losses to the Bellingshausen Sea relatively neglected. We therefore present here, with the aid of dedicated field data in austral season 2009/2010, a detailed assessment of the mass imbalance of Ferrigno Ice Stream (FIS), the dominant contributor of mass directly to the Bellingshausen Sea. We assess mass imbalance using the input-output method for (i) 1992, and (ii) 2010; the temporal markers being defined by the acquisition of the first comprehensive satellite-velocity coverage and the acquisition of the field measurements respectively. Input by snowfall is estimated using existing maps of Antarctic snow accumulation calibrated with 2010-acquired field data in the form of a 20-m ice core recovered at the upper FIS ice divide and englacial layering across the catchment imaged with 500 MHz over-snow radar. Output by discharge across the grounding line requires measurements of ice velocity and depth across a "flux gate." In 2010, we obtained flux gate measurements directly from the field using DGPS and 2 MHz over-snow radar, and we also refer to satellite-acquired ice-velocity data (MeASUREs) and airborne-acquired ice depths (Operation IceBridge) acquired at a similar time. Output from 1992 is calculated using 1992-acquired satellite ice-velocities (Rignot, 2006) and ice depth retroactively inferred from the 2010-acquired ice depth corrected for 1992-2010 surface elevation loss. We calculate

  2. Influence of ocean - sea ice - atmosphere feedbacks in Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jourdain, Nicolas C.; Mathiot, Pierre; Gallée, Hubert; Barnier, Bernard

    2010-05-01

    The Ross Sea sector is a major place of dense water formation. A significant amount of dense water is formed in polynyas and results from air - sea ice - ocean interactions. However, the representation of physical processes specific to polar regions is generally poor within climate models. Our aim is to quantify the effects of physical feedbacks, in particular those in which sea ice is involved. We choose limited area modeling in order to use parametrizations specific to polar regions at a relatively high resolution (40 km). Physical feedbacks are involved in air - sea ice - ocean interactions, and some atmospheric regional models have therefore been coupled to a sea ice model or a 1-layer ocean model. However, none of these models have been coupled to a 3-dimensional ocean model in Antarctica, although this is needed to represent dense water formation. We therefore describe and evaluate the new coupled atmosphere - sea ice - ocean regional model TANGO (Jourdain et al., 2010). This is a coupling of the regional atmospheric model MAR (Gallée et al., 2005) and the ocean - sea ice model NEMO (Madec et al., 2008). This study is motivated by previous studies that have emphasized the improvement of ocean - sea ice simulations (using the model NEMO) when it is forced by the atmospheric regional model MAR (Mathiot et al., 2008, 2010). Stand alone atmosphere or ocean - sea ice experiments are performed to evaluate the skills of MAR and NEMO in the Ross Sea sector, Antarctica. A methodology is described to isolate physical feedbacks as captured by TANGO. Our methodology provides an estimation of the effects of physical feedbacks. It is shown that they significantly affect the sea ice properties, the atmospheric boundary layer, and the first 700~m of the ocean, even after a few months of model-integration. The dense water formation in polynyas is affected by coupling, although the turbulent heat flux parametrization has a larger impact. Finally, TANGO is evaluated using

  3. Breakup and early seafloor spreading between India and Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaina, Carmen; Müller, R. Dietmar; Brown, Belinda; Ishihara, Takemi; Ivanov, Sergey

    2007-07-01

    We present a tectonic interpretation of the breakup and early seafloor spreading between India and Antarctica based on improved coverage of potential field and seismic data off the east Antarctic margin between the Gunnerus Ridge and the Bruce Rise. We have identified a series of ENE trending Mesozoic magnetic anomalies from chron M9o (~130.2 Ma) to M2o (~124.1 Ma) in the Enderby Basin, and M9o to M4o (~126.7 Ma) in the Princess Elizabeth Trough and Davis Sea Basin, indicating that India-Antarctica and India-Australia breakups were roughly contemporaneous. We present evidence for an abandoned spreading centre south of the Elan Bank microcontinent; the estimated timing of its extinction corresponds to the early surface expression of the Kerguelen Plume at the Southern Kerguelen Plateau around 120 Ma. We observe an increase in spreading rate from west to east, between chron M9 and M4 (38-54 mm yr-1), along the Antarctic margin and suggest the tectono-magmatic segmentation of oceanic crust has been influenced by inherited crustal structure, the kinematics of Gondwanaland breakup and the proximity to the Kerguelen hotspot. A high-amplitude, E-W oriented magnetic lineation named the Mac Robertson Coast Anomaly (MCA), coinciding with a landwards step-down in basement observed in seismic reflection data, is tentatively interpreted as the boundary between continental/transitional zone and oceanic crust. The exposure of lower crustal rocks along the coast suggests that this margin formed in a metamorphic core complex extension mode with a high strength ratio between upper and lower crust, which typically occurs above anomalously hot mantle. Together with the existence of the MCA zone this observation suggests that a mantle temperature anomaly predated the early surface outpouring/steady state magmatic production of the Kerguelen LIP. An alternative model suggests that the northward ridge jump was limited to the Elan Bank region, whereas seafloor spreading continued in the

  4. Hydrodynamics between Africa and Antarctica during Austral Summer 2008

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luis, Alvarinho J.; Pednekar, S. M.

    2010-10-01

    Under the International Polar Year endorsed project (IPY#70), the southwest Indian Ocean sector of the Southern Ocean was surveyed during the austral summer of 2008 by deploying expendable CTD probes along the ship tracks : Cape Town-India Bay, Antarctica (Track-1) and Prydz Bay, Antarctica-Cape Town (Track-2). The meteorological data revealed that the unstable marine atmosphere boundary layer (MABL) facilitated a turbulent heat loss of 45 Wm -2 on average, in conditions of variable wind intensity north of 43°S along Track-1; south of 63°S and north of 51°S the ocean was conducive to higher turbulent heat loss amounting to 95 Wm - 2 (on average) along Track-2. Surface imprints of hydrological fronts were determined by using surface gradient and subsurface temperature and salinity indicators. The core of Agulhas Current was identified between 36.5° and 37.5°S along Track-2, while the Agulhas Retroflection (AR) Front was located at 39.7°S south of Cape Town. The Subtropical (STF), Subantarctic (SAF) and Polar Fronts (PF) exhibited double frontal structures, whose meridional meandering is governed by bottom topography and modulated by planetary vorticity. A large southward deviation in the position of southern PF by 3.5° latitude on Track-1 was observed. Northern and southern SAF and southern STF meander by 2°-3.5° northward; their merger just north of Crozet Island facilitate an enhanced baroclinic transport of 12 Sv in the upper 1000 m. Three anticyclones that detach from the AR transport 17 Sv into the southeast Atlantic. The baroclinic transport contributed by AC and its retroflection across Track-2 amounted to 17.6 Sv. More than 50% of the ACC transport was confined to the 100-500 m depth layer. Water masses have been identified and their zonal extent quantified along the tracks. Strong convective cooling is responsible for the production of Subtropical Mode Water in the eastern Crozet Basin, which was detected near 43.5° and 41.5°S along Track-1 and

  5. Does a Superswell Exist Between Antarctica and Australia?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, S. H.; Langmuir, C. H.; Scott, S. R.; Sims, K. W. W.; Lin, J.; Kim, S.; Michael, P. J.; Hahm, D.

    2015-12-01

    The Australian-Antarctic Ridge (AAR) is located between the Australian-Antarctic Discordance (AAD) of the Southeast Indian ridge (SEIR) in the west and Pacific-Antarctic Ridge (PAR) in the east. The AAR has intermediate spreading rate (~70 mm/yr) and consists of a series of 1st order segments bounded by parallel transform faults. KR1, a southernmost segment (63°S) of the AAR, is a 300-km-long super-segment with shallow axial depth (~2000 m). KR1 is bounded by the Macquarie transform fault in the east and the Balleney transform fault in the west, which connects KR1 with KR2 at ~ 200 km north. KR2 is 180 km long with axial depth (~2300 m) deeper than KR1. Both KR1 and KR2 are shallow relative to global mid-ocean ridges. Most of the basaltic rocks from the two segments show enriched geochemical characteristics that differ from both the AAD (Southeast Indian Ridge) and the PAR. La/Sm ratios vary from N-MORB to T-MORB; however, K2O/Nb ratios of all samples are consistently low like OIB. Their Pb isotopes are mostly more radiogenic than the N-MORB samples from PAR (and EPR) and SEIR, with 206Pb/204Pb mostly >18.6. At a given 206Pb/204Pb, their 87Sr/86Sr are higher than the PAR, but lower than the SEIR. The basalts from the two segments are geochemically similar to Cenozoic volcanoes erupted on southeast Australia, Zealandia and northwest Antarctica, suggesting a genetic relationship. According to tectonic reconstruction models, these three continents were originally joined, but separated from each other after ~80 Ma. Notably, the KR1 and KR2 segments are located at the boundary of this continental separation. The ages of Cenozoic volcanoes span from ~ 60 Ma to the recent, and the volcanoes might be related to a plume head that caused the breakup of the continents. Seismic tomography studies show that there is a low velocity zone (LVZ) in the shallow mantle (> 250 km) between Antarctica and Australia where the AAR is located. The AAR would be sampling this LVZ, and this

  6. Postspreading rifting in the Adare Basin, Antarctica: Regional tectonic consequences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Granot, R.; Cande, S. C.; Stock, J. M.; Davey, F. J.; Clayton, R. W.

    2010-08-01

    Extension during the middle Cenozoic (43-26 Ma) in the north end of the West Antarctic rift system (WARS) is well constrained by seafloor magnetic anomalies formed at the extinct Adare spreading axis. Kinematic solutions for this time interval suggest a southward decrease in relative motion between East and West Antarctica. Here we present multichannel seismic reflection and seafloor mapping data acquired within and near the Adare Basin on a recent geophysical cruise. We have traced the ANTOSTRAT seismic stratigraphic framework from the northwest Ross Sea into the Adare Basin, verified and tied to DSDP drill sites 273 and 274. Our results reveal three distinct periods of tectonic activity. An early localized deformational event took place close to the cessation of seafloor spreading in the Adare Basin (˜24 Ma). It reactivated a few normal faults and initiated the formation of the Adare Trough. A prominent pulse of rifting in the early Miocene (˜17 Ma) resulted in normal faulting that initiated tilted blocks. The overall trend of structures was NE-SW, linking the event with the activity outside the basin. It resulted in major uplift of the Adare Trough and marks the last extensional phase of the Adare Basin. Recent volcanic vents (Pliocene to present day) tend to align with the early Miocene structures and the on-land Hallett volcanic province. This latest phase of tectonic activity also involves near-vertical normal faulting (still active in places) with negligible horizontal consequences. The early Miocene extensional event found within the Adare Basin does not require a change in the relative motion between East and West Antarctica. However, the lack of subsequent rifting within the Adare Basin coupled with the formation of the Terror Rift and an on-land and subice extension within the WARS require a pronounced change in the kinematics of the rift. These observations indicate that extension increased southward, therefore suggesting that a major change in

  7. New airborne-gravity and satellite gravity views of crustal structure in Antarctica (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferraccioli, F.; Kusznir, N. J.; Scheinert, M.; Jordan, T. A.; Bell, R. E.; Blankenship, D. D.; Young, D. A.; Aitken, A.; Forsberg, R.; Anderson, L.; Jokat, W.; Mieth, M.; Armadillo, E.

    2013-12-01

    Gravity anomalies provide a tool to study crustal structure, effective elastic thickness, and isostatic and tectonic processes. Over the last 10 years major airborne gravity surveys were flown by the international community over several Antarctic frontiers. The longer-wavelength Antarctic gravity anomaly field is increasingly better resolved with satellite-gravity. These recent airborne and satellite gravity datasets provide novel perspectives on Antarctic crustal structure and geodynamic evolution. We review results from some of these surveys over the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains, Dronning Maud Land, the Wilkes Subglacial Basin, the Transantarctic Mountains and the West Antarctic Rift System and present gravity modelling outputs of crustal thickness for these regions. We contrast these gravity results with a seismically-derived estimation of Antarctic crustal thickness (Baranov and Morelli, 2013, Tectonophys). Anomalously thick East Antarctic crust lies beneath the Gamburtsev Mountains and parts of Dronning Maud Land (50-58 km). Crustal thickening may stem from the collision of a mosaic of East Antarctic crustal provinces in Meso to Neoproterozoic times (Ferraccioli et al., 2011, Nature), or during younger Edicaran to early Cambrian 'Pan-African age' orogenic events. The preservation of such thick crust provides significant support for the high bedrock topography in East Antarctica. Additional flexural uplift along the flanks of the Permian to Cretaceous East Antarctic Rift System helps explain the enigmatic Gamburtsev Mountains. Lithospheric flexure along the flank of the West Antarctic Rift System (WARS) may explain the Transantarctic Mountains (TAM), the longest and highest non-compressional mountain range on Earth. Whether the Wilkes Subglacial Basin also developed in response to lithospheric flexure is debated. Our gravity models image thicker crust beneath the Transantarctic Mountains (TAM) (ca 40 km thick), compared to the relatively thinner crust (30

  8. Massive Cellular Automata in Geosimulation: Antarctica Ice Melting as Example

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lan, H.; Torrens, P.; Lin, J.; Han, R.

    2015-12-01

    One of the essential features of the cellular automata (CA) model is its high scalability: CA lattices can be theoretically run at gargantuan size to represent intricacies of complex phenomena. However, one barrier in the use of cellular automata for scientific simulations is the issue of scalability in terms of the number of cells, to either model phenomena at finer granularities or at larger scales. Some researchers have developed parallel CA algorithms using MapReduce to eke out efficiency, but MapReduce may not provide the ideal scheme to address messy parallelism in large CA when they require complex rule-sets and broker a lot of state exchange across large solution-space lattices. In this research, we take advantage of the Bulk Synchronous Parallel (BSP) model of distributed computation, via the Giraph open-source implementation, to implement large-scale cellular automata simulations. Additionally, this study also describes a scientifically interesting example, in which ice dynamics in Antarctic is simulated using a melting model. Short-term and medium-term ice sheet dynamics are driven by a variety of forces. We do not fully understand what they might be and how they interplay, and simulation is an important medium for building the science to guide us in finding answers. In our experiments, using a voxel CA comprising 1 trillion cells—by far the largest scale voxel-based CA model reported in literature—which took only 2.48 minutes for per step for processing.

  9. Ca2+ signaling and intracellular Ca2+ binding proteins.

    PubMed

    Niki, I; Yokokura, H; Sudo, T; Kato, M; Hidaka, H

    1996-10-01

    Changes in cytosolic Ca2+ concentrations evoke a wide range of cellular responses and intracellular Ca(2+)-binding proteins are the key molecules to transduce Ca2+ signaling via enzymatic reactions or modulation of protein/protein interations (Fig.1). The EF hand proteins, like calmodulin and S100 proteins, are considered to exert Ca(2+)-dependent actions in the nucleus or the cytoplasm. The Ca2+/phospholipid binding proteins are classified into two groups, the annexins and the C2 region proteins. These proteins, distributed mainly in the cytoplasm, translocate to the plasma membrane in response to an increase in cytosolic Ca2+ and function in the vicinity of the membrane. Ca2+ storage proteins in the endoplasmic or sarcoplasmic reticulum provide the high Ca2+ capacity of the Ca2+ store sites, which regulate intracellular Ca2+ distribution. The variety and complexity of Ca2+ signaling result from the cooperative actions of specific Ca(2+)-binding proteins. This review describes biochemical properties of intracellular Ca(2+)-binding proteins and their proposed roles in mediating Ca2+ signaling.

  10. Triassic leech cocoon from Antarctica contains fossil bell animal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bomfleur, Benjamin; Kerp, Hans; Taylor, Thomas N.; Moestrup, Øjvind; Taylor, Edith L.

    2012-12-01

    Our understanding of the evolution of life on Earth is limited by the imperfection of the fossil record. One reason for this imperfect record is that organisms without hard parts, such as bones, shells, and wood, have a very low potential to enter the fossil record. Occasionally, however, exceptional fossil deposits that preserve soft-bodied organisms provide a rare glimpse of the true biodiversity during past periods of Earth history. We here present an extraordinary find of a fossil ciliate that is encased inside the wall layer of a more than 200 Ma leech cocoon from Antarctica. The microfossil consists of a helically contractile stalk that attaches to a main body with a peristomial feeding apparatus and a large C-shaped macronucleus. It agrees in every aspect with the living bell animals, such as Vorticella. Vorticellids and similar peritrichs are vital constituents of aquatic ecosystems worldwide, but so far have lacked any fossil record. This discovery offers a glimpse of ancient soft-bodied protozoan biotas, and also highlights the potential of clitellate cocoons as microscopic "conservation traps" comparable to amber.

  11. Microbiota within the perennial ice cover of Lake Vida, Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Mosier, Annika C; Murray, Alison E; Fritsen, Christian H

    2007-02-01

    Lake Vida, located in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, is an 'ice-sealed' lake with approximately 19 m of ice covering a highly saline water column (approximately 245 ppt). The lower portions of the ice cover and the lake beneath have been isolated from the atmosphere and land for circa 2800 years. Analysis of microbial assemblages within the perennial ice cover of the lake revealed a diverse array of bacteria and eukarya. Bacterial and eukaryal denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis phylotype profile similarities were low (<59%) between all of the depths compared (five depths spanning 11 m of the ice cover), with the greatest differences occurring between surface and deep ice. The majority of bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences in the surface ice were related to Actinobacteria (42%) while Gammaproteobacteria (52%) dominated the deep ice community. Comparisons of assemblage composition suggest differences in ice habitability and organismal origin in the upper and lower portions of ice cover. Specifically, the upper ice cover microbiota likely reflect the modern day transport and colonization of biota from the terrestrial landscape, whereas assemblages in the deeper ice are more likely to be persistent remnant biota that originated from the ancient liquid water column of the lake that froze.

  12. Eocene paleosols of King George Island, Maritime Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spinola, Diogo; Portes, Raquel; Schaefer, Carlos; Kühn, Peter

    2016-04-01

    Red layers between lava flows on King George Island, Maritime Antarctica, were formed during the Eocene, which was one of the warmest periods on Earth in the Cenozoic. Our hypothesis is that these red layers are paleosols formed in periods of little or no volcanic activity. Therefore, our main objective was to identify the main pedogenic properties and features to distinguish these from diagenetic features formed after the lava emplacement. Additionally, we compared our results with volcanic soils formed under different climates to find the best present analogue. The macromorphological features indicate a pedogenic origin, because of the occurrence of well-defined horizons based on colour and structure. Micromorphological analyses showed that most important pedogenic features are the presence of biological channels, plant residues, anisotropic b-fabric, neoformed and illuvial clay and distinct soil microstructure. Although the paleosols are not strongly weathered, the geochemical data also support the pedogenic origin despite of diagenetic features as the partial induration of the profiles and zeolites filling nearly all voids in the horizons in contact with the overlying lava flow, indicating circulation of hydrothermal fluids. The macromorphological and micromorphological features of these paleosols are similar to the soils formed under seasonal climates. Thus, these paleosol features do not correspond to the other proxies (e.g. sediment, plant fossils), which indicate a wet, non-seasonal climate, as in Valdivian Forest, Chile, during the Eocene in King George Island

  13. Cold-tolerant alkane-degrading Rhodococcus species from Antarctica

    SciTech Connect

    Bej, A.K.; Saul, D.; Aislabie, J.

    2000-07-01

    Bioremediation is a possible mechanism for clean-up of hydrocarbon-contaminated soils in the Antarctic. Microbes indigenous to the Antarctic are required that degrade the hydrocarbon contaminants found in the soil, and that are able to survive and maintain activity under in situ conditions. Alkane-degrading bacteria previously isolated from oil-contaminated soil from around Scott Base, Antarctica, grew on a number of n-alkanes from hexane (C6) through to eicosane (C20) and the branched alkane pristane. Mineralization of {sup 14}C-dodecane was demonstrated with four strains. Representative isolates were identified as Rhodococcus species using 16S rDNA sequence analysis. Rhodococcus spp. strains 5/14 and 7/1 grew at -2 C but numbers of viable cells declined when incubated t 37 C. Both strains appear to have the major cold-shock gene cspA. Partial nucleotide sequence analyses of the PCR-amplified cspA open reading frame from Rhodococcus spp. strains 5/14 and 7/1 were approximately 60% identical to cspA from Escherichia coli.

  14. Mapping Sediment Contamination and Toxicity in Winter Quarters Bay, Antarctica

    SciTech Connect

    White, Gregory J; Crockett, Alan Bronson

    2003-07-01

    Winter Quarters Bay (WQB) is a small embayment located adjacent to McMurdo Station, the largest researchbase in Antarctica. The bay is approximately 250 m wide andlong, with a maximum depth of 33 m. Historically, trashfrom the McMurdo Station was piled on the steep shoreline ofWQB, doused with fuel and ignited. That practice hasceased, and the adjacent land area has been regraded tocover the residual waste. The bottom of WQB remainslittered with drums, equipment, tanks, tires, cables, andother objects, especially the southeastern side of the baywhere dumping took place. Sediments are contaminated withPCBs, metals, and hydrocarbon fuels. The objectives of this study were to map the distributionof organic contaminants in WQB, assess the toxicity of WQB sediments using a simple microbial test, anddetermine correlations between toxicity and contaminantlevels. The study suggests that adverse ecological effectshave occurred from one or more of the contaminants found inWQB but the source of the toxic impacts to bay sedimentsremains unknown. Whole sediment toxicity was onlycorrelated with oil-equivalent while solvent extracts ofsediments were correlated with PAHs and oil-equivalent. Theauthors recommend that an integrated research plan bedeveloped that focuses on determining what additionalinformation is needed to make informed decisions on possibleremediation of WQB.

  15. Chloro- and bromoacetates in natural archives of firn from Antarctica

    SciTech Connect

    Sydow, L.M. von; Nielsen, A.T.; Grimvall, A.B.; Boren, H.B.

    2000-01-15

    A firn core was drilled in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica, to investigate the presence of haloacetates in snow that had accumulated over the past 200 years. By employing GC-MS detection of methyl esters of haloacetic acids, the authors were able to measure haloacetate concentrations down to one or a few nanograms per liter. Trichloroacetate (TCA) and dibromoacetate (DBA) were found in firn at concentrations that clearly exceeded the blank level of the applied analytical procedure, with mean concentrations estimated to 12 and 6 ng/L, respectively. There were also indications that mono- and dichloroacetate (MCA and DCA) were present in firn, whereas monobromoacetate (MBA) was found only in samples of surficial snow. The authors concluded that there is a significant natural background level of TCA and DBA in precipitation based on the following: (i) several of samples represented snow accumulated in the 19th century; (ii) haloacetates can be expected to be immobile in Antarctic firn; (iii) extensive measures were taken to prevent sample contamination; and (iv) blank levels of the analytical procedure used were low and stable. In addition, their results suggested that MCA and DCA also occur naturally in precipitation.

  16. Present and Future Observations of the Earthshine from Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Briot, Danielle; Arnold, Luc; Jacquemoud, Stéphane

    2013-01-01

    It is likely that images of Earth-like planets will be obtained in the next years. The first images will actually come down to single dots, in which biomarkers can be searched. Taking the Earth as a example of planet providing life, Earthshine observations showed that the spectral signature of photosynthetic pigments and atmospheric biogenic molecules was detectable, suggesting that, in principle, life on other planets could be detected on a global scale, if it is widely spread and distinguishable from known abiotic spectral signatures. As for the Earth, we already showed that the Vegetation Red Edge which is related to chlorophyll absorption features was larger when continents, versus oceans, were facing the Moon. It proved that an elementary mapping of a planet was even possible. In the frame of the LUCAS (LUmière Cendrée en Antarctique par Spectroscopie) project, the Earthshine has been measured in the Concordia Research Station (Dome C, Antarctica) long enough to observe variations corresponding to different parts of the Earth facing the Moon. An extension of this project, called LUCAS II, would allow long-term observations to detect seasonal variations in the vegetation signal. These data, together with precise measurements of the Earth's albedo, will help to validate a model of global and spectral albedo of our planet.

  17. Long-term variability of stratospheric temperature above central Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Makarova, L. N.; Shirochkov, A. V.

    Long-term variations of atmospheric temperature at different isobaric surfaces above central Antarctica were studied. Data of atmospheric balloon soundings at two Antarctic intercontinental stations Vostok and Amundsen-Scott (South Pole) taken for the last 40 years were used in this study. It was found that stratospheric temperature at both stations averaged seasonally or annually does not demonstrate any meaningful correlation with correspondent sunspot number variations. On the other hand, there is a notable correlation between stratospheric temperature at both stations and annually averaged values of the solar wind dynamic pressure. Mutual coupling between stratosphere thermal regimes at two stations demonstrates obvious seasonal dependence: there is a good correlation between them in summer while it disappears in winter and equinoxes. It was found also that stratospheric temperature above South Pole Station varies in the same manner as correspondent parameter above North Pole as reported previously by Labitzke and Naujokat [SPARC Newsletter 15 (2000) 11]. At both geographic poles, stratospheric temperature had obvious tendency to warming in 1972-1995. On the other hand, the correspondent Vostok data demonstrates clear tendency to cooling in this period. Possible explanations of these results are given.

  18. Triassic leech cocoon from Antarctica contains fossil bell animal.

    PubMed

    Bomfleur, Benjamin; Kerp, Hans; Taylor, Thomas N; Moestrup, Øjvind; Taylor, Edith L

    2012-12-18

    Our understanding of the evolution of life on Earth is limited by the imperfection of the fossil record. One reason for this imperfect record is that organisms without hard parts, such as bones, shells, and wood, have a very low potential to enter the fossil record. Occasionally, however, exceptional fossil deposits that preserve soft-bodied organisms provide a rare glimpse of the true biodiversity during past periods of Earth history. We here present an extraordinary find of a fossil ciliate that is encased inside the wall layer of a more than 200 Ma leech cocoon from Antarctica. The microfossil consists of a helically contractile stalk that attaches to a main body with a peristomial feeding apparatus and a large C-shaped macronucleus. It agrees in every aspect with the living bell animals, such as Vorticella. Vorticellids and similar peritrichs are vital constituents of aquatic ecosystems worldwide, but so far have lacked any fossil record. This discovery offers a glimpse of ancient soft-bodied protozoan biotas, and also highlights the potential of clitellate cocoons as microscopic "conservation traps" comparable to amber.

  19. Triassic leech cocoon from Antarctica contains fossil bell animal

    PubMed Central

    Bomfleur, Benjamin; Kerp, Hans; Taylor, Thomas N.; Moestrup, Øjvind; Taylor, Edith L.

    2012-01-01

    Our understanding of the evolution of life on Earth is limited by the imperfection of the fossil record. One reason for this imperfect record is that organisms without hard parts, such as bones, shells, and wood, have a very low potential to enter the fossil record. Occasionally, however, exceptional fossil deposits that preserve soft-bodied organisms provide a rare glimpse of the true biodiversity during past periods of Earth history. We here present an extraordinary find of a fossil ciliate that is encased inside the wall layer of a more than 200 Ma leech cocoon from Antarctica. The microfossil consists of a helically contractile stalk that attaches to a main body with a peristomial feeding apparatus and a large C-shaped macronucleus. It agrees in every aspect with the living bell animals, such as Vorticella. Vorticellids and similar peritrichs are vital constituents of aquatic ecosystems worldwide, but so far have lacked any fossil record. This discovery offers a glimpse of ancient soft-bodied protozoan biotas, and also highlights the potential of clitellate cocoons as microscopic “conservation traps” comparable to amber. PMID:23213234

  20. HRTEM study of zircon from Eliseev anorthosite complex, Antarctica

    SciTech Connect

    Wirth, R.; Kaempf, H.; Hoehndorf, A.

    1996-12-31

    Zircon-bearing rocks of this study are metamorphic oxide-apatite gabbronorites (OAGN) from the Eliseev Anorthosite Complex, Wohlthat-Massif, East Antarctica. These unusual rocks are strongly enriched in accessory minerals apatite: <10 vol.%; zircon: < 1 vol.. Three steps in the evolution of these rocks are distinguished: a magnetic formation, followed by a granulite facies metamorphism and finally a tectonomagmatic overprint. The zircon crystals of this study are brown colored, up to 12 mm in length and up to 3 mm wide. Petrological investigations show that zircon has formed during the granulite facies event. Optical microscopy and cathodoluminiscence microscopy reveal a rhythmic zoning and many microcracks. The concentrations of uranium and thorium are low (U: 34-89 ppm and Th: 3-9 ppm). The radiation damage by radioactive decay of U and Th is expected to be minor due to the low uranium and thorium content. The investigations were carried out in a Philips CM200 transmission electron microscope. Analytical electron microscopy was performed by energy dispersive analysis (EDAX).

  1. Analysis of continuous GPS measurements from southern Victoria Land, Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Willis, Michael J.

    2007-01-01

    Several years of continuous data have been collected at remote bedrock Global Positioning System (GPS) sites in southern Victoria Land, Antarctica. Annual to sub-annual variations are observed in the position time-series. An atmospheric pressure loading (APL) effect is calculated from pressure field anomalies supplied by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) model loading an elastic Earth model. The predicted APL signal has a moderate correlation with the vertical position time-series at McMurdo, Ross Island (International Global Navigation Satellite System Service (IGS) station MCM4), produced using a global solution. In contrast, a local solution in which MCM4 is the fiducial site generates a vertical time series for a remote site in Victoria Land (Cape Roberts, ROB4) which exhibits a low, inverse correlation with the predicted atmospheric pressure loading signal. If, in the future, known and well modeled geophysical loads can be separated from the time-series, then local hydrological loading, of interest for glaciological and climate applications, can potentially be extracted from the GPS time-series.

  2. Trace elements in a dated ice core from Antarctica

    SciTech Connect

    Keshin, S.S.; Xudong Huang; Olmez, I. ); Langway, C.C. Jr. )

    1992-01-01

    Aerosol particles from both natural and anthropogenic sources are emitted into the atmosphere and transported by wind systems by various mechanisms. Once airborne, the particles, which contain various trace elements, accumulate on the earth's surface as either condensation nuclei or by dry fallout processes. In the polar regions, these particles are incorporated and deposited in snow layers in sequential time-unit increments. The trace analysis of elements contained in dated annual snow layers provides a measure of the elemental chemistry content of the atmosphere for the same time interval. A 164-m-deep, 10-cm-diam ice core was obtained at Byrd Station, Antarctica, in November 1989. Other physical and chemistry studies on this ice core have identified its detailed chronology in annual increments for the past 1360 yr. This study presents the results of the instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) measurements made on 26 individually dated samples of this core, selected between the 6.43- and 118.15-m depths.

  3. Measurements of Past Ice Sheet Elevations in Interior West Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Ackert; Barclay; Borns; Calkin; Kurz; Fastook; Steig

    1999-10-08

    A lateral moraine band on Mount Waesche, a volcanic nunatak in Marie Byrd Land, provides estimates of past ice sheet surface elevations in West Antarctica. Helium-3 and chlorine-36 surface exposure ages indicate that the proximal part of the moraine, up to 45 meters above the present ice surface, was deposited about 10,000 years ago, substantially later than the maximum ice extent in the Ross Embayment. The upper distal part of the moraine may record multiple earlier ice sheet high stands. A nonequilibrium ice sheet model predicts a delay of several thousand years in maximum ice levels at Mount Waesche relative to the maximum ice extent in the Ross Sea. The glacial geologic evidence, coupled with the ice sheet model, indicates that the contribution of the Ross Sea sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet to Holocene sea level rise was only about 3 meters. These results eliminate West Antarctic ice as the principle source of the large meltwater pulse during the early Holocene.

  4. Real-Time Data Received from Mount Erebus Volcano, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aster, Richard; McIntosh, William; Kyle, Philip; Esser, Richard; Bartel, Beth Ann; Dunbar, Nelia; Johns, Bjorn; Johnson, Jeffrey B.; Karstens, Richard; Kurnik, Chuck; McGowan, Murray; McNamara, Sara; Meertens, Chuck; Pauley, Bruce; Richmond, Matt; Ruiz, Mario

    2004-03-01

    Internal and eruptive volcano processes involve complex interactions of multi-phase fluids with the solid Earth and the atmosphere, and produce diverse geochemical, visible, thermal, elastic, and anelastic effects. Multidisciplinary experimental agendas are increasingly being employed to meet the challenge of understanding active volcanoes and their hazards [e.g., Ripepe et al., 2002; Wallace et al., 2003]. Mount Erebus is a large (3794 m) stratovolcano that forms the centerpiece of Ross Island, Antarctica, the site of the principal U.S. (McMurdo) and New Zealand (Scott) Antarctic bases. With an elevation of 3794 m and a volume of ~1670 km3, Erebus offers exceptional opportunities for extended study of volcano processes because of its persistent, low-level, strombolian activity (Volcano Explosivity Index 0-1) and exposed summit magma reservoir (manifested as a long-lived phonolitic lava lake). Key scientific questions include linking conduit processes to near-field deformations [e.g., Aster et al., 2003], explosion physics [e.g., Johnson et al., 2003], magmatic differentiation and residence [e.g., Kyle et al., 1992], and effects on Antarctic atmospheric and ice geochemistry [e.g., Zreda-Gostynska et al., 1997]. The close proximity of Erebus (35 km) to McMurdo, and its characteristic dry, windy, cold, and high-elevation Antarctic environment, make the volcano a convenient test bed for the general development of volcano surveillance and other instrumentation under extreme conditions.

  5. Volcano Monitoring with Coda Wave Interferometry at Mount Erebus, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gret, A.; Snieder, R.; Aster, R.

    2003-12-01

    Multiply-scattered waves dominate the late seismic coda. Small changes in the medium that would have no detectable influence on the first arrivals can be highly amplified by multiple scattering and readily observed in the coda. We apply coda wave interferometry to monitor subsurface temporal changes at Mount Erebus Volcano, Ross Island, Antarctica. Erebus is one of the few volcanoes known to have an open conduit system hosting a persistent convecting lava lake. Strombolian eruptions, caused by the explosive decompression of large bubbles of exsolved volatiles disrupt the lake itself, which subsequently refills within a few minutes. Because of the recoverability of this system, these eruptions provide a repeatable seismic source of seismic waves for sampling the strongly scattering volcano. Repeating eruption seismograms have been recorded at fixed station sites over several years, and the coda is seen to be highly reproducible over extended periods of time. We find waveform correlation coefficients as high as 0.98 for short-period seismograms recorded up to several days apart. However, in comparing seismograms separated by approximately a month, we note a small decrease in correlation. Furthermore, we see a much larger decorrelation of the waveforms spanning a time period of one or even two years. Coda energy is thus providing information on systematic source and/or subsurface changes.

  6. Proterozoic to mesozoic mobile-belt geology, Pensacola Mountains, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, D. L.

    The Pensacola Mountains consist of four unconformable sequences of: (1) graywacke (oldest), (2) platform, (3) molasses, and (4) continental (youngest) deposits. The first sequence of Middle Proterozoic graywacke deposits (Patuxent Formation) consists of turbidite quartzbearing sandstone and slate and volcanic rocks. The second sequence consist of extensive platform deposits of Lower Cambrian archaeocyathidbearing limestone and Middle Cambrian trilobitebearing limestone (Nelson Limestone) that are overlain by shale (Wiens Formation), and silicic volcanic rocks (Gambacorta Formation) including rhyolitic ignimbrite of caldera origin. The third sequence, The pre-Devonian Neptune Group consists of of basal orogenic conglomerate and more than 1,500 m of quartz-sandstone molasse that resulted from the erosion of the early Paleozoic mountains of the Ross orogeny. The fourth sequence of continental deposits of the Beacon Supergroup consists of Devonian quartz sanstone (Dover Sandstone), Permian glacial tillite (Gale Mudstone), and Permian siltstone and shale (Pecora Formation) containing glossopterid-bearing coal beds. During Early and Middle Jurassic time, and Transantarctic continental rift extensionally split the East Antarctic craton from West Antarctica as Gondwanaland began to break up. The continental rifting was shortly followed, during Late Jurassic time, by more vigorous extension resulting from major transform faulting.

  7. Sensible and latent heat flux estimates in Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stearns, Charles R.; Weidner, George A.

    1993-01-01

    The assumption has been made that the net annual contribution of water by the processes of deposition and sublimation to the Antarctic Ice Sheet is zero. The U.S. Antarctic Program started installing reliable automatic weather stations on the Antarctic Continent in 1980. The initial units were equipped to measure wind speed, wind direction, air pressure, and air temperature. During the 1983-1984 field season in Antarctica, three units were installed that measured a vertical air temperature difference between the nominal heights of 0.5 m and 3.0 m and relative humidity at a nominal height of 3 m. The measurements of the vertical air temperature difference and the relative humidity are the minimum required to estimate the sensible and latent heat fluxes to the air, while not exceeding the available energy requirements for the weather stations. The estimates of the net annual sublimation and deposition on the Ross Ice Shelf amount to 20 to 80 percent of the annual accumulation. We conclude that the assumption that annual sublimation and deposition are zero is not valid under Antarctic conditions.

  8. GIS representation of coal-bearing areas in Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Merrill, Matthew D.

    2016-03-11

    Understanding the distribution of coal-bearing geologic units in Antarctica provides information that can be used in sedimentary, geomorphological, paleontological, and climatological studies. This report is a digital compilation of information on Antarctica’s coal-bearing geologic units found in the literature. It is intended to be used in small-scale spatial geographic information system (GIS) investigations and as a visual aid in the discussion of Antarctica’s coal resources or in other coal-based geologic investigations. Instead of using spatially insignificant point markers to represent large coal-bearing areas, this dataset uses polygons to represent actual coal-bearing lithologic units. Specific locations of coal deposits confirmed from the literature are provided in the attribution for the coal-bearing unit polygons. Coal-sample-location data were used to confirm some reported coal-bearing geology. The age and extent of the coal deposits indicated in the literature were checked against geologic maps ranging from local scale at 1:50,000 to Antarctic continental scale at 1:5,000,000; if satisfactory, the map boundaries were used to generate the polygons for the coal-bearing localities.

  9. Connected subglacial lake drainage beneath Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Benjamin E.; Gourmelen, Noel; Huth, Alexander; Joughin, Ian

    2017-02-01

    We present conventional and swath altimetry data from CryoSat-2, revealing a system of subglacial lakes that drained between June 2013 and January 2014 under the central part of Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica (TWG). Much of the drainage happened in less than 6 months, with an apparent connection between three lakes spanning more than 130 km. Hydro-potential analysis of the glacier bed shows a large number of small closed basins that should trap water produced by subglacial melt, although the observed large-scale motion of water suggests that water can sometimes locally move against the apparent potential gradient, at least during lake-drainage events. This shows that there are important limitations in the ability of hydro-potential maps to predict subglacial water flow. An interpretation based on a map of the melt rate suggests that lake drainages of this type should take place every 20-80 years, depending on the connectivity of the water flow at the bed. Although we observed an acceleration in the downstream part of TWG immediately before the start of the lake drainage, there is no clear connection between the drainage and any speed change of the glacier.

  10. Secular trends in plume composition of Erebus volcano, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ilanko, Tehnuka; Oppenheimer, Clive; Kyle, Philip; Burgisser, Alain

    2015-04-01

    Long-lived active lava lakes, such as that in the summit crater of Erebus volcano, Antarctica, provide a rare insight into sustained magma convection and degassing over long timescales. Erebus lava lake has been persistently active since 1972, and potentially for several decades or more previously (Ross, 1847). Since the 1970s, regular scientific expeditions, lasting a few weeks in the austral summers, have made observations of the lake activity. Annual Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopic gas measurements began in 2004 (Oppenheimer and Kyle, 2008; Oppenheimer et al., 2009), yielding an extensive, if discontinuous, time series of infrared absorption spectra. These data, once processed, provide insights into temporal evolution of the gas geochemistry in terms of seven molecular species: H2O, CO2, CO, SO2, HCl, HF, and OCS. FTIR spectroscopic data are now available over ten field seasons, totalling roughly 1.8 million spectra and increasing each year. This period spans changes to crater morphology, fluctuations in lava lake surface area (Jones et al., 2014), and two episodes of increased explosive activity (2005-06 and 2013). The dataset captures both long-term degassing trends and short-lived features, such as cyclicity in gas emissions during passive degassing (Ilanko et al., 2015) and compositions released by explosive bubble-burst eruptions. We consider the longer-term changes to gas ratios occurring within (i.e. over days to weeks) and between annual field seasons, their potential causes, and their relationship to observations of eruptive behaviour and crater morphology.

  11. Indicator Species Population Monitoring in Antarctica with Uav

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zmarz, A.; Korczak-Abshire, M.; Storvold, R.; Rodzewicz, M.; Kędzierska, I.

    2015-08-01

    A program to monitor bird and pinniped species in the vicinity of Arctowski Station, King George Island, South Shetlands, Antarctica, has been conducted over the past 38 years. Annual monitoring of these indicator species includes estimations of breeding population sizes of three Pygoscelis penguin species: Adélie, gentoo and chinstrap. Six penguin colonies situated on the western shores of two bays: Admiralty and King George are investigated. To study changes in penguin populations Unmanned Aerial Vehicles were used for the first time in the 2014/15 austral summer season. During photogrammetric flights the high-resolution images of eight penguin breeding colonies were taken. Obtained high resolution images were used for estimation of breeding population size and compared with the results of measurements taken at the same time from the ground. During this Antarctic expedition eight successful photogrammetry missions (total distance 1500 km) were performed. Images were taken with digital SLR Canon 700D, Nikon D5300, Nikon D5100 with a 35mm objective lens. Flights altitude at 350 - 400 AGL, allowed images to be taken with a resolution GSD (ground sample distance) less than 5 cm. The Image J software analysis method was tested to provide automatic population estimates from obtained images. The use of UAV for monitoring of indicator species, enabled data acquisition from areas inaccessible by ground methods.

  12. Ambient noise correlation on the Amery Ice Shelf, East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhan, Zhongwen; Tsai, Victor C.; Jackson, Jennifer M.; Helmberger, Don

    2014-03-01

    The structure of ice shelves is important for modelling the dynamics of ice flux from the continents to the oceans. While other, more traditional techniques provide many constraints, passive imaging with seismic noise is a complementary tool for studying and monitoring ice shelves. As a proof of concept, here we study noise cross-correlations and autocorrelations on the Amery Ice Shelf, East Antarctica. We find that the noise field on the ice shelf is dominated by energy trapped in a low-velocity waveguide caused by the water layer below the ice. Within this interpretation, we explain spectral ratios of the noise cross-correlations as P-wave resonances in the water layer, and obtain an independent estimate of the water-column thickness, consistent with other measurements. For stations with noise dominated by elastic waves, noise autocorrelations also provide similar results. High-frequency noise correlations also require a 50-m firn layer near the surface with P-wave velocity as low as 1 km s-1. Our study may also provide insight for future planetary missions that involve seismic exploration of icy satellites such as Titan and Europa.

  13. Ambient Noise Correlation on the Amery Ice Shelf, East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsai, V. C.; Zhan, Z.; Jackson, J. M.; Helmberger, D. V.

    2013-12-01

    The structure of ice shelves is important for modeling the dynamics of ice flux from the continents to the oceans. While other, more traditional techniques provide important constraints, passive imaging with seismic noise is a complimentary tool for studying and monitoring ice shelves. As a proof of concept, here we study noise cross-correlations and auto-correlations on the Amery Ice Shelf, East Antarctica. We find that the noise field on the ice shelf is dominated by energy trapped in a low-velocity waveguide caused by the water layer below the ice. Within this interpretation, we explain spectral ratios of the noise cross-correlations as P-wave resonances in the water layer, and obtain an independent estimate of the water-column thickness, consistent with other measurements. For stations with low levels of incoherent noise, noise auto-correlations also provide similar results. High-frequency noise correlations also require a 50-m firn layer near the surface with P-wave velocities as low as 1 km/s. Our results also have implications for the experimental designs of future seismological missions to icy satellites such as Titan and Europa.

  14. Hexabromocyclododecane flame retardant in Antarctica: Research stations as sources.

    PubMed

    Chen, Da; Hale, Robert C; La Guardia, Mark J; Luellen, Drew; Kim, Stacy; Geisz, Heidi N

    2015-11-01

    Historical persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are banned from Antarctica under international treaty; but contemporary-use POPs can enter as additives within polymer and textile products. Over their useful lives these products may release additives in-situ. Indeed, we observed 226 and 109 ng/g dry weight (dw) of the total concentrations of α-, β- and γ-hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) in indoor dust from McMurdo Station (U.S.) and Scott Station (New Zealand), respectively. Sewage sludge collected from wastewater treatment facilities at these stations exhibited ∑HBCD of 45 and 69 ng/g dw, respectively. Contaminants originally within the bases may exit to the local outdoor environment via wastewaters. Near McMurdo, maximum ∑HBCD levels in surficial marine sediments and aquatic biota (invertebrates and fish) were 2350 ng/g (total organic carbon basis) and 554 ng/g lipid weight, respectively. Levels declined with distance from McMurdo. Our results illustrate that Antarctic research stations serve as local HBCD sources to the pristine Antarctic environment.

  15. The New Very Broadband Seismic Station TROLL, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kvaerna, Tormod; Schweitzer, Johannes; Pirli, Myrto; Roth, Michael

    2013-04-01

    Troll is the name of the Norwegian permanent research station in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. The research base is located inside the continent, at an elevation of about 1300 m and at a distance of about 230 km from the shelf ice border. In the first week of February 2012, a new very broadband seismic station was installed at TROLL. Contrary to many other seismic stations inside the Antarctic continent, the new seismic sensor could be installed on bedrock (migmatite), on a hill at about 300 m distance from the main buildings of the Troll research base. A bedrock installation has the advantage that seismic signals are not disturbed by multiples due to the thick Antarctic ice sheet. The equipment consists of a Streckeisen STS-2.5 broadband sensor and a Quanterra Q330HR 26 bit digitizer. All data are transferred in real time via a satellite link to NORSAR for analysis and further distribution. During the first year, the new seismic station and corresponding data transmission has been running very stably. Initial analysis of the station's event detection capability shows that the performance is comparable to, and sometimes better than, the best performing three-component stations of the International Monitoring System (IMS). We will present examples of diurnal and seasonal variations in the background noise level of the station, the observed global, regional and local seismicity, and the very exciting monitoring capabilities of icebergs drifting along the coast of Dronning Maud Land.

  16. DEM, tide and velocity over sulzberger ice shelf, West Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baek, S.; Shum, C.K.; Lee, H.; Yi, Y.; Kwoun, Oh-Ig; Lu, Zhiming; Braun, Andreas

    2005-01-01

    Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets preserve more than 77% of the global fresh water and could raise global sea level by several meters if completely melted. Ocean tides near and under ice shelves shifts the grounding line position significantly and are one of current limitations to study glacier dynamics and mass balance. The Sulzberger ice shelf is an area of ice mass flux change in West Antarctica and has not yet been well studied. In this study, we use repeat-pass synthetic aperture radar (SAR) interferometry data from the ERS-1 and ERS-2 tandem missions for generation of a high-resolution (60-m) Digital Elevation Model (DEM) including tidal deformation detection and ice stream velocity of the Sulzberger Ice Shelf. Other satellite data such as laser altimeter measurements with fine foot-prints (70-m) from NASA's ICESat are used for validation and analyses. The resulting DEM has an accuracy of-0.57??5.88 m and is demonstrated to be useful for grounding line detection and ice mass balance studies. The deformation observed by InSAR is found to be primarily due to ocean tides and atmospheric pressure. The 2-D ice stream velocities computed agree qualitatively with previous methods on part of the Ice Shelf from passive microwave remote-sensing data (i.e., LANDSAT). ?? 2005 IEEE.

  17. LiDAR in extreme environment: surveying in Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abate, D.; Pierattini, S.; Bianchi Fasani, G.

    2013-10-01

    This study was performed under the patronage of the Italian National Research Programme in Antarctica (PNRA) with the aim to realize a high resolution Digital Elevation Model (DEM) of the moraine named "Boulder Clay" which insists approximately 7 km far from the Italian Research Base "Mario Zucchelli Station" in the Terra Nova Bay area. The DEM will be included in the project for the construction of two runways to be used as support facilities for the scientific research campaigns which take place on regular basis each year. Although the research efforts to realize a detailed cartography of the area is on-going, for the specific aim and urgency of this project it was decided to perform a laser scanning survey in this extreme environment in order to obtain contour lines describing the terrain elevation each 50 cm and volume analysis. The final result will be super imposed on a photogrammetric DEM with contour lines each 2.5 m and satellite images. This paper focus both on the final scientific data and on all the challenges have to be faced in such extreme and particular environment during the laser scanning survey.

  18. The Gattini cameras for optical sky brightness measurements in Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, A.; Arisitidi, E.; Ashley, M. C. B.; Busso, M.; Candidi, M.; Lawrence, J.; Storey, J.; Le Roux, B.; Ragazzoni, R.; Salinari, P.; Tosti, G.; Travouillon, T.; Kenyon, S.; Luon-van, D.

    2006-08-01

    The Gattini cameras are two site testing instruments for the measurement of optical sky brightness, large area cloud cover and auroral detection of the night sky above the high altitude Dome C site in Antarctica. The cameras have been in operation since January 2006. The cameras are transit in nature and are virtually identical, both adopting Apogee Alta ccd detectors. The camera called Gattini-SBC images a 6 degree field centred on the South Pole, an elevation of 75^o at the Dome C site. The camera takes repeated images of the same 6 degree field in the Sloan g' band (centred on 477nm) and, by adopting a lens with sufficiently long focal length, one can integrate the sky background photons and directly compare to the equivalent values of the stars within the field. The second camera, called Gattini-allsky, incorporates a fish-eye lens and images ~110 degree field centred on local zenith. By taking frequent images of the night sky we will obtain long term cloud cover statistics, measure the sky background intensity as a function of solar and lunar altitude and phase and directly measure the spatial extent of bright aurora if present and when they occur. An overview of the project is presented together with preliminary results from data taken since operation of the cameras in January 2006.

  19. Surface ozone characterization at Larsemann Hills and Maitri, Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Ali, Kaushar; Trivedi, D K; Sahu, S K

    2017-04-15

    Data are analyzed in terms of daily average ozone, its diurnal variation and its relation with meteorological parameters like dry bulb temperature (T), wet bulb temperature (Tw), atmospheric pressure and wind speed based on measurement of these parameters at two Indian Antarctic stations (Larsemann Hills, and Maitri) during 28th Indian Scientific Expedition of Antarctica (ISEA) organized during Antarctic summer of the year 2008-09. The work has been carried out to investigate summer time ozone level and its day-to-day and diurnal variability at these coastal locations and to highlight possible mechanism of ozone production and destruction. The result of the analysis indicates that daily average ozone concentration at Larsemann Hills varied from ~13 and ~20ppb with overall average value of ~16ppb and at Maitri, it varied from ~16 and ~21ppb with overall average value of ~18ppb. Photochemistry is found to partially contribute occasionally to the surface layer ozone at both the stations. Lower concentration of ozone at Maitri during beginning of the observational days may be due to destruction of ozone through activated halogens, whereas higher ozone on latter days may be due to photochemistry and advective transport from east to south-east areas. Ozone concentration during blizzard episodes at both the stations is reduced due to slow photochemical production of ozone, its photochemical removal and removal through deposition of ozone molecules on precipitation particles. Diurnal variation of ozone at Larsemann Hills and Maitri has been found to be absent.

  20. Climatological observations and predicted sublimation rates at Lake Hoare, Antarctica.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clow, G.D.; McKay, C.P.; Simmons, G.M.; Wharton, R.A.

    1988-01-01

    In December 1985, an automated meteorological station was established at Lake Hoare in the dry valley region of Antarctica. Here, we report on the first year-round observations available for any site in Taylor Valley. This dataset augments the year-round data obtained at Lake Vanda (Wright Valley) by winter-over crews during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The mean annual solar flux at Lake Hoare was 92 W m-2 during 1986, the mean air temperature -17.3 degrees C, and the mean 3-m wind speed 3.3 m s-1. The local climate is controlled by the wind regime during the 4-month sunless winter and by seasonal and diurnal variations in the incident solar flux during the remainder of the year. Temperature increases of 20 degrees-30 degrees C are frequently observed during the winter due to strong fo??hn winds descending from the Polar Plateau. A model incorporating nonsteady molecular diffusion into Kolmogorov-scale eddies in the interfacial layer and similarity-theory flux-profiles in the surface sublayer, is used to determine the rate of ice sublimation from the acquired meteorological data. Despite the frequent occurrence of strong winter fo??hns, the bulk of the annual ablation occurs during the summer due to elevated temperatures and persistent moderate winds. The annual ablation from Lake Hoare is estimated to have been 35.0 +/- 6.3 cm for 1986.

  1. Sleep and Mood During A Winter in Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Palinkas, Lawrence A.; Houseal, Matt; Miller, Christopher

    2000-01-01

    Seasonal variations in sleep characteristics and their association with changes in mood were examined in 91 American men and women also who spent the 1991 austral winter at three different research stations in Antarctica. Measures of total hours of sleep over a 24-hr period, duration of longest (i.e.,"nighttime") sleep event, number of sleep events, time of sleep onset, and quality of sleep remained unchanged over the course of the austral winter (March through October). However, exposure to total darkness based on station latitude was significantly associated with total hours of sleep, duration of are longest sleep event, time of sleep onset, and quality of sleep. Reported vigor the previous month was a significant independent predictor of changes in all five sleep measures; previous month's measures of all six POMS subscales were significant independent predictors of sleep quality. Sleep characteristics were significant independent predictors of vigor and confusion the following month; total sleep, longest sleep event, sleep onset and sleep quality were significant independent predictors of tension-anxiety and depression. Changes in mood during the austral winter are preceded by changes in sleep characteristics, but prolonged exposure to the photoperiodicity characteristic of the high latitudes appears to be associated with improved sleep. In turn, mood changes appear to affect certain sleep characteristics, especially sleep quality.

  2. Diversity of soil yeasts isolated from South Victoria Land, Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Connell, L.; Redman, R.; Craig, S.; Scorzetti, G.; Iszard, M.; Rodriguez, R.

    2008-01-01

    Unicellular fungi, commonly referred to as yeasts, were found to be components of the culturable soil fungal population in Taylor Valley, Mt. Discovery, Wright Valley, and two mountain peaks of South Victoria Land, Antarctica. Samples were taken from sites spanning a diversity of soil habitats that were not directly associated with vertebrate activity. A large proportion of yeasts isolated in this study were basidiomycetous species (89%), of which 43% may represent undescribed species, demonstrating that culturable yeasts remain incompletely described in these polar desert soils. Cryptococcus species represented the most often isolated genus (33%) followed by Leucosporidium (22%). Principle component analysis and multiple linear regression using stepwise selection was used to model the relation between abiotic variables (principle component 1 and principle component 2 scores) and yeast biodiversity (the number of species present at a given site). These analyses identified soil pH and electrical conductivity as significant predictors of yeast biodiversity. Species-specific PCR primers were designed to rapidly discriminate among the Dioszegia and Leucosporidium species collected in this study. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  3. Photosynthesis in extreme environments: responses to different light regimes in the Antarctic alga Koliella antarctica.

    PubMed

    La Rocca, Nicoletta; Sciuto, Katia; Meneghesso, Andrea; Moro, Isabella; Rascio, Nicoletta; Morosinotto, Tomas

    2015-04-01

    Antarctic algae play a fundamental role in polar ecosystem thanks to their ability to grow in an extreme environment characterized by low temperatures and variable illumination. Here, for prolonged periods, irradiation is extremely low and algae must be able to harvest light as efficiently as possible. On the other side, at low temperatures even dim irradiances can saturate photosynthesis and drive to the formation of reactive oxygen species. Colonization of this extreme environment necessarily required the optimization of photosynthesis regulation mechanisms by algal organisms. In order to investigate these adaptations we analyzed the time course of physiological and morphological responses to different irradiances in Koliella antarctica, a green microalga isolated from Ross Sea (Antarctica). Koliella antarctica not only modulates cell morphology and composition of its photosynthetic apparatus on a long-term acclimation, but also shows the ability of a very fast response to light fluctuations. Koliella antarctica controls the activity of two xanthophyll cycles. The first, involving lutein epoxide and lutein, may be important for the growth under very low irradiances. The second, involving conversion of violaxanthin to antheraxanthin and zeaxanthin, is relevant to induce a fast and particularly strong non-photochemical quenching, when the alga is exposed to higher light intensities. Globally K. antarctica thus shows the ability to activate a palette of responses of the photosynthetic apparatus optimized for survival in its natural extreme environment.

  4. Influence of Persistent Wind Scour on the Surface Mass Balance of Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Das, Indrani; Bell, Robin E.; Scambos, Ted A.; Wolovick, Michael; Creyts, Timothy T.; Studinger, Michael; Fearson, Nicholas; Nicolas, Julien P.; Lenaerts, Jan T. M.; vandenBroeke, Michiel R.

    2013-01-01

    Accurate quantification of surface snow accumulation over Antarctica is a key constraint for estimates of the Antarctic mass balance, as well as climatic interpretations of ice-core records. Over Antarctica, near-surface winds accelerate down relatively steep surface slopes, eroding and sublimating the snow. This wind scour results in numerous localized regions (< or = 200 sq km) with reduced surface accumulation. Estimates of Antarctic surface mass balance rely on sparse point measurements or coarse atmospheric models that do not capture these local processes, and overestimate the net mass input in wind-scour zones. Here we combine airborne radar observations of unconformable stratigraphic layers with lidar-derived surface roughness measurements to identify extensive wind-scour zones over Dome A, in the interior of East Antarctica. The scour zones are persistent because they are controlled by bedrock topography. On the basis of our Dome A observations, we develop an empirical model to predict wind-scour zones across the Antarctic continent and find that these zones are predominantly located in East Antarctica. We estimate that approx. 2.7-6.6% of the surface area of Antarctica has persistent negative net accumulation due to wind scour, which suggests that, across the continent, the snow mass input is overestimated by 11-36.5 Gt /yr in present surface-mass-balance calculations.

  5. U.S. and Russia sign agreements to cooperate in Antarctica and Beringia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    2012-09-01

    U.S. secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton and Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Cooperation in Antarctica and issued a Joint Statement on Pursuing a Transboundary Area of Shared Beringian Heritage, which is related to a segment of the Bering Strait, at an 8 September ceremony in Vladivostok, Russia. The Antarctica MOU strengthens cooperation and improves coordination of bilateral policies, science, logistics, search and rescue, training, and public outreach in Antarctica. “We are formally deepening our scientific cooperation in Antarctica, a continent with vast opportunities for research,” Clinton said. “Scientists from both our countries will work together to explore Antarctica's terrain, study the effects of climate change, and cooperate on a range of issues to better understand and protect our shared environment.” She added that U.S. and Russian officials and scientists will work together to enforce the 1959 Antarctic Treaty, including inspecting foreign facilities and looking for violations of the treaty and environmental commitments.

  6. Origins of native vascular plants of Antarctica: comments from a historical phytogeography viewpoint.

    PubMed

    Mosyakin, S L; Bezusko, L G; Mosyakin, A S

    2007-01-01

    The article provides an overview of the problem of origin of the only native vascular plants of Antarctica, Deschampsia antartica (Poaceae) and Colobanthus quitensis (Caryophyllaceae), from the viewpoint of modern historical phytogeography and related fields of science. Some authors suggested the Tertiary relict status of these plants in Antarctica, while others favour their recent Holocene immigration. Direct data (fossil or molecular genetic ones) for solving this controversy is still lacking. However, there is no convincing evidence supporting the Tertiary relict status of these plants in Antarctica. Most probably D. antarctica and C. quitensis migrated to Antarctica in the Holocene or Late Pleistocene (last interglacial?) through bird-aided long-distance dispersal. It should be critically tested by (1) appropriate methods of molecular phylogeography, (2) molecular clock methods, if feasible, (3) direct paleobotanical studies, (4) paleoclimatic reconstructions, and (5) comparison with cases of taxa with similar distribution/dispersal patterns. The problem of the origin of Antarctic vascular plants is a perfect model for integration of modern methods of molecular phylogeography and phylogenetics, population biology, paleobiology and paleogeography for solving a long-standing enigma of historical plant geography and evolution.

  7. Ornithine ingestion improved sleep disturbances but was not associated with correction of blood tryptophan ratio in Japanese Antarctica expedition members during summer.

    PubMed

    Horiuchi, Masahisa; Kanesada, Hirohiko; Miyata, Takahiro; Watanabe, Kentaro; Nishimura, Akihito; Kokubo, Takashi; Kirisako, Takayoshi

    2013-07-01

    Members of expeditions to Antarctica may show changes in biological and physiological parameters involved in lipid, glucose, and thyroid hormone metabolism as they adapt to the environment; however, alterations in amino acid (AA) levels and sleep among expedition members in Antarctica have yet to be fully elucidated. We hypothesized that there would be alterations of blood AA levels, and ornithine (Orn) ingestion would affect biological parameters and sleep in Japanese expedition members during the summer in Antarctica. Japanese Antarctica Research Expedition members (22 people) who stayed in Antarctica for 3 months from December 2010 were examined, and a randomized double-blind study of Orn ingestion (400 mg/d) for 4 weeks was performed. Sleep conditions were evaluated subjectively by the Oguri-Shirakawa-Azumi (brief version) questionnaire. The blood of Japanese Antarctica Research Expedition members in Antarctica showed higher creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase, and ammonia levels than that in Japan. On blood AA analysis, aspartate, Orn, and serine were significantly higher, and alanine and tryptophan (Trp) were significantly lower in Antarctica than in Japan. The Trp ratio, the value of Trp divided by the sum of phenylalanine, tyrosine, and branched-chain AAs, was significantly lower in Antarctica than in Japan. Although sleep deteriorated during the stay in Antarctica, Orn ingestion, to some extent, improved sleep compared with the placebo group in Antarctica, suggesting that Orn is effective for people with heavy physical workloads in places such as Antarctica.

  8. Chemical weathering and diagenesis of a cold desert soil from Wright Valley, Antarctica - An analog of Martian weathering processes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gibson, E. K.; Mckay, D. S.; Wentworth, S. J.

    1983-01-01

    Weathering, diagenesis, and chemical alteration of a soil profile from the Dry Valleys of Antarctica are investigated as an analog to soil development within the Martian regolith. Soil samples from a soil pit one meter deep on Prospect Mesa, Wright Valley, are examined for their major element concentrations, water-soluble cations and anions, carbon, sulfur, and water concentrations, and related petrographic characteristics of weathering in a cold, dry environment. A petrographic study of the samples suggests that most silicate mineral and lithic fragments exhibit some degree of alteration. Chemical alteration occurs both in samples above and within the permanently frozen zone. The concentrations of water-soluble cations, for example, Na(+), K(+), Ca(2+), and anions, Cl(-), SO4(2-), NO3(-), are found to decrease significantly from the surface to the permanently frozen zone, suggesting a major movement of water-soluble species. It is also found that enrichments in secondary mineral abundances correlate with the water soluble ion concentrations. The formation of zeolites is seen throughout the soil column; these, it is thought, may be reservoirs for volatile storage within the regolith.

  9. Reflectance spectroscopy and geochemical analyses of Lake Hoare sediments, Antarctica: implications for remote sensing of the Earth and Mars.

    PubMed

    Bishop, J L; Koeberl, C; Kralik, C; Fröschl, H; Englert, P A; Andersen, D W; Pieters, C M; Wharton, R A

    1996-03-01

    Visible to infrared reflectance spectroscopic analyses (0.3-25 micromoles) have been performed on sediments from the Dry Valleys region of Antarctica. Sample characterization for these sediments includes extensive geochemical analyses and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The reflectance spectra and XRD indicate major amounts of quartz, feldspar, and pyroxene in these samples and lesser amounts of carbonate, mica, chlorite, amphibole, illite, smectite, and organic matter. Calcite is the primary form of carbonate present in these Lake Hoare sediments based on the elemental abundances and spectroscopic features. The particle size distribution of the major and secondary components influences their detection in mixtures and this sensitivity to particle size is manifested differently in the "volume scattering" and "surface scattering" infrared regions. The Christiansen feature lies between these two spectral regimes and is influenced by the spectral properties of both regions. For these mixtures the Christiansen feature was found to be dependent on physical parameters, such as particle size and sample texture, as well as the mineralogy. Semiquantitative spectroscopic detection of calcite and organic material has been tested in these quartz- and feldspar-rich sediments. The relative spectral band depths due to organics and calcite correlate in general with the wt% C from organic matter and carbonate. The amounts of organic matter and carbonate present correlate with high Br and U abundances and high Ca and Sr abundances, respectively. Variation in the elemental abundances was overall minimal, which is consistent with a common sedimentary origin for the forty-two samples studied here from Lake Hoare.

  10. Temporal patterns in the distribution, biomass and community structure of macrozooplankton and micronekton within Port Foster, Deception Island, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaufmann, Ronald S.; Fisher, Erin C.; Gill, Walthus H.; King, Andrew L.; Laubacher, Matthew; Sullivan, Brian

    2003-06-01

    The pelagic community within the flooded caldera of Deception Island, Antarctica, was sampled with a 10-m 2 opening-closing MOCNESS trawl on five cruises between March 1999 and November 2000. Collections were made in 50 m strata from the surface to 150 m depth in an area with a bottom depth of 155-160 m. From March 1999 through February 2000 the pelagic community was dominated by krill, primarily Euphausia crystallorophias and E. superba, which made up >94% of total pelagic biomass on a dry-weight basis. Community composition shifted during early 2000, and samples from May and November 2000 contained a more diverse assemblage and large numbers of cydippid ctenophores, comprising ca. 30-35% of pelagic biomass on a dry weight basis. E. crystallorophias, which made up nearly 85% of the pelagic biomass in November 1999, declined to 5.8% during November 2000. The change in composition was accompanied by displacement of the biomass mode to greater depths, due to the deeper occurrence and lack of diel vertical migration in ctenophores, compared to krill. Integrated water-column biomass increased substantially from 1999 to 2000, primarily because of elevated abundances of gelatinous zooplankton and the presence of significantly larger krill during 2000.

  11. Cloning and in-silico analysis of beta-1,3-xylanase from psychrophilic yeast, Glaciozyma antarctica PI12

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nor, Nooraisyah Mohamad; Bakar, Farah Diba Abu; Mahadi, Nor Muhammad; Murad, Abdul Munir Abdul

    2015-09-01

    A beta-1,3-xylanase (EC 3.2.1.32) gene from psychrophilic yeast, Glaciozyma antarctica has been identified via genome data mining. The enzyme was grouped into GH26 family based on Carbohydrate Active Enzyme (CaZY) database. The molecular weight of this protein was predicted to be 42 kDa and is expected to be soluble for expression. The presence of signal peptide suggested that this enzyme may be released extracellularly into the marine environment of the host's habitat. This supports the theory that such enzymatic activity is required for degradation of nutrients of polysaccharide origins into simpler carbohydrates outside the environment before it could be taken up inside the cell. The sequence for this protein showed very little conservation (< 30%) with other beta-1,3-xylanases from available databases. Based on the phylogenetic analysis, this protein also showed distant relationship to other xylanases from eukaryotic origin. The protein may have undergone major substitution in its gene sequence order to adapt to the cold climate. This is the first report of beta-1,3-xylanase gene isolated from a psychrophilic yeast.

  12. Mezozooplankton Beneath the Summer Sea Ice in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica: Abundance, Species Composition, and DMSP content

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Ross Sea Phaeocystis antarctica bloom contributes to a summer increase in under-ice planton biomass in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. Due to difficulties of under-ice sampling, information on the mesozooplankton in McMurdo Sound is limited. We measured the abundance of mesooopl...

  13. Ice recrystallization inhibition proteins (IRIPs) and freeze tolerance in the cryophilic Antarctic hair grass Deschampsia antarctica E. Desv.

    PubMed

    John, Ulrik P; Polotnianka, Renatam M; Sivakumaran, Kailayapillai A; Chew, Orinda; Mackin, Leanne; Kuiper, Micheal J; Talbot, Jonathan P; Nugent, Gregory D; Mautord, Julie; Schrauf, Gustavo E; Spangenberg, German C

    2009-04-01

    Antarctic hair grass (Deschampsia antarctica E. Desv.), the only grass indigenous to Antarctica, has well-developed freezing tolerance, strongly induced by cold acclimation. Here, we show that in response to low temperatures, D. antarctica expresses potent recrystallization inhibition (RI) activity that, inhibits the growth of small ice crystals into potentially damaging large ones, is proteinaceous and localized to the apoplasm. A gene family from D. antarctica encoding putative homologs of an ice recrystallization inhibition protein (IRIP) has been isolated and characterized. IRIPs are apoplastically targeted proteins with two potential ice-binding motifs: 1-9 leucine-rich repeats (LRRs) and c. 16 'IRIP' repeats. IRIP genes appear to be confined to the grass subfamily Pooideae and their products, exhibit sequence similarity to phytosulphokine receptors and are predicted to adopt conformations with two ice-binding surfaces. D. antarctica IRIP (DaIRIP) transcript levels are greatly enhanced in leaf tissue following cold acclimation. Transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana expressing a DaIRIP has novel RI activity, and purified DaIRIP, when added back to extracts of leaves from non-acclimated D. antarctica, can reconstitute the activity found in acclimated plants. We propose that IRIP-mediated RI activity may contribute to the cryotolerance of D. antarctica, and thus to its unique ability to have colonized Antarctica.

  14. Analysis of mercury and other heavy metals accumulated in lichen Usnea antarctica from James Ross Island, Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Zvěřina, Ondřej; Láska, Kamil; Cervenka, Rostislav; Kuta, Jan; Coufalík, Pavel; Komárek, Josef

    2014-12-01

    The study was designed to investigate the content and distribution of selected heavy metals (As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Hg, Mn, Ni, Fe, Pb and Zn) in samples of fruticose macrolichen Usnea antarctica from James Ross Island. A special emphasis was devoted to mercury and its species (elemental mercury and methylmercury). It was found that mercury contents were relatively high (up to 2.73 mg kg(-1) dry weight) compared to other parts of the Antarctic Peninsula region, while the concentrations of most other elements were within reported ranges. Mercury contents in lichens originating from the interior were higher than those from the coast, which is probably the result of local microclimate conditions. Similar trends were observed for Hg(0) and MeHg(+), whose contents were up to 0.14 and 0.098 mg kg(-1) dry weight, respectively. While mercury did not show a significant correlation with any other element, the mutual correlation of some litophile elements probably refers to the influence on thalli of resuspended weathered material. The influence of habitat and environmental conditions could play an essential role in the bioaccumulation of contaminants rather than just the simple presence of sources. Thus, the study of the thalli of this species can bring a new perspective on the interpretation of contaminant accumulation in lichens of the polar region.

  15. Glimpses of East Antarctica: Aeromagnetic and satellite magnetic view from the central Transantarctic Mountains of East Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Finn, Carol A.; Goodge, John W.

    2010-01-01

    Aeromagnetic and satellite magnetic data provide glimpses of the crustal architecture within the Ross Sea sector of the enigmatic, ice-covered East Antarctic shield critical for understanding both global tectonic and climate history. In the central Transantarctic Mountains (CTAM), exposures of Precambrian basement, coupled with new high-resolution magnetic data, other recent aeromagnetic transects, and satellite magnetic and seismic tomography data, show that the shield in this region comprises an Archean craton modified both by Proterozoic magmatism and early Paleozoic orogenic basement reactivation. CTAM basement structures linked to the Ross Orogeny are imaged 50–100 km farther west than previously mapped, bounded by inboard upper crustal Proterozoic granites of the Nimrod igneous province. Magnetic contrasts between craton and rift margin sediments define the Neoproterozoic rift margin, likely reactivated during Ross orogenesis and Jurassic extension. Interpretation of satellite magnetic and aeromagnetic patterns suggests that the Neoproterozoic rift margin of East Antarctica is offset by transfer zones to form a stepwise series of salients tracing from the CTAM northward through the western margin of the Wilkes Subglacial Basin to the coast at Terre Adélie. Thinned Precambrian crust inferred to lie east of the rift margin cannot be imaged magnetically because of modification by Neoproterozoic and younger tectonic events.

  16. Characteristics of correlation between climate and environmental elements from past 720,000 years in Dome Fuji ice core, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Motoyama, H.; Project members, D.

    2011-12-01

    Two deep ice cores (DF1: 2503m and DF2: 3035m) at Dome Fuji, Antarctica have the in-depth information of global environmental change from present to the past 720,000 years. We made the data set of major ion concentration, dust concentration and stable isotope ratio which were analyzed 10cm sample every 50cm from 2400m to 3035m using the DF2 core. The age of this depth was covered from 300,000 to 720,000 years before. Using theDF1 core, major chemical species were carried out using 7-10cm ice samples cut out of the 50 cm-long spaced from 0.5 to 2.5m. All data was averaged by every 5 m. The Correlations between climate and environmental elements were calculated. The indexes of climate and environment are the following elements; MSA-, Cl-, NO3-, SO42-, H+ (calculated from pH.), Na+, NH4+, K+, Mg2+, Ca2+, ss-Na+, nss-Cl-, nss-SO42-, nss-K+, nss-Mg2+, nss-Ca2+, dD, d18O, d-excess, dust, pH and electrical conductivity. There is a feature in correlation respectively by the climatic stage. dD or d18O which becomes the index of the temperature and the environmental elements (for example, Na and Mg) indicate the strong negative correlation, but its degree is different depending on the climatic stages. In particular, environmental changes around Mid-Brunhes event and during AIM event were examined. Ice core drilling reached just near the bedrock in ice sheet. Liquid water which existed around the basal ice was soaked into the borehole. Its water was frozen and was picked up with drill machine. Characteristics of ion concentrations near the bedrock (i.e, from 3000m to 3035m) were reported.

  17. Accelerated thermokarst formation in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

    PubMed Central

    Levy, Joseph S.; Fountain, Andrew G.; Dickson, James L.; Head, James W.; Okal, Marianne; Marchant, David R.; Watters, Jaclyn

    2013-01-01

    Thermokarst is a land surface lowered and disrupted by melting ground ice. Thermokarst is a major driver of landscape change in the Arctic, but has been considered to be a minor process in Antarctica. Here, we use ground-based and airborne LiDAR coupled with timelapse imaging and meteorological data to show that 1) thermokarst formation has accelerated in Garwood Valley, Antarctica; 2) the rate of thermokarst erosion is presently ~ 10 times the average Holocene rate; and 3) the increased rate of thermokarst formation is driven most strongly by increasing insolation and sediment/albedo feedbacks. This suggests that sediment enhancement of insolation-driven melting may act similarly to expected increases in Antarctic air temperature (presently occurring along the Antarctic Peninsula), and may serve as a leading indicator of imminent landscape change in Antarctica that will generate thermokarst landforms similar to those in Arctic periglacial terrains. PMID:23881292

  18. Antarctica X-band MiniSAR Crevasse Detection Radar : draft final report.

    SciTech Connect

    Sander, Grant J.; Bickel, Douglas Lloyd

    2010-08-01

    This document is the final report for the 2009 Antarctica Crevasse Detection Radar (CDR) Project. This portion of the project is referred to internally as Phase 2. This is a follow on to the work done in Phase 1 reported on in [1]. Phase 2 involved the modification of a Sandia National Laboratories MiniSAR system used in Phase 1 to work with an LC-130 aircraft that operated in Antarctica in October through November of 2009. Experiments from the 2006 flights were repeated, as well as a couple new flight tests to examine the effect of colder snow and ice on the radar signatures of 'deep field' sites. This document includes discussion of the hardware development, system capabilities, and results from data collections in Antarctica during the fall of 2009.

  19. The discovery of kimberlites in Antarctica extends the vast Gondwanan Cretaceous province.

    PubMed

    Yaxley, Gregory M; Kamenetsky, Vadim S; Nichols, Geoffrey T; Maas, Roland; Belousova, Elena; Rosenthal, Anja; Norman, Marc

    2013-01-01

    Kimberlites are a volumetrically minor component of the Earth's volcanic record, but are very important as the major commercial source of diamonds and as the deepest samples of the Earth's mantle. They were predominantly emplaced from ≈2,100 Ma to ≈10 ka ago, into ancient, stable regions of continental crust (cratons), but are also known from continental rifts and mobile belts. Kimberlites have been reported from almost all major cratons on all continents except for Antarctica. Here we report the first bona fide Antarctic kimberlite occurrence, from the northern Prince Charles Mountains, emplaced during the reactivation of the Lambert Graben associated with rifting of India from Australia-Antarctica. The samples are texturally, mineralogically and geochemically typical of Group I kimberlites from more classical localities. Their ≈120 Ma ages overlap with those of many kimberlites from other world-wide localities, extending a vast Cretaceous, Gondwanan kimberlite province, for the first time, into Antarctica.

  20. Relationship between total ozone amounts and stratospheric temperature at Syowa, Antarctica

    SciTech Connect

    Shigeru Chubachi )

    1993-02-20

    Using statistical methods, the relationship has been studied between total ozone and 100-mbar temperatures at Syowa Station, Antarctica (69[degrees]S, 40[degrees]E), based on data obtained in 1961-1981 and 1982-1988, the time of ozone depletion in Antarctica. Results indicate a strong, positive correlation between total ozone and 100-mbar stratospheric temperatures during September-March for all years, but lower ozone values at 100-mbar stratospheric temperatures colder than about [minus]60[degrees]C during the 1982-1988 period. Ozone destruction by heterogeneous photochemical processes is the main cause of ozone depletion over Syowa during the 1980's, with a lesser contribution from a change in air dynamics (heat, ozone, and momentum transport to Antarctica during the austral spring) that increased polar vortex stability, thereby promoting photochemical ozone depression within the vortex. 27 refs., 9 figs., 2 tabs.

  1. Antarctica X-band MiniSAR crevasse detection radar : final report.

    SciTech Connect

    Sander, Grant J.; Bickel, Douglas Lloyd

    2007-09-01

    This document is the final report for the Antarctica Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Project. The project involved the modification of a Sandia National Laboratories MiniSAR system to operate at X-band in order to assess the feasibility of an airborne radar to detect crevasses in Antarctica. This radar successfully detected known crevasses at various geometries. The best results were obtained for synthetic aperture radar resolutions of at most one foot and finer. In addition to the main goal of detecting crevasses, the radar was used to assess conops for a future operational radar. The radar scanned large areas to identify potential safe landing zones. In addition, the radar was used to investigate looking at objects on the surface and below the surface of the ice. This document includes discussion of the hardware development, system capabilities, and results from data collections in Antarctica.

  2. Transcriptome of the Antarctic amphipod Gondogeneia antarctica and its response to pollutant exposure.

    PubMed

    Kang, Seunghyun; Kim, Sanghee; Park, Hyun

    2015-12-01

    Gondogeneia antarctica is widely distributed off the western Antarctic Peninsula and is a key species in the Antarctic food web. In this study, we performed Illumina sequencing to produce a total of 4,599,079,601 (4.6Gb) nucleotides and a comprehensive transcript dataset for G. antarctica. Over 46 million total reads were assembled into 20,749 contigs, and 12,461 annotated genes were predicted by Blastx. The RNA-seq results after exposure to three pollutants showed that 658, 169 and 367 genes that were potential biomarkers of responses to pollutants for this species were specifically upregulated after exposure to PCBs (Polychlorinated biphenyls), PFOS (Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid) and PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic acid), respectively. These data represent the first transcriptome resource for the Antarctic amphipod G. antarctica and provide a useful resource for studying Antarctic marine species.

  3. How Important Is Research on Pollution Levels in Antarctica? Historical Approach, Difficulties and Current Trends.

    PubMed

    Szopińska, Małgorzata; Namieśnik, Jacek; Polkowska, Żaneta

    Despite the fact that Antarctica is a continent notably free from large negative impact of human activities, literature data can be the basis for concluding that this is not an area free from anthropogenic pollutants. Pollutants, which are identified in various elements of the environment of Antarctica, are mostly connected with long-range atmospheric transport (LRAT) and deposition in this area. The study presents: a historical overview of research pertaining to the presence of pollutants in entire Antarctica; a description of the development of research on pollutants in various environmental samples conducted in this area since 1960; a detailed description of contemporary analytical research (2000-2014); information on concentration levels of a broad range of pollutants present in various elements of the environment. The data collected can provide grounds for concluding that pollutants present in this area can contribute to gradual degradation of Antarctic ecosystem.

  4. Analysis of ICESat Data Using Kalman Filter and Kriging to Study Height Changes in East Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herring, Thomas A.

    2005-01-01

    We analyze ICESat derived heights collected between Feb. 03-Nov. 04 using a kriging/Kalman filtering approach to investigate height changes in East Antarctica. The model's parameters are height change to an a priori static digital height model, seasonal signal expressed as an amplitude Beta and phase Theta, and height-change rate dh/dt for each (100 km)(exp 2) block. From the Kalman filter results, dh/dt has a mean of -0.06 m/yr in the flat interior of East Antarctica. Spatially correlated pointing errors in the current data releases give uncertainties in the range 0.06 m/yr, making height change detection unreliable at this time. Our test shows that when using all available data with pointing knowledge equivalent to that of Laser 2a, height change detection with an accuracy level 0.02 m/yr can be achieved over flat terrains in East Antarctica.

  5. Bryan Coast, English Coast, Alexander Island, Fallieres Coast, and Bellingshausen Sea, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    This image of Antarctica shows the Bryan Coast (lower left), the English Coast (lower central), Alexander Island (middle right), the Fallieres Coast (top right), and the Bellingshausen Sea. The entire continent has been dedicated to peaceful scientific investigation since 1961, with the signing of the Antarctic Treaty.The waters surrounding Antarctica are intensely cold. Salt water freezes at -2C, allowing sea ice to form. The middle left portion of the image shows quite a lot of sea ice in the Bellingshausen Sea. During the Antarctic winter, when data for this image was acquired, Antarctica doubles in size to about 28.5 million square km (or about 11 million square miles), and temperatures in the -60C range are common.This true-color image was compiled from MODIS data gathered March 29, 2002. Credit: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

  6. Accelerated thermokarst formation in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Levy, Joseph S; Fountain, Andrew G; Dickson, James L; Head, James W; Okal, Marianne; Marchant, David R; Watters, Jaclyn

    2013-01-01

    Thermokarst is a land surface lowered and disrupted by melting ground ice. Thermokarst is a major driver of landscape change in the Arctic, but has been considered to be a minor process in Antarctica. Here, we use ground-based and airborne LiDAR coupled with timelapse imaging and meteorological data to show that 1) thermokarst formation has accelerated in Garwood Valley, Antarctica; 2) the rate of thermokarst erosion is presently ~ 10 times the average Holocene rate; and 3) the increased rate of thermokarst formation is driven most strongly by increasing insolation and sediment/albedo feedbacks. This suggests that sediment enhancement of insolation-driven melting may act similarly to expected increases in Antarctic air temperature (presently occurring along the Antarctic Peninsula), and may serve as a leading indicator of imminent landscape change in Antarctica that will generate thermokarst landforms similar to those in Arctic periglacial terrains.

  7. How increasing CO2 leads to an increased negative greenhouse effect in Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmithüsen, Holger; Notholt, Justus; König-Langlo, Gert; Lemke, Peter; Jung, Thomas

    2015-12-01

    CO2 is the strongest anthropogenic forcing agent for climate change since preindustrial times. Like other greenhouse gases, CO2 absorbs terrestrial surface radiation and causes emission from the atmosphere to space. As the surface is generally warmer than the atmosphere, the total long-wave emission to space is commonly less than the surface emission. However, this does not hold true for the high elevated areas of central Antarctica. For this region, the emission to space is higher than the surface emission; and the greenhouse effect of CO2 is around zero or even negative, which has not been discussed so far. We investigated this in detail and show that for central Antarctica an increase in CO2 concentration leads to an increased long-wave energy loss to space, which cools the Earth-atmosphere system. These findings for central Antarctica are in contrast to the general warming effect of increasing CO2.

  8. Cloning and expression of phosphoglycerate mutase from the psychrophilic yeast, Glaciozyma antarctica PI12

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaafar, Nardiah Rizwana; Bakar, Farah Diba Abu; Murad, Abdul Munir Abdul; Mahadi, Nor Muhammad

    2015-09-01

    The conversion of 3-phosphoglycerate to 2-phosphoglycerate during glycolysis and gluconeogenesis is catalyzed by phosphoglycerate mutase (PGM). Better understanding of metabolic reactions performed by this enzyme has been studied extensively in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Here, we report a phosphoglycerate mutase from the psychrophilic yeast, Glaciozyma antarctica. cDNA encoding for PGM from G. antarctica PI12, a psychrophilic yeast isolated from sea ice at Casey Station, Antarctica was amplified. The gene was then cloned into a cloning vector and sequenced, which verified its identity as the gene putatively encoding for PGM. The recombinant protein was expressed in Escherichia coli BL21 (DE3) as inclusion bodies and this was confirmed by SDS-PAGE and Western blot.

  9. Organic carbon stocks in permafrost-affected soils from Admiralty Bay, Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Simas, F.N.B.; Schaefer, C.E.G.R.; Mendonça, E.S.; Silva, I.R.; Santana, R.M.; Ribeiro, A.S.S.

    2007-01-01

    Recent works show that organic matter accumulation in some soils from coastal Antarctica is higher than previously expected. The objective of the present work was to estimate the organic C stocks for soils from maritime Antarctica. Cryosols from subpolar desert landscapes presented the lowest organic C stocks. Ornithogenic soils are the most important C reservoirs in terrestrial ecosystems in this part of Antarctica. Although these soils correspond to only 2.5 % of the ice-free areas at Admiralty Bay, they contain approximately 20 % of the estimated C stock. Most of the organic C in the studied soils is stored in the active layer but in some cases the C is also stored in the permafrost.

  10. Melting empires? Climate change and politics in Antarctica since the International Geophysical Year.

    PubMed

    Howkins, Adrian

    2011-01-01

    This article examines the relationship between climate change and politics in Antarctica since the International Geophysical Year of 1957-8, paying particular attention to the work of the British Antarctic Survey. Research conducted in Antarctica has played an important role in the understanding of climate change on a global scale. In turn, fears about the consequences of global climate change have radically changed perceptions of Antarctica and profoundly shaped scientific research agendas: a continent that until fifty years ago was perceived largely as an inhospitable wilderness has come to be seen as a dangerously vulnerable environment. This radical shift in perception contrasts with a fundamental continuity in the political power structures of the continent. This article argues that the severity of the threat of climate change has reinforced the privileged political position of the "insider" nations within the Antarctic Treaty System.

  11. Modern benthic ostracodes from Lutzow-Holm Bay, East Antarctica: paleoceanographic, paleobiogeographic, and evolutionary significance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Yasuhara, Moriaki; Kato, Masako; Ikeya, Noriyuki; Seto, Koji

    2007-01-01

    Seventy-three ostracode species from 38 genera were recovered from the 55 surface sediment samples in Lützow-Holm Bay, northeastern Antarctica. We investigated bathymetric and geographic distributions of modern benthic ostracode species in the bay and compared this fauna with published modern and fossil ostracode data of Antarctic and southern South American regions. The results show: (1) Four biotopes and three sub-biotopes are recognized based on Q-mode cluster analysis, which suggest distributions of modern ostracodes are mainly controlled by water-mass structure, ice scouring, and light availability. (2) Comparison between the Lützow-Holm Bay fauna and other ostracode faunas from Antarctica and southern South America shows high endemism and homogeneity of Antarctic ostracode fauna, suggesting in situ evolution of most extant Antarctic species. (3) Most species are endemic to the Antarctica, a few species also inhabit South American waters.

  12. Petrological features of anhydrous and hydrous mantle xenoliths from Harrow Peaks, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pelorosso, Beatrice; Bonadiman, Costanza; Coltorti, Massimo; Giacomoni, Pier Paolo; Ntaflos, Theodoros

    2014-05-01

    A preliminary study on the petrological features of a new xenoliths population, collected in the area of Harrow Peaks (HP) Northern Victoria Land, Antarctica is presented. The presence of modal hydrous phases (amphibole and rare phlogopite) allows to explore the water circulation and volatile reservoirs of this mantle domain. HP samples are medium to coarse grain peridotites, protogranular to phorphyroclastic in texture. They vary in composition from fertile lherzolite to harzburgite. Both anhydrous and hydrous peridotites show matrix/melt interaction forming secondary minerals and resorbed rims in primary olivines and spongy textures or cloudy rims of the other peridotite minerals. Opx occur as large crystals (opx1) with thin and resorbed spongy rims or texturally well equilibrated small, elongated grains (opx2). Primary unmetasomatized cpx are rare, the majority is spongy, resorbed grains or newly formed small crystals. Spinel (sp) always occur as small anhedral crystals, or larger, often dendritic primary grains. Amphibole occurs both as disseminated and in veins; the latter frequently associated with newly formed, secondary cpx crystals (Coltorti et al.,2004). Glassy patches are rare, not associated with amphibole, but occur related to resorbed/spongy cpx and spinel(sp).Mineral and glass major element analyses evidence that HP peridotites are following a residual trend, but are characterized by low mg#[=100*Mg/Mg+Fetot]values. Fo in primary unmetasomatized olivine range between 87.49 and 89.07 reflecting an anomalous fertile character respect to the lithological type (PM ol: Fo= 89.5). CaO(< 0.1 wt%)and NiO(0.28 to 0.41 wt%) contents are in the range of variably residual mantle values. In term of mg# values (87.24 - 89.56),opx1 and opx2 are coherent with primary ol. Both types show a narrow range of variation in terms of Al2O3(2.11-3.32 wt%), TiO2(0.05-0.14 wt%) and CaO(0.36-0.96 wt%). Spongy rims and resorbed crystals in both olivine and opx record a sensible

  13. ICESat elevations in Antarctica along the 2007-09 Norway-USA Traverse: Validation with ground-based GPS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, J.; Neumann, T.; Robbins, J. W.; Melland, G.; Tronstad, S.

    2010-12-01

    The 2007-09 Norway-USA Traverse of East Antarctica collected dual-frequency GPS data at 5-s intervals on two of the traverse vehicles. The traverse covered a 2,400 km route from the coast to the vicinity of the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in 2007-08, and along a 2,600 km route from the South Pole to the coast in 2008-09. Side traverses were also conducted in the latter season over the so-called Recovery Lakes, for a total of over 10,000 km of GPS data collected. We use precise point processing (PPP) to post-process our single receiver kinematic GPS data, with no need for base station support. Analysis of data obtained while the vehicles were stationary shows individual solutions are accurate to <1 cm in the horizontal and <3 cm in the vertical. Analysis of elevation differences at vehicle cross-over points implies vertical position accuracies of <10 cm at the cross-over locations, when the vehicles are in motion. Correct determination of GPS antenna height (AH) relative to the snow surface is a critical aspect of this analysis. Measurements of AH made in the field varied appreciably, but we estimate that the AH error is still <10 cm based on consistency of the best quality measurements. The mean cross-over difference for the two vehicles was ca. 5 cm, in both years, which represents an unresolved bias in the AH of one or both vehicles. We compare our GPS elevations with those determined by ICESat, the orbiting laser altimetry system designed to measure ice elevation. Direct cross-over analysis at the cross-over of traverse GPS tracks and ICESat ground tracks results in RMS differences of < 20 cm in low-slope areas. Mean differences between GPS and ICESat elevations show a bias of a ca. 5 - 10 cm, with ICESat elevations lower than GPS measurements in low-slope areas, but higher than GPS measurements in high-slope areas. In general the agreement is best between 86° S and 82° S, and decreases northward of 82° S. We also compare the GPS data to two DEMs made

  14. Reconstructions before rifting and drifting reveal the geological connections between Antarctica and its conjugates in Gondwanaland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Veevers, J. J.

    2012-03-01

    The initial (200-175 Ma) breakup of Pangea was marked by the emplacement of the Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs) of Karoo-Ferrar-SE Australia (KFS) in the back-arc of Panthalassan subduction and by the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP) between Africa and the Americas. Seafloor spreading 190-180 Ma (Stage 1) about the CAMP split Pangea into northern (Laurasia) and southern (Gondwanaland) parts. Subsequent stages at 167 Ma (2), 147 Ma (3), 130 Ma (4), 118 Ma (5), and 83 Ma (6) split conjugate Africa, South America, India, Australia, and Zealandia from Antarctica. Here I review the reconstruction of Antarctica in Gondwanaland. First, seafloor spreading is unwound to re-unite the continent-ocean boundaries (COBs), then the extended (rifted) crust about the suture is restored to its original thickness. A comprehensive review of the U-Pb zircon geochronology of the reconstructed margins of Antarctica and its conjugates shows that certain coeval structures are aligned across the suture. Cross structures of high-order spatial continuity and age correlation are the Lambert-Mahanadi Rift, Pranhita-Godavari-Robert Glacier trend, Gawler-Adélie Craton, and western part of the Gondwanide Fold Belt. Cross structures of high-order age correlation but low structural continuity or alignment are, from Africa to Antarctica, the East African-Antarctic Orogen, the Natal and Maud Belts, the Umkondo Group-Ritscherflya Supergroup and LIP, and the Kalahari-Grunehogna Craton; from Antarctica to Zealandia, the Ross-Western and Amundsen-Eastern Provinces; and from Africa through Antarctica to Australia the KFS LIP.

  15. Greenland and Antarctica Ice Sheet Mass Changes and Effects on Global Sea Level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forsberg, Rene; Sørensen, Louise; Simonsen, Sebastian

    2017-01-01

    Thirteen years of GRACE data provide an excellent picture of the current mass changes of Greenland and Antarctica, with mass loss in the GRACE period 2002-2015 amounting to 265 ± 25 GT/year for Greenland (including peripheral ice caps), and 95 ± 50 GT/year for Antarctica, corresponding to 0.72 and 0.26 mm/year average global sea level change. A significant acceleration in mass loss rate is found, especially for Antarctica, while Greenland mass loss, after a corresponding acceleration period, and a record mass loss in the summer of 2012, has seen a slight decrease in short-term mass loss trend. The yearly mass balance estimates, based on point mass inversion methods, have relatively large errors, both due to uncertainties in the glacial isostatic adjustment processes, especially for Antarctica, leakage from unmodelled ocean mass changes, and (for Greenland) difficulties in separating mass signals from the Greenland ice sheet and the adjacent Canadian ice caps. The limited resolution of GRACE affects the uncertainty of total mass loss to a smaller degree; we illustrate the "real" sources of mass changes by including satellite altimetry elevation change results in a joint inversion with GRACE, showing that mass change occurs primarily associated with major outlet glaciers, as well as a narrow coastal band. For Antarctica, the primary changes are associated with the major outlet glaciers in West Antarctica (Pine Island and Thwaites Glacier systems), as well as on the Antarctic Peninsula, where major glacier accelerations have been observed after the 2002 collapse of the Larsen B Ice Shelf.

  16. Ca2+ current vs. Ca2+ channel cooperativity of exocytosis

    PubMed Central

    Matveev, Victor; Bertram, Richard; Sherman, Arthur

    2009-01-01

    Recently there has been significant interest and progress in the study of spatio-temporal dynamics of Ca2+ that triggers exocytosis at a fast chemical synapse, which requires understanding the contribution of individual calcium channels to the release of a single vesicle. Experimental protocols provide insight into this question by probing the sensitivity of exocytosis to Ca2+ influx. While varying extracellular or intracellular Ca2+ concentration assesses the intrinsic biochemical Ca2+ cooperativity of neurotransmitter release, varying the number of open Ca2+ channels using pharmacological channel block or the tail current titration probes the cooperativity between individual Ca2+ channels in triggering exocytosis. Despite the wide use of these Ca2+ sensitivity measurements, their interpretation often relies on heuristic arguments. Here we provide a detailed analysis of the Ca2+ sensitivity measures probed by these experimental protocols, present simple expressions for special cases, and demonstrate the distinction between the Ca2+ current cooperativity, defined by the relationship between exocytosis rate and the whole-terminal Ca2+ current magnitude, and the underlying Ca2+ channel cooperativity, defined as the average number of channels involved in the release of a single vesicle. We find simple algebraic expressions that show that the two are different but linearly related. Further, we use 3D computational modeling of buffered Ca2+ diffusion to analyze these distinct Ca2+ cooperativity measures, and demonstrate the role of endogenous Ca2+ buffers on such measures. We show that buffers can either increase or decrease the Ca2+ current cooperativity of exocytosis, depending on their concentration and the single-channel Ca2+ current. PMID:19793978

  17. Halogens in the Dry Valleys Lakes, Antarctica: dynamic cycling between water, sediment, and cryogenic evaporites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snyder, G. T.; Dowling, C. B.; Harbert, A.; Lu, H.; Lyons, W. B.; Welch, K. A.

    2006-12-01

    Many of the McMurdo Dry Valleys lakes of Antarctica exhibit saline to hypersaline bottom waters whose chemistry is distinct from that of sea water. The source and relative abundance of dissolved Cl, Br, and I in these unusual waters has been modified by several potential processes including: seawater incursions, water- rock interactions, microbial scavenging, glacial melting and precipitation, and atmospheric deposition. Since all of these processes are affected by both long-term and short-term climate change, lake waters and the salts that are deposited around them provide sensitive indicators of lake dessication and refilling in the past. We present elemental analyses, not only of the lake water, but also of bottom sediments and cryogenic evaporites recovered from the Dry Valleys. XRD analyses indicate that gypsum and antarcticite are precipitated around saline lakes presently situated more than 40 km from the ocean (Vanda, Don Juan, Joyce), while mirabilite is found near small pools in the Garwood Valley, only a few km from the ocean. Lake water enrichments in Ca and Cl, relative to Na suggest that either dissolution of gypsum and antarcticite has occurred in Don Juan Pond and Lake Vanda, or that these two small bodies of water previously lost sodium to mirabilite formation. Lakes Fryxell and Joyce, as well as waters in Garwood Valley show near-sea water ratios. Dissolved iodine, and to a lesser extent bromine, are commonly associated with diagenesis of marine organic matter in regions of high productivity, so it is surprising that the Dry Valleys lake waters are enriched in these two elements. These enrichments are also apparent in pore fluids of shallow sediments on the lake bottoms. In addition, the sediments themselves are highly enriched in iodine in the upper 5 cm (up to 77 ppm). This is likely due to remobilization of dissolved iodide, which is mobile in reduced form, but becomes fixed as adsorbed or organic iodine upon diffusing into shallow oxic

  18. Steranes and triterpanes in the Beacon Supergroup samples from southern Victoria Land in Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsumoto, Genki I.; Machihara, Tsutomu; Suzuki, Noriyuki; Funaki, Minoru; Watanuki, Kunihiko

    1987-10-01

    Steranes and triterpanes in Beacon Supergroup samples (sedimentary rock and silicified wood) from Allan Hills and Carapace Nunatak of southern Victoria Land in Antarctica were studied to elucidate sources of organic materials, sedimentary paleoenvironment and thermal history after deposition. Relative abundances of C 27, C 28 and C 29 steranes and visual kerogen results of Beacon Supergroup samples from Allan Hills imply that organic materials in the sedimentary paleoenvironments are contributed mainly by vascular plants with some influence of microorganisms, while those of the Carapace Nunatak sample may be largely due to fern spores. The pristane/phytane and pristane/heptadecane ratios of the samples were generally close to unity and between 0.50 and 0.99, respectively, suggesting that the sedimentary paleoenvironment was shallow lacustrine with alternating oxic and anoxic conditions. The ( 22S/22R)-17α(H),21β(H)-C 31-C 33 triterpane ratios are approximately at thermal equilibrium values ( ca. 1.5) in most samples, while the ( 20S/20R)-5α(H), 14α(H), 17α(H)-C 29 sterane ratios and the (20R + 20S)-5α(H), 14β(H), 17β(H)/5α(H), 14α(H), 17α(H)-C 29 sterane ratios vary from 0.0 to 1.1 and from 0.0 to 1.4, respectively. Most of the ( 20S/20R)-5α(H), 14α(H), 17α(H)-C 29 sterane ratios did not reach thermal equilibrium values. The correlation coefficient between the ( 20S/20R)-5α(H), 14α(H), 17α(H)-C 29 sterane ratios and (20R + 20S)-5α(H), 14β(H), 17β(H)/5α(H), 14α(H), 17α(H)-C 29, sterane ratios is very high (0.96). These variable maturities probably reflect thermal effects of basaltic dikes on the Beacon Supergroup at Allan Hills and Carapace Nunatak during Jurassic time. Thermal stresses on the Beacon Supergroup prior to basaltic intrusion have been estimated to be quite low, so the paleotemperatures of this formation have been quite low.

  19. Measurement of CA1P and CA in leaves

    SciTech Connect

    Moore, B.d.; Kobza, J.; Seemann, J.R. )

    1990-05-01

    Carboxyarabinitol-1-phosphate (CA1P) and carboxyarabinitol (CA) were assayed in leaves by isotope dilution. {sup 14}C-labeled standards were synthesized from (2-{sup 14}C) CABP using acid (CA1P) or alkaline (CA) phosphatase. Either was added to boiling 80% EtOH along with liquid N{sub 2}-killed leaves. Each was largely purified by anion exchange chromatography. CA1P samples were subjected to 2D-TLE/TLC. The specific activity of the {sup 14}C-containing spot was measured using alkaline phosphatase. CA samples were run on an HPLC and the specific activity was determined using a UV monitor and a flow-through radioisotope detector. In 3 of the tested species, light/dark amount of CA1P (nmol/mg Chl) were kidney bean, 0.7/67; sugar beet, 0.8/33; and Alocasia, 0/3.4. Light/dark CA levels (nmol/mg Chl) in these respective species were 897/653, 3.2/3.5, and 5.7/4.6. These results support the hypothesis that CA is a product of CA1P metabolism in vivo under high light, but also indicate that CA is not the only intermediate involved in CA1P synthesis under low light/dark conditions.

  20. Gas discharges in fumarolic ice caves of Erebus volcano, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, T. P.; Curtis, A. G.; Kyle, P. R.; Sano, Y.

    2013-12-01

    reactions. We are confident that the atmospheric component is not the result of sampling procedure but intrinsic to the ice cave system. In addition to carbon dioxide, magmatic gases emitted from Erebus lava lake contain significant amounts of SO2, HCl, HF, CO and H2 [1,2]. The acid magmatic gases (SO2, HCl, HF) and a significant amount of the CO2 are likely absorbed by the subsurface ice/water system. The atmospheric components (Ar, nitrogen, oxygen) likely enter the system at shallow levels. The relative abundances of these components reflect degassing fractionation of these volatiles from liquid water at low temperatures, suggesting the presence of liquid water in the subsurface. [1] Oppenheimer, C., Kyle, P.R., 2008. Probing the magma plumbing of Erebus volcano, Antarctica, by open-path FTIR spectroscopy of gas emissions. J. Vol. Geoth. Res. 177, 743-754. [2] Moussallam, Y., Oppenheimer, C., et al., 2012. Hydrogen emission from Erebus volcano, Antarctica. Bull. Volcan 74, 2109-2120.

  1. New aerogeophysical views of crustal architecture in the Recovery frontier of East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferraccioli, Fausto; Forsberg, Rene; Jordan, Tom; Matsuoka, Kenichi; Olsen, Arne; King, Owen; Ghidella, Marta

    2014-05-01

    East Antarctica is the least known continent on Earth, despite being regarded as a keystone in Gondwana, Rodinia and possibly Columbia supercontinents. Significant progress has however been made in recent years in the exploration of East Antarctica using airborne geophysical techniques. Spurred by the International Polar Year major collaborative aerogeophysical campaigns have been performed over the Wilkes Subglacial Basin, the Aurora Subglacial Basin and the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains. Analyses of these recent datasets is providing fundamental new glimpses into the crustal architecture in interior East Antarctica, as well as several new interpretations regarding its linkages with tectonic and geodynamic evolution from the Precambrian to the Mesozoic. Here we present the first results of a major reconnaissance aerogeophysical survey over the largely unexplored Recovery ice stream catchment in East Antarctica, flown during the IceGRAV 2012-13 field season, as part of a new international Danish, Norwegian, UK and Argentine collaboration. Over 29,000 line km of new radio-echo sounding, laser altimetry, gravity and magnetic data were acquired using a British Antarctic Survey Twin Otter. We will focus primarily on presenting the new potential field datasets and discuss the anomaly patterns seen in aeromagnetic anomaly maps, free air, Bouguer and isostatic residual maps. The aerogeophysical datasets we will present provide a new foundation to address a cascade of open questions regarding this part of East Antarctica, including: i) Where are and what is the nature of the major tectonic boundaries separating the Coast block, the Shackleton Range and the Dronning Maud Land crustal provinces? Specifically is there new geophysical evidence in support of a Pan-African age suture zone in the Shackleton Range linked to Gondwana assembly?; ii) is there evidence in support of an older Grenvillian-age orogenic belt, extending across the interior of East Antarctica?; Or, is

  2. GRACE Gravity Data Target Possible Mega-impact in North Central Wilkes Land, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    vonFrese, Ralph R. B.; Wells, Stuart B.; Potts. Laramie V.; Gaya-Pique, Luis R.; Golynsky, Alexander V.; Hernandez, Orlando; Kim, Jeong Woo; Kim, Hyung Rae; Hwang, Jong Sun; Taylor, Patrick T.

    2005-01-01

    A prominent positive GRACE satellite-measured free-air gravity anomaly over regionally depressed subglacial topography may identify a mascon centered on (70 deg S, 120 deg E) between the Gamburtsev and Transantarctic Mountains of East Antarctica. Being more than twice the size of the Chicxulub crater, the inferred Wilkes Land impact crater is a strong candidate for a Gondwana source of the greatest extinction of life at the end of the Permian. Its ring structure intersects the coastline and thus may have strongly influenced the Cenozoic rifting of East Antarctica from Australia that resulted in the enigmatic lack of crustal thinning on the conjugate Australian block.

  3. Antarctica as a testing ground for manned missions to the Moon and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demidov, N. E.; Lukin, V. V.

    2017-03-01

    This paper is concerned with the study of expedition activity in Antarctica as a part of the search for useful analogies and solutions which can be taken into account in planning manned missions to the Moon and Mars. The following is considered: natural analogies, human factors, station facilities, means of transportation, scientific programs, safety issues, and historical and political analogies. A rationalization is given for the idea of creating a testing ground in Antarctica (stations Vostok, Novolazarevskaya, Jetty Oasis) for ground-based simulation of functioning of a lunar and Martian base.

  4. Infectious disease in Antarctica and its relation to aerospace medicine: a review.

    PubMed

    Cosman, B C; Brandt-Rauf, P W

    1987-02-01

    In many aspects, an Antarctic Station provides parallels to the environments encountered in space exploration, particularly with reference to infectious disease. In both instances, small groups of people live in isolation for long periods of time in a functionally sterile atmosphere. Therefore, studies of infectious disease in Antarctica should provide important insights into the experiences to be expected in spaceflight. This paper presents a summary of the information on the infectious and immunologic aspects of isolation derived over the years from research in Antarctica.

  5. Total ozone, ozone vertical distributions, and stratospheric temperatures at South Pole, Antarctica, in 1986 and 1987

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Komhyr, W. D.; Grass, R. D.; Reitelbach, P. J.; Franchois, P. R.; Kuester, S. E.

    1988-01-01

    Seventy-six electrochemical cell (ECC) ozonesondes were flown at South Pole, Antarctica, during 1987 in a continuing program to document year-round changes in Antarctica ozone that are dynamically and photochemically induced. Dobson spectrophotometer total ozone observations were also made. For the twilight months of March and September when Dobson instrument observations cannot be made at South Pole, total ozone amounts were deduced from the ECC ozonesonde soundings. ECC sonde total ozone data obtained during the polar night (April to August), supplemented the sparse total ozone data obtained from Dobson instrument moon observations. Similar ozone profile and total ozone observations were made at South Pole in 1986.

  6. Detection and Analysis of Complex Patterns of Ice Dynamics in Antarctica from ICESat Laser Altimetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Babonis, Gregory Scott

    There remains much uncertainty in estimating the amount of Antarctic ice mass change, its dynamic component, and its spatial and temporal patterns. This work remedies the limitations of previous studies by generating the first detailed reconstruction of total and dynamic ice thickness and mass changes across Antarctica, from ICESat satellite altimetry observations in 2003-2009 using the Surface Elevation Reconstruction and Change Detection (SERAC) method. Ice sheet thickness changes are calculated with quantified error estimates for each time when ICESat flew over a ground-track crossover region, at approximately 110,000 locations across the Antarctic Ice Sheet. The time series are partitioned into changes due to surficial processes and ice dynamics. The new results markedly improve the spatial and temporal resolution of surface elevation, volume, and mass change rates for the AIS, and can be sampled at annual temporal resolutions. The results indicate a complex spatiotemporal pattern of dynamic mass loss in Antarctica, especially along individual outlet glaciers, and allow for the quantification of the annual contribution of Antarctic ice loss to sea level rise. Over 5000 individual locations exhibit either strong dynamic ice thickness change patterns, accounting for approximately 500 unique spatial clusters that identify regions likely influenced by subglacial hydrology. The spatial distribution and temporal behavior of these regions reveal the complexity and short-time scale variability in the subglacial hydrological system. From the 500 unique spatial clusters, over 370 represent newly identified, and not previously published, potential subglacial water bodies indicating an active subglacial hydrological system over a much larger region than previously observed. These numerous new observations of dynamic changes provide more than simply a larger set of data. Examination of both regional and local scale dynamic change patterns across Antarctica shows newly

  7. Comparison of high-resolution snow profiles from Antarctica and Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneebeli, Martin; Weissbach, Stefanie; Proksch, Martin; Matzl, Margret; Calonne, Neige

    2016-04-01

    Perennial and seasonal snow profiles in Antarctica and and Greenland are deposited mostly under windy conditions. We measured snow profiles with very high vertical resolution on several places in Antarctica and Greenland. As instruments we measured the penetration hardness with the SnowMicroPen (1 mm vertical resolution), with a combination of near-infrared and translucent photography (2 mm2 resolution) and micro-CT samples (20 μm resolution). All profiles show horizontal spatial variability caused by wind deposition, and a vertically highly variable profile, difficult to measure by traditional means. We try a first interpretation of the features found in these profiles and features typical for certain regions.

  8. Geophysical investigations of the tectonic boundary between East and West Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ten Brink, U.S.; Bannister, S.; Beaudoin, B.C.; Stern, T.A.

    1993-01-01

    The Transantarctic Mountains (TAM), which separate the West Antarctic rift system from the stable shield of East Antarctica, are the largest mountains developed adjacent to a rift. The cause of uplift of mountains bordering rifts is poorly understood. One notion based on observations of troughs next to many uplifted blocks is that isostatic rebound produces a coeval uplift and subsidence. The results of an over-snow seismic experiment in Antarctica do not show evidence for a trough next to the TAM but indicate the extension of rifted mantle lithosphere under the TAM. Furthermore, stretching preceded the initiation of uplift, which suggests thermal buoyancy as the cause for uplift.

  9. Crust and Upper Mantle Structure of Antarctica from Rayleigh Wave Tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiens, D. A.; Heeszel, D. S.; Sun, X.; Chaput, J. A.; Aster, R. C.; Nyblade, A.; Anandakrishnan, S.; Wilson, T. J.; Huerta, A. D.

    2012-12-01

    We combine data from three temporary arrays of seismometers (AGAP/GAMSEIS 2007-2010, ANET/POLENET 2007-2012, TAMSEIS 2001-2003) deployed across Antarctica, along with permanent stations in the region, to produce a large scale shear velocity model of the continent extending from the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains (GSM) in East Antarctica, across the Transantarctic Mountains (TAM) and West Antarctic Rift System (WARS) to Marie Byrd Land (MBL) in West Antarctica. Our combined dataset consists of Rayleigh wave phase and amplitude measurements from 112 stations across the study region. We first invert for 2-D Rayleigh wave phase velocities using the two-plane wave method. These results are then inverted for shear velocity structure using crustal thicknesses derived from ambient noise tomography and teleseismic receiver functions. We refine our shear velocity model by performing a Monte Carlo simulation that explores the tradeoff between crustal thickness and upper mantle seismic velocities. The resulting model is higher resolution than previous studies (~150 km resolution length) and highlights significant differences in crustal and uppermost mantle structure between East and West Antarctica in greater detail than previously possible. East Antarctica is underlain by thick crust (reaching ~55 km beneath the GSM) and fast, cratonic lithosphere. West Antarctica is defined by thinner crust and slow upper mantle velocities indicative of its more recent tectonic activity. The observed boundary in crustal thickness closely follows the TAM front. MBL is underlain by a thicker lithosphere than that observed beneath the WARS, but slow mantle velocities persist to depths greater than 200 km, indicating a 'deep seated' (i.e. deeper than the deepest resolvable features of our model) thermal source for volcanism in the region. The slowest seismic velocities at shallow depths are observed in the Terror Rift region of the Ross Sea along an arc following the TAM front, where the most

  10. Hydroacoustic habitat mapping in Potter Cove (King George Island, Antarctica)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hass, H. Christian; Wölfl, Anne-Cathrin; Kuhn, Gerhard; Jerosch, Kerstin; Scharf, Frauke; Abele, Doris

    2016-04-01

    Climate change increasingly affects the coastal areas off Antarctica. Strongest environmental response occurs in the transition zones that mediate between the polar and subpolar latitudes. Potter Cove, a minor fjord at the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula is significantly affected by rising temperatures and retreating ice sheets. Large amounts of turbid meltwaters affect both, the seafloor and the water column and cause stress for many biota. There is an increasing demand to monitor the ongoing change and to work out means for comparison with similar coastal ecosystems under pressure. Marine habitat maps provide information on the seafloor characteristics that allow to describe and evaluate the status of the recent coastal ecosystem and to predict its future development. We used a RoxAnn acoustic ground discrimination system, a sidescan sonar, grab samples (grain size and TOC) and underwater video footage to gain habitat information. Supervised and unsupervised classification routines (including fuzzy k-means clustering and LDA) were employed to calculate models ranging from two classes (soft bottom habitat, stone habitat) to 7 classes (including classes of rocks with and without macroalgae as well as classes of gravels, sands and silts). Including organic carbon in the database allowed to identify a carbon-depleted class proximal to the glacier front. Potter Cove reveals features that are related to the climate-controlled environmental change: very rough seafloor topography in a small basin close to the fjord head which was cleared by the retreating tidewater glacier through the past two decades. The increasing distance to the glacier down-fjord causes existing habitats to smooth and mature and new habitats to form. This process will change the terrestrial and marine face of Potter Cove until the ongoing climatic change stops or even reverses. It becomes apparent that the final interpretation of the results benefits significantly from the different

  11. Kordia antarctica sp. nov., isolated from Antarctic seawater.

    PubMed

    Baek, Kiwoon; Choi, Ahyoung; Kang, Ilnam; Lee, Kiyoung; Cho, Jang-Cheon

    2013-10-01

    A Gram-staining-negative, chemoheterotrophic, yellow-pigmented, non-motile, flexirubin-negative, facultatively anaerobic bacterium, designated strain IMCC3317(T), was isolated from a coastal seawater sample from the Antarctic Penninsula. Optimal growth of strain IMCC3317(T) was observed at 20 °C, pH 8.0 and in the presence of 2-3 % NaCl. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that strain IMCC3317(T) belonged to the genus Kordia and was closely related to Kordia algicida OT-1(T) (96.7 % sequence similarity) and Kordia periserrulae IMCC1412(T) (96.1 % sequence similarity). The major fatty acids were 10-methyl C16 : 0 and/or iso-C16 : 1ω9c, iso-C17 : 0 3-OH, iso-C15 : 0 and anteiso-C15 : 0. The G+C content of the genomic DNA was 35.1 mol%. The strain contained menaquinone-6 (MK-6) as the respiratory quinone. The polar lipids detected in the strain were phosphatidylethanolamine and unknown aminophospholipids, aminolipids and polar lipids. On the basis of phylogenetic distinction and differential phenotypic characteristics, it is suggested that strain IMCC3317(T) ( = KCTC 32292(T) = NBRC 109401(T)) be assigned to the genus Kordia as the type strain of a novel species, for which the name Kordia antarctica sp. nov. is proposed.

  12. Wind-formed gravel bed forms, Wright Valley, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gillies, John A.; Nickling, William G.; Tilson, Michael; Furtak-Cole, Eden

    2012-12-01

    Bed forms composed of gravel size particles (≈50% of particles >4 mm) are observed in the Wright Valley of the McMurdo Dry Valley system in Antarctica. These bed forms are characterized by a very asymmetrical shape with a mean aspect ratio of 0.025 (standard deviation 0.005), mean wavelength of 2.7 m (±0.49 m), and a mean height of 0.06 m (±0.01 m). Particle size analysis of the bed form sediments shows bimodality with a peak near 9 mm and another between 0.5 mm and 0.25 mm. Time-integrated sediment trap samples of horizontal saltation and creep flux indicate the flux of particles ≥4 mm during the two-year monitoring period was extremely low. Measurements of the horizontal displacement of tracer particles (14 mm, 12 mm, 10 mm, 8 mm, and 6 mm diameter) placed onto the bed forms corroborate the low particle flux measurements and limited movement of particles. The bed forms share form and grain size characteristics with both ripples and mega-ripples, showing poor sorting of particles across a single wavelength except for a slight coarsening at the crest similar to ripples, but their sinuosity suggest that transverse instabilities affect their formation similar to mega-ripples. Based on the data for the prevailing environmental conditions it can be argued that the Wright Valley form is an expression of gravel particles moved solely by highly intermittent creep processes. This also argues for the need for a very long period of time for their evolution, on the order of centuries.

  13. Extracellular enzymes produced by microorganisms isolated from maritime Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Loperena, Lyliam; Soria, Verónica; Varela, Hermosinda; Lupo, Sandra; Bergalli, Alejandro; Guigou, Mairan; Pellegrino, Andrés; Bernardo, Angela; Calviño, Ana; Rivas, Federico; Batista, Silvia

    2012-05-01

    Antarctic environments can sustain a great diversity of well-adapted microorganisms known as psychrophiles or psychrotrophs. The potential of these microorganisms as a resource of enzymes able to maintain their activity and stability at low temperature for technological applications has stimulated interest in exploration and isolation of microbes from this extreme environment. Enzymes produced by these organisms have a considerable potential for technological applications because they are known to have higher enzymatic activities at lower temperatures than their mesophilic and thermophilic counterparts. A total of 518 Antarctic microorganisms, were isolated during Antarctic expeditions organized by the Instituto Antártico Uruguayo. Samples of particules suspended in air, ice, sea and freshwater, soil, sediment, bird and marine animal faeces, dead animals, algae, plants, rocks and microbial mats were collected from different sites in maritime Antarctica. We report enzymatic activities present in 161 microorganisms (120 bacteria, 31 yeasts and 10 filamentous fungi) isolated from these locations. Enzymatic performance was evaluated at 4 and 20°C. Most of yeasts and bacteria grew better at 20°C than at 4°C, however the opposite was observed with the fungi. Amylase, lipase and protease activities were frequently found in bacterial strains. Yeasts and fungal isolates typically exhibited lipase, celullase and gelatinase activities. Bacterial isolates with highest enzymatic activities were identified by 16S rDNA sequence analysis as Pseudomonas spp., Psychrobacter sp., Arthrobacter spp., Bacillus sp. and Carnobacterium sp. Yeasts and fungal strains, with multiple enzymatic activities, belonged to Cryptococcus victoriae, Trichosporon pullulans and Geomyces pannorum.

  14. Microbial Community Structure of Subglacial Lake Whillans, West Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Achberger, Amanda M; Christner, Brent C; Michaud, Alexander B; Priscu, John C; Skidmore, Mark L; Vick-Majors, Trista J

    2016-01-01

    Subglacial Lake Whillans (SLW) is located beneath ∼800 m of ice on the Whillans Ice Stream in West Antarctica and was sampled in January of 2013, providing the first opportunity to directly examine water and sediments from an Antarctic subglacial lake. To minimize the introduction of surface contaminants to SLW during its exploration, an access borehole was created using a microbiologically clean hot water drill designed to reduce the number and viability of microorganisms in the drilling water. Analysis of 16S rRNA genes (rDNA) amplified from samples of the drilling and borehole water allowed an evaluation of the efficacy of this approach and enabled a confident assessment of the SLW ecosystem inhabitants. Based on an analysis of 16S rDNA and rRNA (i.e., reverse-transcribed rRNA molecules) data, the SLW community was found to be bacterially dominated and compositionally distinct from the assemblages identified in the drill system. The abundance of bacteria (e.g., Candidatus Nitrotoga, Sideroxydans, Thiobacillus, and Albidiferax) and archaea (Candidatus Nitrosoarchaeum) related to chemolithoautotrophs was consistent with the oxidation of reduced iron, sulfur, and nitrogen compounds having important roles as pathways for primary production in this permanently dark ecosystem. Further, the prevalence of Methylobacter in surficial lake sediments combined with the detection of methanogenic taxa in the deepest sediment horizons analyzed (34-36 cm) supported the hypothesis that methane cycling occurs beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Large ratios of rRNA to rDNA were observed for several operational taxonomic units abundant in the water column and sediments (e.g., Albidiferax, Methylobacter, Candidatus Nitrotoga, Sideroxydans, and Smithella), suggesting a potentially active role for these taxa in the SLW ecosystem. Our findings are consistent with chemosynthetic microorganisms serving as the ecological foundation in this dark subsurface environment, providing new

  15. Growth of elaborate microbial pinnacles in Lake Vanda, Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Sumner, D Y; Jungblut, A D; Hawes, I; Andersen, D T; Mackey, T J; Wall, K

    2016-11-01

    Microbial pinnacles in ice-covered Lake Vanda, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, extend from the base of the ice to more than 50 m water depth. The distribution of microbial communities, their photosynthetic potential, and pinnacle morphology affects the local accumulation of biomass, which in turn shapes pinnacle morphology. This feedback, plus environmental stability, promotes the growth of elaborate microbial structures. In Lake Vanda, all mats sampled from greater than 10 m water depth contained pinnacles with a gradation in size from <1-mm-tall tufts to pinnacles that were centimeters tall. Small pinnacles were cuspate, whereas larger ones had variable morphology. The largest pinnacles were up to ~30 cm tall and had cylindrical bases and cuspate tops. Pinnacle biomass was dominated by cyanobacteria from the morphological and genomic groups Leptolyngbya, Phormidium, and Tychonema. The photosynthetic potential of these cyanobacterial communities was high to depths of several millimeters into the mat based on PAM fluorometry, and sufficient light for photosynthesis penetrated ~5 mm into pinnacles. The distribution of photosynthetic potential and its correlation to pinnacle morphology suggests a working model for pinnacle growth. First, small tufts initiate from random irregularities in prostrate mat. Some tufts grow into pinnacles over the course of ~3 years. As pinnacles increase in size and age, their interiors become colonized by a more diverse community of cyanobacteria with high photosynthetic potential. Biomass accumulation within this subsurface community causes pinnacles to swell, expanding laminae thickness and creating distinctive cylindrical bases and cuspate tops. This change in shape suggests that pinnacle morphology emerges from a specific distribution of biomass accumulation that depends on multiple microbial communities fixing carbon in different parts of pinnacles. Similarly, complex patterns of biomass accumulation may be reflected in the

  16. Seismicity in the vicinity of Ross Island, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rowe, C. A.; Kienle, J.

    1986-12-01

    Earthquakes in the Ross Sea, Antarctica, are of two types: volcanic, and those which appear to be of tectonic origin. Volcanic events in the vicinity of Ross Island are associated exclusively with Mount Erebus, Ross Island; this volcano erupts regularly, generating several earthquakes per day whose characteristics are quite distinct from non-volcanic events. These nonvolcanic earthquakes are recognizable by their distinct P- and S-wave arrivals, and a lack of the high frequency, often monochromatic character typical of Erebus events. One hundred fifty-seven tectonic microearthquakes (M < 2.0) were recorded in 1983 and 1984 by the ten station network on Ross Island; these events were located using the least-squares routine, HYPOELLIPSE. Of these events, 106 have RMS residual traveltime errors of less than or equal to 0.6 seconds; they are clustered in the vicinity of Ross Island, but are not restricted to it. There is a linear trend of epicenters cutting across the island and continuing northward. Most activity seems to center beneath Mount Terra Nova, between Mount Erebus and Mount Terror. Mean depth for events is 8.2 km; however, depths are rather evenly distributed over a range of 0 to 25 km. Modelling based on Bouger gravity anomalies and seismic refraction studies indicates a depth to the Moho of about 40 km beneath the continent, shallowing to 27 km beneath the Ross Sea. This 27 km depth is approximately equal to the lower limit of the tectonic seismicity detected by the Erebus network; hence, events are of crustal origin. These data suggest, with the rift-type geochemistry of Erebus' magma, that the Ross Sea is a site of active crustal extension and rifting.

  17. Lake Hoare, Antarctica: sedimentation through a thick perennial ice cover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Squyres, S. W.; Andersen, D. W.; Nedell, S. S.; Wharton, R. A. Jr; Wharton RA, J. r. (Principal Investigator)

    1991-01-01

    Lake Hoare in the Dry Valleys of Antarctica is covered with a perennial ice cover more than 3 m thick, yet there is a complex record of sedimentation and of growth of microbial mats on the lake bottom. Rough topography on the ice covering the lake surface traps sand that is transported by the wind. In late summer, vertical conduits form by melting and fracturing, making the ice permeable to both liquid water and gases. Cross-sections of the ice cover show that sand is able to penetrate into and apparently through it by descending through these conduits. This is the primary sedimentation mechanism in the lake. Sediment traps retrieved from the lake bottom indicate that rates of deposition can vary by large amounts over lateral scales as small as 1 m. This conclusion is supported by cores taken in a 3 x 3 grid with a spacing of 1.5 m. Despite the close spacing of the cores, the poor stratigraphic correlation that is observed indicates substantial lateral variability in sedimentation rate. Apparently, sand descends into the lake from discrete, highly localized sources in the ice that may in some cases deposit a large amount of sand into the lake in a very short time. In some locations on the lake bottom, distinctive sand mounds have been formed by this process. They are primary sedimentary structures and appear unique to the perennially ice-covered lacustrine environment. In some locations they are tens of centimetres high and gently rounded with stable slopes; in others they reach approximately 1 m in height and have a conical shape with slopes at angle of repose. A simple formation model suggests that these differences can be explained by local variations in water depth and sedimentation rate. Rapid colonization of fresh sand surfaces by microbial mats composed of cyanobacteria, eukaryotic algae, and heterotrophic bacteria produces a complex intercalation of organic and sandy layers that are a distinctive form of modern stromatolites.

  18. The 3D Attenuation Structure of Deception Island (Antarctica)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prudencio, J.; De Siena, L.; Ibáñez, J. M.; Del Pezzo, E.; García-Yeguas, A.; Díaz-Moreno, A.

    2015-05-01

    The seismic and volcanological structure of Deception Island (Antarctica) is an intense focus topic in Volcano Geophysics. The interpretations given by scientists on the origin, nature, and location of the structures buried under the island strongly diverge. We present a high-resolution 3D P-wave attenuation tomography model obtained by using the coda normalization method on 20,293 high-quality waveforms produced by active sources. The checkerboard and synthetic anomaly tests guarantee the reproduction of the input anomalies under the island down to a depth of 4 km. The results, once compared with our current knowledge on the geological, geochemical, and geophysical structure of the region, depict Deception as a piecemeal caldera structure coming out of the Bransfield Trough. High-attenuation anomalies contouring the northeastern emerged caldera rim correlate with the locations of sediments. In our interpretation, the main attenuation contrast, which appears under the collapsed southeastern caldera rim, is related to the deeper feeding systems. A unique P-wave high-attenuation spherical-like anomaly in the inner bay extends between depths of 1 and 3 km. The northern contour of the anomaly coincides with the calderic rim both at 1 and 2 km, while smaller anomalies connect it with deeper structures below 3 km, dipping toward the Bransfield Trough. In our interpretation, the large upper anomaly is caused by a high-temperature shallow (1-3 km deep) geothermal system, located beneath the sediment-filled bay in the collapsed blocks and heated by smaller, deeper contributions of molten materials (magma) rising from southeast.

  19. Record low surface air temperature at Vostok station, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turner, John; Anderson, Phil; Lachlan-Cope, Tom; Colwell, Steve; Phillips, Tony; Kirchgaessner, AméLie; Marshall, Gareth J.; King, John C.; Bracegirdle, Tom; Vaughan, David G.; Lagun, Victor; Orr, Andrew

    2009-12-01

    The lowest recorded air temperature at the surface of the Earth was a measurement of -89.2°C made at Vostok station, Antarctica, at 0245 UT on 21 July 1983. Here we present the first detailed analysis of this event using meteorological reanalysis fields, in situ observations and satellite imagery. Surface temperatures at Vostok station in winter are highly variable on daily to interannual timescales as a result of the great sensitivity to intrusions of maritime air masses as Rossby wave activity changes around the continent. The record low temperature was measured following a near-linear cooling of over 30 K over a 10 day period from close to mean July temperatures. The event occurred because of five specific conditions that arose: (1) the temperature at the core of the midtropospheric vortex was at a near-record low value; (2) the center of the vortex moved close to the station; (3) an almost circular flow regime persisted around the station for a week resulting in very little warm air advection from lower latitudes; (4) surface wind speeds were low for the location; and (5) no cloud or diamond dust was reported above the station for a week, promoting the loss of heat to space via the emission of longwave radiation. We estimate that should a longer period of isolation occur the surface temperature at Vostok could drop to around -96°C. The higher site of Dome Argus is typically 5-6 K colder than Vostok so has the potential to record an even lower temperature.

  20. Macromolecular compositions of phytoplankton in the Amundsen Sea, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Bo Kyung; Lee, Jang Han; Joo, HuiTae; Song, Ho Jung; Yang, Eun Jin; Lee, Sang Hoon; Lee, Sang H.

    2016-01-01

    The biochemical compositions (proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids) of phytoplankton provide useful information for their environmental growth conditions and nutritional status as a basic food source for upper trophic consumers. Concentrations of these compositions were assessed at 100, 30, and 1% light penetration depths within the euphotic zone in the Amundsen Sea, Antarctica, using colorimetric techniques. The major inorganic nutrients were generally abundant throughout the study area. The average chlorophyll a (chl-a) concentration was 49.2 mg m-2 (S.D.=±27.6 mg m-2) and large phytoplankton (>20 μm) accounted for 64.1% of the total chl-a concentration. The biochemical compositions of the phytoplankton were not significantly different among different light depths or productivity stations. The overall compositions of proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids from all stations averaged 65.9% (S.D.=±12.5%), 22.4% (S.D.=±10.9%), and 11.7% (S.D.=±6.5%), respectively. Regardless of dominant phytoplankton species, nitrogen-abundant conditions sustained high protein compositions of phytoplankton in the Amundsen Sea during the cruise period. Based on the macromolecular compositions, the average food material (FM) concentration was 219.4 μg L-1 (S.D.=±151.1 μg L-1) and correlated positively with the primary productivity in the Amundsen Sea. High protein/carbohydrate ratios (>1) and large proportions of proteins suggest that phytoplankton provide nitrogen-sufficient foods to higher trophic consumers through a higher efficiency of protein carbon incorporated into herbivores.

  1. Lake Hoare, Antarctica: sedimentation through a thick perennial ice cover.

    PubMed

    Squyres, S W; Andersen, D W; Nedell, S S; Wharton, R A

    1991-01-01

    Lake Hoare in the Dry Valleys of Antarctica is covered with a perennial ice cover more than 3 m thick, yet there is a complex record of sedimentation and of growth of microbial mats on the lake bottom. Rough topography on the ice covering the lake surface traps sand that is transported by the wind. In late summer, vertical conduits form by melting and fracturing, making the ice permeable to both liquid water and gases. Cross-sections of the ice cover show that sand is able to penetrate into and apparently through it by descending through these conduits. This is the primary sedimentation mechanism in the lake. Sediment traps retrieved from the lake bottom indicate that rates of deposition can vary by large amounts over lateral scales as small as 1 m. This conclusion is supported by cores taken in a 3 x 3 grid with a spacing of 1.5 m. Despite the close spacing of the cores, the poor stratigraphic correlation that is observed indicates substantial lateral variability in sedimentation rate. Apparently, sand descends into the lake from discrete, highly localized sources in the ice that may in some cases deposit a large amount of sand into the lake in a very short time. In some locations on the lake bottom, distinctive sand mounds have been formed by this process. They are primary sedimentary structures and appear unique to the perennially ice-covered lacustrine environment. In some locations they are tens of centimetres high and gently rounded with stable slopes; in others they reach approximately 1 m in height and have a conical shape with slopes at angle of repose. A simple formation model suggests that these differences can be explained by local variations in water depth and sedimentation rate. Rapid colonization of fresh sand surfaces by microbial mats composed of cyanobacteria, eukaryotic algae, and heterotrophic bacteria produces a complex intercalation of organic and sandy layers that are a distinctive form of modern stromatolites.

  2. Long-term ozone and temperature correlations above SANAE, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bodeker, Gregory E.; Scourfield, Malcolm W. J.

    1994-01-01

    A significant decline in Antarctic total column ozone and upper air temperatures has been observed in recent years. Furthermore, high correlations between monthly mean values of ozone and stratospheric temperature have been measured above Syowa, Antarctica. For the observations reported here, data from TOMS (Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer) aboard the Nimbus 7 satellite have been used to examine the 1980 to 1990 decrease in total column ozone above the South African Antarctic base of SANAE (70 deg 18 min S, 2 deg 21 min W). The cooling of the Antarctic stratosphere above SANAE during this period has been investigated by examining upper air temperatures at the 150, 100, 70, 50, and 30 hPa levels obtained from daily radiosonde balloon launches. Furthermore, these two data sets have been used to examine long-term, medium-term, and short-term correlations between total column ozone and the temperatures at each of the five levels. The trend in SANAE total column ozone has been found to be -4.9 DU/year, while upper air temperatures have been found to decrease at around 0.3 C/year. An analysis of monthly average SANAE total column ozone has shown the decrease to be most severe during the month of September with a trend of -7.7 DU/year. A strong correlation (r(exp 2) = 0.92) has been found between yearly average total column ozone and temperature at the 100 hPa level. Daily ozone and temperature correlations show high values from September to November, at a time when the polar vortex is breaking down.

  3. Anthropogenic and natural disturbances to marine benthic communities in Antarctica

    SciTech Connect

    Lenihan, H.; Oliver, J.S.

    1995-05-01

    Sampling and field experiments were conducted from 1975 to 1990 to test how the structure of marine benthic communities around McMurdo Station, Antarctica varied with levels of anthropogenic contaminants in marine sediments. The structure of communities (e.g., infauna density, species composition, and life history characteristics) in contaminated and uncontaminated areas were compared with the structure of communities influenced by two large-scale natural disturbances, anchor ice formation and uplift or iceberg scour. Benthic communities changed radically along a steep spatial gradient of anthropogenic hydrocarbon, metal, and PCB contamination around McMurdo Station. The heavily contaminated end of the gradient, Winter Quarters Bay, was low in infaunal and epifaunal abundance and was dominated by a few opportunistic species of polychaete worms. The edge of the heavily contaminated bay, the transition area, contained several motile polychaete species with less opportunistic life histories. Uncontaminated sedimentary habitats harbored dense tube mats of infaunal animals numerically dominated by populations of polychaete worms, crustaceans, and a large suspension feeding bivalve. These species are generally large and relatively sessile, except for several crustacean species living among the tubes. Although the community patterns around anthropogenic and natural disturbances were similar, particularly motile and opportunistic species at heavily disturbed and marginal areas, the natural disturbances cover much greater areas of the sea floor about the entire Antarctic continent. On the other hand, recovery from chemical contamination is likely to take many more decades than recovery from natural disturbances as contaminant degradation is a slow process. 77 refs., 6 figs., 5 tabs.

  4. Offshore investigations on Wilkes land-Victoria land margin, Antarctica

    SciTech Connect

    Eittreim, S.L.

    1984-04-01

    In January 1984, the US Geological Survey research vessel S. P. Lee carried out investigations of the Antarctic continental margin in the Wilkes Land Victoria Land areas, using 24-channel and high-resolution seismic, sonobuoy refraction, gravity, magnetic, and bottom-sampling methods. This investigation augmented previous surveys of the Dumont d'Urville area by the French Petroleum Institute and explored new areas west and east to the boundary between the onshore Wilkes basin and the Victoria Land highlands. These surveys defined sediment thickness distribution and seismic stratigraphy in this frontier area. The tectonic style of the boundary between the East Antarctic craton and the younger crust of West Antarctica in the Ross Sea is revealed by one multichannel seismic line across this important boundary. The initial breakup of Antarctical from Australia occurred as a slowly spreading phase during the middle Cretaceous. According to Deep Sea Drilling Project results on the Tasman Rise, conditions of restricted circulation existed in the growing basin between the continents before the late Eocene. After the late Eocene, the major oceanic circulation pattern was established. Before that time, conditions were favorable for preservation of organic-carbon deposits on the sea floor. Among the questions to be addressed with this data are the following. How do apparent subsidence rates of this passive margin compare with others around the world. Does the onshore subglacial Wilkes basins to the Otway and Ceduna basins of Australia exists. What is the effect of the ice cap on the stratigraphy of this margin. Do the two major Tertiary ice advances have conspicuous seismic-stratigraphic signatures.

  5. Icequakes! Microseismic ';Sticky Spots' in Rutford Ice Stream, West Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, E. C.; Smith, A.; White, R. S.; Brisbourne, A.

    2013-12-01

    Microseismic emissions from the base of Rutford Ice Stream, West Antarctica, were recorded over a 34-day period using ten three-component instruments on the surface of the ice stream. Around 3000 microseismic events were detected and located. Events are concentrated in spatial clusters that are likely to be ';sticky spots': areas of increased basal friction where shear stress is concentrated. The ';sticky spots' turn on and off over the recording period becoming inactive for a period of time before being re-activated in the same location. The constant nature of these locations indicates a temporal stability in the basal regime despite the fact that rapid changes have been seen at the bed in this area (erosion and drumlin formation). Furthermore, events in each location cluster have a consistent waveform at a given receiver and a consistent source mechanism determined by fault plane analysis. The source mechanisms for these microseismic events show variation between clusters. Evidence of low-angled thrust faults in the ice flow direction suggest basal sliding is occurring in some regions and that in these regions basal flow is in the same orientation as surface flow, despite considerable bed topography. However, more complex source signatures in other regions indicate a spatial change in the basal processes over the survey area. An increased understanding of basal processes is fundamental in our ability to predict the evolution and future contribution to global sea level rise of ice sheets. Passive microseismic monitoring is proving to be an effective tool for investigating many aspects of this.

  6. Progressive Cenozoic cooling and the demise of Antarctica's last refugium.

    PubMed

    Anderson, John B; Warny, Sophie; Askin, Rosemary A; Wellner, Julia S; Bohaty, Steven M; Kirshner, Alexandra E; Livsey, Daniel N; Simms, Alexander R; Smith, Tyler R; Ehrmann, Werner; Lawver, Lawrence A; Barbeau, David; Wise, Sherwood W; Kulhanek, Denise K; Kulhenek, Denise K; Weaver, Fred M; Majewski, Wojciech

    2011-07-12

    The Antarctic Peninsula is considered to be the last region of Antarctica to have been fully glaciated as a result of Cenozoic climatic cooling. As such, it was likely the last refugium for plants and animals that had inhabited the continent since it separated from the Gondwana supercontinent. Drill cores and seismic data acquired during two cruises (SHALDRIL I and II) in the northernmost Peninsula region yield a record that, when combined with existing data, indicates progressive cooling and associated changes in terrestrial vegetation over the course of the past 37 million years. Mountain glaciation began in the latest Eocene (approximately 37-34 Ma), contemporaneous with glaciation elsewhere on the continent and a reduction in atmospheric CO(2) concentrations. This climate cooling was accompanied by a decrease in diversity of the angiosperm-dominated vegetation that inhabited the northern peninsula during the Eocene. A mosaic of southern beech and conifer-dominated woodlands and tundra continued to occupy the region during the Oligocene (approximately 34-23 Ma). By the middle Miocene (approximately 16-11.6 Ma), localized pockets of limited tundra still existed at least until 12.8 Ma. The transition from temperate, alpine glaciation to a dynamic, polythermal ice sheet took place during the middle Miocene. The northernmost Peninsula was overridden by an ice sheet in the early Pliocene (approximately 5.3-3.6 Ma). The long cooling history of the peninsula is consistent with the extended timescales of tectonic evolution of the Antarctic margin, involving the opening of ocean passageways and associated establishment of circumpolar circulation.

  7. Monitoring of nitrogen dioxide, ozone and halogens radicals in Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bortoli, Daniele; Ravegnani, Fabrizio; Costa, Maria J.; Genco, Silvia; Kulkarni, Pavan K.; Mendes, Rui; Domingues, Ana Filipa; Anton, Manuel; Giovanelli, Giorgio; Silva, Ana Maria

    2013-10-01

    Monitoring of atmospheric compounds at high latitudes is a key factor for a better understanding of the processes driving the chemical cycles of ozone and related chemical species. In this frame, the GASCOD (Gas Analizer Spectrometer Correlating Optical Differences) equipment is installed at the Mario Zucchelli Station (MZS - 74.69S, 164.12E) since December 1995, carrying out observations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and ozone (O3). The recent advances in sensor technologies and processor capabilities, suggested the setup of a new equipment, based on the same optical layout of the 'old' GASCOD , with enhanced performances and improved capabilities for the measurements of solar radiation in the UV-visible spectral range (300-700nm). The efforts accomplished, allowed for the increase of the investigated tracers. Actually, mainly due to the enlargement of the covered spectral range and to the adoption of a CCD sensor, in addition to the NO2 and O3 compounds, others species can be monitored with the new instrumental setup such as bromine, chlorine and iodine oxides (BrO, OClO and IO). The innovative equipment called GASCODNG (GASCOD New Generation) was installed at MZS during the 2012/2013 Italian Antarctic expedition, in the framework of the research projects SAMOA (Automatic Station Monitoring Antarctic Ozonosphere) and MATAGRO (Monitoring Atmospheric Tracers in Antarctica with Ground Based Observations) funded by the Italian and Portuguese Antarctic programs respectively. In this paper a brief description of the new equipment is provided, highlighting the main improvements with regard to the 'old' one. Furthermore the full dataset (1996 - 2012) of NO2 total columns, obtained with the GASCOD installed at MZS, is compared with the data obtained with satellite borne equipments (GOME, SCIAMACHY, OMI and GOME2) and the main statistical parameters are analyzed and discussed in detail.

  8. Radioactive minerals and the pre-Beacon erosion surface, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeller, Edward J.; Dreschhoff, Gisela A. M.

    Some similarities between Antarctica and other fragments of Gondwanaland have been revealed by a radiometric survey conducted in the Transantarctic Mountains. The survey examined in detail both the primary radioactive mineralization in the crystalline terranes upon which the pre- Beacon erosion surface is formed and the sediments that rest upon it. The primary deposits associated with the Granite Harbour Intrusives show similarities both in age and petrology to the Rossing uranium deposit in South West Africa (Namibia). Since these rocks were certainly exposed at the time of formation of the pre-Beacon surface, they may have served as a source for radioactive mineral deposition in the basal part of the Beacon Supergroup sediments which are stratigraphic equivalents of Cape System rocks. There is strong evidence that the paleoclimate that prevailed at the time of formation of the surface caused the geochemical separation of uranium and thorium. Detailed airborne radiometric surveys of the erosion surface along the Transantarctic Mountains from the Byrd Glacier to northern Victoria Land serve as a basis for assessment of its variability. Placer deposits of thorium-bearing minerals were found in the Brown Hills Conglomerate in the Darwin Glacier area, but only minor concentrations of uranium were detected in any of the basal Beacon sediments. In southern Victoria Land, outcrops of the Kukri Erosion Surface commonly occur on steep slopes and cliff faces. The radiation signature of different outcrops varies considerably, but some show uranium and thorium concentrations as high as those found in the Darwin Glacier area or in northern Victoria Land. Very extensive exposures of the pre-Beacon surface in northern Victoria Land were found to show uranium in the outliers of the basal Beacon sandstones at several localities where these sediments have been preserved.

  9. Microbial Community Structure of Subglacial Lake Whillans, West Antarctica

    PubMed Central

    Achberger, Amanda M.; Christner, Brent C.; Michaud, Alexander B.; Priscu, John C.; Skidmore, Mark L.; Vick-Majors, Trista J.; Adkins, W.

    2016-01-01

    Subglacial Lake Whillans (SLW) is located beneath ∼800 m of ice on the Whillans Ice Stream in West Antarctica and was sampled in January of 2013, providing the first opportunity to directly examine water and sediments from an Antarctic subglacial lake. To minimize the introduction of surface contaminants to SLW during its exploration, an access borehole was created using a microbiologically clean hot water drill designed to reduce the number and viability of microorganisms in the drilling water. Analysis of 16S rRNA genes (rDNA) amplified from samples of the drilling and borehole water allowed an evaluation of the efficacy of this approach and enabled a confident assessment of the SLW ecosystem inhabitants. Based on an analysis of 16S rDNA and rRNA (i.e., reverse-transcribed rRNA molecules) data, the SLW community was found to be bacterially dominated and compositionally distinct from the assemblages identified in the drill system. The abundance of bacteria (e.g., Candidatus Nitrotoga, Sideroxydans, Thiobacillus, and Albidiferax) and archaea (Candidatus Nitrosoarchaeum) related to chemolithoautotrophs was consistent with the oxidation of reduced iron, sulfur, and nitrogen compounds having important roles as pathways for primary production in this permanently dark ecosystem. Further, the prevalence of Methylobacter in surficial lake sediments combined with the detection of methanogenic taxa in the deepest sediment horizons analyzed (34–36 cm) supported the hypothesis that methane cycling occurs beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Large ratios of rRNA to rDNA were observed for several operational taxonomic units abundant in the water column and sediments (e.g., Albidiferax, Methylobacter, Candidatus Nitrotoga, Sideroxydans, and Smithella), suggesting a potentially active role for these taxa in the SLW ecosystem. Our findings are consistent with chemosynthetic microorganisms serving as the ecological foundation in this dark subsurface environment, providing new

  10. Environmental controls of marine productivity hot spots around Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arrigo, Kevin R.; van Dijken, Gert L.; Strong, Aaron L.

    2015-08-01

    Antarctic coastal polynyas are biologically rich ecosystems that support large populations of mammals and birds and are globally significant sinks of atmospheric carbon dioxide. To support local phytoplankton blooms, these highly productive ecosystems require a large input of iron (Fe), the sources of which are poorly known. Here we assess the relative importance of six different environmental factors in controlling the amount of phytoplankton biomass and rates of net primary production (NPP) in 46 coastal polynyas around Antarctica. Data presented here suggest that melting ice shelves are a primary supplier of Fe to coastal polynyas, with basal melt rates explaining 59% of the between-polynya variance in mean chlorophyll a (Chl a) concentration. In a multiple regression analysis, which explained 78% of the variance in chlorophyll a (Chl a) between polynyas, basal melt rate explained twice as much of the variance as the next most important variable. Fe upwelled from sediments, which is partly controlled by continental shelf width, was also important in some polynyas. Of secondary importance to phytoplankton abundance and NPP were sea surface temperature and polynya size. Surprisingly, differences in light availability and the length of the open water season explained little or none of the variance in either Chl a or NPP between polynyas. If the productivity of coastal polynyas is indeed sensitive to the release of Fe from melting ice shelves, future changes in ice shelf melt rates could dramatically influence Antarctic coastal ecosystems and the ability of continental shelf waters to sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide. This article was corrected on 26 AUG 2015. See the end of the full text for details.

  11. An integrative study of a meromictic lake ecosystem in Antarctica

    PubMed Central

    Lauro, Federico M; DeMaere, Matthew Z; Yau, Sheree; Brown, Mark V; Ng, Charmaine; Wilkins, David; Raftery, Mark J; Gibson, John AE; Andrews-Pfannkoch, Cynthia; Lewis, Matthew; Hoffman, Jeffrey M; Thomas, Torsten; Cavicchioli, Ricardo

    2011-01-01

    In nature, the complexity and structure of microbial communities varies widely, ranging from a few species to thousands of species, and from highly structured to highly unstructured communities. Here, we describe the identity and functional capacity of microbial populations within distinct layers of a pristine, marine-derived, meromictic (stratified) lake (Ace Lake) in Antarctica. Nine million open reading frames were analyzed, representing microbial samples taken from six depths of the lake size fractionated on sequential 3.0, 0.8 and 0.1 μm filters, and including metaproteome data from matching 0.1 μm filters. We determine how the interactions of members of this highly structured and moderately complex community define the biogeochemical fluxes throughout the entire lake. Our view is that the health of this delicate ecosystem is dictated by the effects of the polar light cycle on the dominant role of green sulfur bacteria in primary production and nutrient cycling, and the influence of viruses/phage and phage resistance on the cooperation between members of the microbial community right throughout the lake. To test our assertions, and develop a framework applicable to other microbially driven ecosystems, we developed a mathematical model that describes how cooperation within a microbial system is impacted by periodic fluctuations in environmental parameters on key populations of microorganisms. Our study reveals a mutualistic structure within the microbial community throughout the lake that has arisen as the result of mechanistic interactions between the physico-chemical parameters and the selection of individual members of the community. By exhaustively describing and modelling interactions in Ace Lake, we have developed an approach that may be applicable to learning how environmental perturbations affect the microbial dynamics in more complex aquatic systems. PMID:21124488

  12. Numerical analysis of rapid water transfer beneath Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peters, Nial J.; Willis, Ian C.; Arnold, Neil S.

    We use a simple energy-conservation model and a model based on Röthlisberger's theory for steady-state water flow in a subglacial conduit to model water movement between lakes in the Adventure subglacial trench region of East Antarctica during a 1996-98 jökulhlaup. Using available field evidence to constrain the models suggests that water flow would likely be accommodated in a tunnel with a cross-sectional area of 36 m2 and a value for k (the reciprocal of Manning's roughness parameter) larger than the 12.5 m1/3 s-1 previously calculated. We also use Nye's theory for time-dependent conduit water flow to model the temporal evolution of conduit discharge, cross-sectional area, water pressure and lake draining and filling during the flood. We initially assume one source and one sink lake. We perform sensitivity tests on the input parameter set, matching modeled source- and sink-lake depth changes with measured surface elevation data. Using a simple function for vertical ice deformation in which surface deformation scales linearly to the lake depth change, we find the scaling factor is of the order 4 × 10-3 of the ice thickness. The most likely value of k lies in the range 55-68 m1/3 s-1, and the ratio of source to sink-lake radii is approximately 1 : 1.4. Finally, we experiment using Nye's theory to model water movement between one source and three sink lakes. The model fails to produce the observed patterns of water movement as indicated by the surface deformation data.

  13. Snowpack Chemistry of Reactive Gases at Station Concordia, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helmig, Detlev; Mass, Alex; Hueber, Jacques; Fain, Xavier; Dommergue, Aurelien; Barbero, Albane; Savarino, Joel

    2013-04-01

    During December 2012 a new experiment for the study of snow photochemical processes and surface gas exchange was installed at Dome Concordia, Antarctica. The experiment consists of two sampling manifolds ('snow tower') which facilitate the withdrawal of interstitial firn air from four depths in the snowpack and from above the surface. One of these snow towers can be shaded for investigation of the dependency of snow chemistry on solar radiation. A nearby 12 m meteorological tower facilitates above surface turbulence and trace gas gradient measurements. Temperature profiles and UV and IR light penetration are monitored in the snowpack. Air samples are directed through sampling lines to a nearby underground laboratory that houses the experiment control system and gas monitors. The system is fully automated, sampling gases from the array of inlet ports sequentially, and is intended to be operated continuously for a full annual cycle. The computerized control system can be accessed remotely for data retrieval and quality control and for configuring experimental details. Continuous gas measurements include ozone, nitrogen oxides, methane, carbon monoxide, and gaseous elemental mercury. Whole air samples were sampled on four occasions for volatile organic compound analysis. The objective of this research is the study of the year-round snowpack gas chemistry and its dependency on snowpack and above surface physical and environmental conditions. A particular emphasis will be the investigation of the effects of increased UV radiation during the occurrence of the stratospheric ozone hole. We will present the conceptual design of the experiment and data examples from the first three months of the experiment.

  14. An integrative study of a meromictic lake ecosystem in Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Lauro, Federico M; DeMaere, Matthew Z; Yau, Sheree; Brown, Mark V; Ng, Charmaine; Wilkins, David; Raftery, Mark J; Gibson, John A E; Andrews-Pfannkoch, Cynthia; Lewis, Matthew; Hoffman, Jeffrey M; Thomas, Torsten; Cavicchioli, Ricardo

    2011-05-01

    In nature, the complexity and structure of microbial communities varies widely, ranging from a few species to thousands of species, and from highly structured to highly unstructured communities. Here, we describe the identity and functional capacity of microbial populations within distinct layers of a pristine, marine-derived, meromictic (stratified) lake (Ace Lake) in Antarctica. Nine million open reading frames were analyzed, representing microbial samples taken from six depths of the lake size fractionated on sequential 3.0, 0.8 and 0.1 μm filters, and including metaproteome data from matching 0.1 μm filters. We determine how the interactions of members of this highly structured and moderately complex community define the biogeochemical fluxes throughout the entire lake. Our view is that the health of this delicate ecosystem is dictated by the effects of the polar light cycle on the dominant role of green sulfur bacteria in primary production and nutrient cycling, and the influence of viruses/phage and phage resistance on the cooperation between members of the microbial community right throughout the lake. To test our assertions, and develop a framework applicable to other microbially driven ecosystems, we developed a mathematical model that describes how cooperation within a microbial system is impacted by periodic fluctuations in environmental parameters on key populations of microorganisms. Our study reveals a mutualistic structure within the microbial community throughout the lake that has arisen as the result of mechanistic interactions between the physico-chemical parameters and the selection of individual members of the community. By exhaustively describing and modelling interactions in Ace Lake, we have developed an approach that may be applicable to learning how environmental perturbations affect the microbial dynamics in more complex aquatic systems.

  15. The helium isotopic chemistry of Lake Bonney, Taylor Valley, Antarctica: Timing of late holocene climate change in Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Poreda, R.J.; Hunt, A.G.; Berry, Lyons W.; Welch, K.A.

    2004-01-01

    To better understand the long-term climate history of Antarctica, we studied Lake Bonney in Taylor Valley, Southern Victoria Land (78?? S). Helium isotope ratios and He, Ne, Ar and N2 concentration data, obtained from hydrocasts in the East (ELB) and West (WLB) Lobesof Lake Bonney, provided important constraints on the lake's Holocene evolution. Based on very low concentrations of Ar and N2 in the ELB bottom waters, ELB was free of ice until 200 ?? 50 years ago. After which, low salinity water flowing over the sill from WLB to ELB, covered ELB and formed a perennial ice cover, inhibiting the exchange of gases with the atmosphere. In contrast to the ELB, the WLB retained an ice cover through the Holocene. The brine in the WLB bottom waters has meteoric N2 and Ar gas concentrations indicating that it has not been significantly modified by atmospheric exchange or ice formation. The helium concentrations in the deep water of WLB are the highest measured in non-thermal surface water. By fitting a diffusional loss to the 3He/4He, helium, and Cl profiles, we calculate a time of ???3000 years for the initiation of flow over the sill separating the East and West Lobes. To supply this flux of helium to the lake, a helium-rich sediment beneath the lake must be providing the helium by diffusion. If at any time during the last million years the ice cover left WLB, there would be insufficient helium available to provide the current flux to WLB. The variations in water levels in Lake Bonney can be related to climatic events that have been documented within the Southern Victoria Land region and indicate that the lakes respond significantly to regional and, perhaps, global climate forcing. ?? 2004 Kluwer Academic Publishers.

  16. Synchronous alkaline and subalkaline magmatism during the late Neoproterozoic-early Paleozoic Ross orogeny, Antarctica: Insights into magmatic sources and processes within a continental arc

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hagen-Peter, Graham; Cottle, John M.

    2016-10-01

    Extensive exposure of intrusive igneous rocks along the Ross orogen of Antarctica-an ancient accretionary orogen on the margin of East Gondwana-provides an exceptional opportunity to study continental arc magmatism. There is significant petrologic and geochemical variability in igneous rocks within a 500-km-long segment of the arc in southern Victoria Land. The conspicuous occurrence of carbonatite and alkaline silicate rocks (nepheline syenite, A-type granite, and alkaline mafic rocks) adjacent to large complexes of subalkaline granitoids is not adequately explained by traditional models for continental arc magmatism. Extensive geochemical analysis (> 100 samples) and zircon U-Pb geochronology (n = 70) confirms that alkaline and carbonatitic magmatism was partially contemporaneous with the emplacement of large subduction-related igneous complexes in adjacent areas. Major pulses of subalkaline magmatism were compositionally distinct and occurred at different times along the arc. Large bodies of subalkaline orthogneiss and granite (sensu lato) were emplaced over similar time intervals (ca. 25 Myr) to the north (ca. 515-492 Ma) and south (ca. 550-525 Ma) of the alkaline magmatic province, although the initiation of these major pulses of magmatism was offset by ca. 35 Myr. Alkaline and carbonatitic magmatism spanned at least ca. 550-509 Ma, overlapping with voluminous subalkaline magmatism in adjacent areas. The most primitive rocks from each area have similarly enriched trace element compositions, indicating some common characteristics of the magma sources along the arc. The samples from the older subalkaline complex have invariably low Sr/Y ratios (< 40), consistent with relatively shallow magma generation and differentiation. The younger subalkaline complex and subalkaline rocks within the area of the alkaline province extend to higher Sr/Y ratios (up to 300), indicative of generation and differentiation at deeper levels. The significant spatial and temporal

  17. Ca isotope variations in Allende

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jungck, M. H. A.; Shimamura, T.; Lugmair, G. W.

    1984-01-01

    Ca-isotope measurements of Allende Ca-Al-rich inclusions (CAIs), together with those on an apatite-enriched fraction from Orgueil, indicate the existence of widespread excesses on the neutron-rich isotope Ca-48. Isotopic anomalies are noted in 7 out of 11 CAIs analyzed. This abundance of isotopic excesses places Ca alongside Ti and O, although no clear correlation has yet been found between Ca-48 and Ti-50, which are thought to be coproduced by neutron-rich nucleosynthetic processes within stars. It is suggested that the higher volatility of Ca, by comparison with Ti compounds, led to a variable dilution with isotopically normal Ca in vaporization and recondensation processes in stellar envelopes, the interstellar medium, and/or the solar nebula.

  18. They're M-e-e-elting!: An Investigation of Glacial Retreat in Antarctica

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bugg, Samuel R., IV; Constible, Juanita; Kaput, Marianne; Lee, Richard E., Jr.

    2007-01-01

    In this article, the authors describe the mechanics of They're M-e-e-elting!, an activity wherein middle school students can simulate glacial retreat in Antarctica. They're M-e-e-elting! allows students to melt glaciers, change the water level and salinity of the Southern Ocean, and examine alterations to the Antarctic food web--all without…

  19. A 2000-year annual record of snow accumulation rates for Law Dome, East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, J.; Plummer, C.; Vance, T.; van Ommen, T.; Moy, A.; Poynter, S.; Treverrow, A.; Curran, M.; George, S.

    2015-05-01

    Accurate high-resolution records of snow accumulation rates in Antarctica are crucial for estimating ice sheet mass balance and subsequent sea level change. Snowfall rates at Law Dome, East Antarctica, have been linked with regional atmospheric circulation to the mid-latitudes as well as regional Antarctic snowfall. Here, we extend the length of the Law Dome accumulation record from 750 years to 2035 years, using recent annual layer dating that extends to 22 BCE. Accumulation rates were calculated as the ratio of measured to modelled layer thicknesses, multiplied by the long-term mean accumulation rate. The modelled layer thicknesses were based on a power-law vertical strain rate profile fitted to observed annual layer thickness. The periods 380-442, 727-783 and 1970-2009 CE have above-average snow accumulation rates, while 663-704, 933-975 and 1429-1468 CE were below average, and decadal-scale snow accumulation anomalies were found to be relatively common (74 events in the 2035-year record). The calculated snow accumulation rates show good correlation with atmospheric reanalysis estimates, and significant spatial correlation over a wide expanse of East Antarctica, demonstrating that the Law Dome record captures larger-scale variability across a large region of East Antarctica well beyond the immediate vicinity of the Law Dome summit. Spectral analysis reveals periodicities in the snow accumulation record which may be related to El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) frequencies.

  20. A two thousand year annual record of snow accumulation rates for Law Dome, East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, J.; Plummer, C.; Vance, T.; van Ommen, T.; Moy, A.; Poynter, S.; Treverrow, A.; Curran, M.; George, S.

    2014-11-01

    Accurate high resolution records of snow accumulation rates in Antarctica are crucial for estimating ice sheet mass balance and subsequent sea level change. Snowfall rates at Law Dome, East Antarctica, have been linked with regional atmospheric circulation to mid-latitudes as well as regional Antarctic snowfall. Here, we extend the Law Dome accumulation record from 750 to 2035 years, using recent annual layer dating that extends to AD -22. Accumulation rates were calculated as the ratio of measured to modelled layer thicknesses, multiplied by the long term mean accumulation rate. The modelled layer thicknesses were based on a power law vertical strain rate profile fitted to observed annual layer thickness. The periods AD 380-442, AD 727-783 and AD 1970-2009 have above average snow accumulation rates, while AD 663-704, AD 933-975 and AD 1429-1468 were below average. The calculated snow accumulation rates show good correlation with atmospheric reanalysis estimates, and significant spatial correlation over a wide expanse of East Antarctica, demonstrating that the Law Dome record captures larger scale variability across a large region of East Antarctica well beyond the immediate vicinity of the Law Dome summit. Spectral analysis reveals periodicities in the snow accumulation record which may be related to ENSO and Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation frequencies.

  1. Laurentia, Australia, and Antarctica as a Late Proterozoic supercontinent. Constraints from isotopic mapping

    SciTech Connect

    Borg, S.G.; DePaolo, D.J. Lawrence Berkeley Lab., CA )

    1994-04-01

    The reconstruction of Laurentia, Australia, and Antarctica into a Proterozoic supercontinent is evaluated by analyzing the fit of Precambrian provinces defined by isotopic and geochronologic mapping. The analysis is complicated by allochthonous segments of the Antarctic and eastern Australian margins. Removal of the allochthonous provinces produces a closer fit of the continents; there is a match of Early Proterozoic basement between southwestern Laurentia and the only exposure of craton known from the paleo-Pacific margin of Antarctica. In addition, western Laurentia is brought closer to the Australian Gawler block, consistent with provenance interpretations of the Belt Supergroup. Removal of the allochthonous provinces by right-lateral translation relative to the Antarctic craton margin places them in a pre-750 Ma position where they could be southwestward extensions of the Yavapai-Mazatzal and Grenville provinces of southern Laurentia. This modified reconstruction leads to a prediction of extensive Archean basement in Antarctica between the South Pole and Victoria Land, a prediction partly borne out by Archean rocks in the Miller Range of the Transantarctic Mountains; it also predicts the presence of 1.4 Ga rapakivi granites in the Transantarctic Mountains basement. This configuration implies assembly of the Australia-Antarctica Gondwana margin by terrane accretion following, or accompanied by, left-lateral translation. 27 refs., 2 figs., 1 tab.

  2. AMLR program: Ultraviolet and visible solar irradiance around Elephant Island, Antarctica, January to March 1993

    SciTech Connect

    Helbling, E.W.; Holm-Hansen, O. ); Moran, P. )

    1993-01-01

    Since the discovery of the seasonal ozone hole over Antarctica, great efforts have been made in measuring incident ultraviolet radiation at high latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere, as well as the impact that enhanced UV-B radiation could have on terrestrial and aquatic environments. The measurements described in this article were conducted on board the NOAA ship Surveyor. 3 refs., 3 figs.

  3. Radar Interferometry Detection of Hinge Line Migration on Rutford Ice Stream and Carlson Inlet, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rignot, Eric

    1997-01-01

    Satellite synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) Interferometry is employed to map the hinge line, or limit of tidal flexing, of Rutford Ice Stream and Carlson Inlet, Antarctica, and detect its migration between 1992 and 1996. The hinge line is mapped using a model fit from an elastic beam theory.

  4. Polybrominated diphenyl ether flame retardants in lichens and mosses from King George Island, maritime Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Yogui, G T; Sericano, J L

    2008-11-01

    Lichens and mosses are considered good indicators of atmospheric pollution as they absorb contaminants directly from the air. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are man-made chemicals used as flame retardants in materials such as plastics, textiles, electronic circuitry and furnishing foam. Few studies have investigated PBDEs in the southern hemisphere including Antarctica. This paper presents the first evaluation of PBDEs in lichens (Usnea antarctica and Usnea aurantiaco-atra) and mosses (Sanionia uncinata) collected at King George Island, maritime Antarctica. PBDEs were detected at low levels in all lichen and moss samples. On average, the levels of PBDEs in mosses (818 pg g(-1) dry weight; 101 ng g(-1) lipid) were significantly higher than in lichens (168 pg g(-1) dry weight; 9.11 ng g(-1) lipid). This difference is most likely due to the differing mechanisms of PBDEs uptake from the atmosphere which are controlled by a number of chemical, environmental and plant variables. Contaminant concentrations were not statistically different at sites close to and distant from human facilities. Long-range atmospheric transport is believed to be the primary source of PBDEs to King George Island. The pattern of congeners in plants resembles those found in commercial mixtures of Penta-BDE. In addition, the presence of BDE-183 in lichens and mosses suggests that other technical formulations (e.g., Octa-BDE and Deca-BDE) have reached Antarctica. Further studies are needed to better understand the role of Antarctic vegetation as a sink for anthropogenic organic pollutants.

  5. Microbial ecology of terrestrial Antarctica: Are microbial systems at risk from human activities?

    SciTech Connect

    White, G.J.

    1996-08-01

    Many of the ecological systems found in continental Antarctica are comprised entirely of microbial species. Concerns have arisen that these microbial systems might be at risk either directly through the actions of humans or indirectly through increased competition from introduced species. Although protection of native biota is covered by the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, strict measures for preventing the introduction on non-native species or for protecting microbial habitats may be impractical. This report summarizes the research conducted to date on microbial ecosystems in continental Antarctica and discusses the need for protecting these ecosystems. The focus is on communities inhabiting soil and rock surfaces in non-coastal areas of continental Antarctica. Although current polices regarding waste management and other operations in Antarctic research stations serve to reduce the introduction on non- native microbial species, importation cannot be eliminated entirely. Increased awareness of microbial habitats by field personnel and protection of certain unique habitats from physical destruction by humans may be necessary. At present, small-scale impacts from human activities are occurring in certain areas both in terms of introduced species and destruction of habitat. On a large scale, however, it is questionable whether the introduction of non-native microbial species to terrestrial Antarctica merits concern.

  6. The Psychology of Isolated and Confined Environments: Understanding Human Behavior in Antarctica.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Palinkas, Lawrence A.

    2003-01-01

    Reviews lessons learned from research in Antarctica with relevance to understanding human behavior in other isolated and confined environments. Outlines four distinct characteristics of psychosocial adaptation to such environments and discusses some of the benefits for individuals seeking challenging experiences. (Contains references.) (SLD)

  7. Isolation and characterization of Campylobacter spp. from Antarctic fur seals (Arctocephalus gazella) at Deception Island, Antarctica.

    PubMed

    García-Peña, F J; Pérez-Boto, D; Jiménez, C; San Miguel, E; Echeita, A; Rengifo-Herrera, C; García-Párraga, D; Ortega-Mora, L M; Pedraza-Díaz, S

    2010-09-01

    The presence of Campylobacter spp. was investigated in 41 Antarctic fur seals (Arctocephalus gazella) and 9 Weddell seals (Leptonychotes weddellii) at Deception Island, Antarctica. Infections were encountered in six Antarctic fur seals. The isolates, the first reported from marine mammals in the Antarctic region, were identified as Campylobacter insulaenigrae and Campylobacter lari.

  8. Tracking human footprints in Antarctica through passive sampling of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in inland lakes.

    PubMed

    Yao, Yao; Meng, Xiang-Zhou; Wu, Chen-Chou; Bao, Lian-Jun; Wang, Feng; Wu, Feng-Chang; Zeng, Eddy Y

    2016-06-01

    Freely dissolved polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were monitored in seven inland lakes of Antarctica by a polyethylene (PE)-based passive sampling technique, with the objective of tracking human footprints. The measured concentrations of PAHs were in the range of 14-360 ng L(-1) with the highest values concentrated around the Russian Progress II Station, indicating the significance of human activities to the loading of PAHs in Antarctica. The concentrations of PAHs in the inland lakes were in the upper part of the PAHs levels in aquatic environments from remote and background regions across the globe. The composition profiles of PAHs indicated that PAHs in the inland lakes were derived mainly from local oil spills, which was corroborated by a large number of fuel spillage reports from ship and plane crash incidents in Antarctica during recent years. Clearly, local human activities, rather than long-range transport, are the dominant sources of PAH contamination to the inland lakes. Finally, the present study demonstrates the efficacy of PE-based passive samplers for investigating PAHs in the aquatic environment of Antarctica under complex field conditions.

  9. Diversity and bioprospection of fungal community present in oligotrophic soil of continental Antarctica

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The diversity of fungal communities from different substrates in Antarctica were studied and their capability to produce bioactive compounds. A one hundred and one fungal isolates were identified by molecular analysis in 35 different fungal taxa from 20 genera. Pseudogymnoascus sp. 3, Pseudogymnoasc...

  10. Glycerol acyl-transfer kinetics of a circular permutated Candida antarctica Lipase B

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Triacylglycerols containing a high abundance of unusual fatty acids, such as y-linolenic acid, or novel arylaliphatic acids, such as ferulic acid, are useful in pharmaceutical and cosmeceutical applications. Candida antarctica lipase B (CALB) is quite often used for non-aqueous synthesis, although ...

  11. It Happened in Antarctica. A Collection of Observations Requiring Scientific Explanations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yaxley, Murray

    There are many reasons for studying Antarctica. It is the key element in the world's climate. Some of the secrets of the earth's past are locked beneath its icecap. It has a fascinating physical environment and a unique and fragile ecosystem. It is a frontier of scientific research and technological development. Its history is an important and…

  12. Influence of cosolvents on the hydrophobic surface immobilization topography of Candida antarctica lipase B

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The presence of cosolvents and co-solutes during the immobilization of lipases on hydrophobic supports may influence the extent of lipase immobilization and the long-term catalytic stability of the biocatalyst. Candida antarctica B lipase immobilization was examined on a hydrophobic surface, i.e., ...

  13. Dehydration, rehydration and overhydration alter patterns of gene expression in the Antarctic midge, Belgica antarctica

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We investigated molecular responses elicited by three types of dehydration (fast, slow and cryoprotective), rehydration and overhydration in larvae of the Antarctic midge, Belgica antarctica. The larvae spend most the year encased in ice but during the austral summer are vulnerable to summer storms,...

  14. Cryoprotective dehydration and the resistance to inoculative freezing in the Antarctic midge, Belgica antarctica

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    During winter, larvae of the Antarctic midge, Belgica antarctica (Diptera, Chironomidae), must endure 7–8 months of continuous subzero temperatures, encasement in a matrix of soil and ice, and severely desiccating conditions. This environment, along with the fact that larvae possess a high rate of w...

  15. UPREGULATION OF STRESS ASSOCIATED GENES IN THE OVERWINTERING STAGES OF THE ANTARCTIC MIDGE, BELGICA ANTARCTICA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We have investigated the molecular basis of stress resistance in the midge Belgica antarctica, the largest known free-living animal to adapt to a terrestrial existence on the Antarctic continent. Prevalent in specific locations throughout the Antarctic peninsula, this insect has a two-year life cyc...

  16. Survival and recovery of Phaeocystis antarctica (Prymnesiophyceae) from prolonged darkness and freezing.

    PubMed

    Tang, Kam W; Smith, Walker O; Shields, Amy R; Elliott, David T

    2009-01-07

    The colony-forming haptophyte Phaeocystis antarctica is an important primary producer in the Ross Sea, and must survive long periods of darkness and freezing temperature in this extreme environment. We conducted experiments on the responses of P. antarctica-dominated phytoplankton assemblages to prolonged periods of darkness and freezing. Chlorophyll and photosynthetic capacity of the alga declined nonlinearly and independently of each other in the dark, and darkness alone would potentially reduce photosynthetic capacity by only 60 per cent over 150 days (approximately the length of the Antarctic winter in the southern Ross Sea). The estimated reduction of colonial mucous carbon is higher than that of colonial cell carbon, suggesting metabolism of the colonial matrix in the dark. The alga quickly resumed growth upon return to light. Phaeocystis antarctica also survived freezing, although longer freezing durations lengthened the lag before growth resumption. Particulate dimethylsulfoniopropionate relative to chlorophyll increased upon freezing and decreased upon darkness. Taken together, the abilities of P. antarctica to survive freezing and initiate growth quickly after darkness may provide it with the capability to survive in both the ice and the water column, and help explain its repeated dominance in austral spring blooms in the Ross Sea and elsewhere in the Southern Ocean.

  17. Modeled methanesulfonic acid (MSA) deposition in Antarctica and its relationship to sea ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hezel, P. J.; Alexander, B.; Bitz, C. M.; Steig, E. J.; Holmes, C. D.; Yang, X.; Sciare, J.

    2011-12-01

    Methanesulfonic acid (MSA) has previously been measured in ice cores in Antarctica as a proxy for sea ice extent and Southern Hemisphere circulation. In a series of chemical transport model (GEOS-Chem) sensitivity experiments, we identify mechanisms that control the MSA concentrations recorded in ice cores. Sea ice is linked to MSA via dimethylsulfide (DMS), which is produced biologically in the surface ocean and known to be particularly concentrated in the sea ice zone. Given existing ocean surface DMS concentration data sets, the model does not demonstrate a strong relationship between sea ice and MSA deposition in Antarctica. The variability of DMS emissions associated with sea ice extent is small (11-30%) due to the small interannual variability of sea ice extent. Wind plays a role in the variability in DMS emissions, but its contribution relative to that of sea ice is strongly dependent on the assumed DMS concentrations in the sea ice zone. Atmospheric sulfur emitted as DMS from the sea ice undergoes net transport northward. Our model runs suggest that DMS emissions from the sea ice zone may account for 26-62% of MSA deposition at the Antarctic coast and 36-95% in inland Antarctica. Though our results are sensitive to model assumptions, it is clear that an improved understanding of both DMS concentrations and emissions from the sea ice zone are required to better assess the impact of sea ice variability on MSA deposition to Antarctica.

  18. U-238- and Th-232-series chronology of phonolite fractionation at Mount Erebus, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reagan, Mark K.; Volpe, Alan M.; Cashman, Katharine V.

    1992-03-01

    Some of the first uranium thorium, and radium nuclide and barium abundance data from phonolites erupted in 1984 and 1988 from Mount Erebus, Antarctica are reported. The data are used to constrain the time scales of anorthoclase megacryst growth and, by inference, the residence times and histories of anorthoclase phonolite differentiation at Mount Erebus.

  19. Onset of deglacial warming in West Antarctica driven by local orbital forcing.

    PubMed

    2013-08-22

    The cause of warming in the Southern Hemisphere during the most recent deglaciation remains a matter of debate. Hypotheses for a Northern Hemisphere trigger, through oceanic redistributions of heat, are based in part on the abrupt onset of warming seen in East Antarctic ice cores and dated to 18,000 years ago, which is several thousand years after high-latitude Northern Hemisphere summer insolation intensity began increasing from its minimum, approximately 24,000 years ago. An alternative explanation is that local solar insolation changes cause the Southern Hemisphere to warm independently. Here we present results from a new, annually resolved ice-core record from West Antarctica that reconciles these two views. The records show that 18,000 years ago snow accumulation in West Antarctica began increasing, coincident with increasing carbon dioxide concentrations, warming in East Antarctica and cooling in the Northern Hemisphere associated with an abrupt decrease in Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. However, significant warming in West Antarctica began at least 2,000 years earlier. Circum-Antarctic sea-ice decline, driven by increasing local insolation, is the likely cause of this warming. The marine-influenced West Antarctic records suggest a more active role for the Southern Ocean in the onset of deglaciation than is inferred from ice cores in the East Antarctic interior, which are largely isolated from sea-ice changes.

  20. Crustal structure and evolution of the Mawson Sea, western Wilkes Land margin, East Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Leitchenkov, G.L.; Gandyukhin, V.V.; Guseva, Yu. B.; Kazankov, A. Yu

    2007-01-01

    3 to 11 mm/yr. Three major unconformities are identified in the sedimentary cover of the Mawson Sea and are interpreted to be caused by break-up between Australia and Antarctica at about 81 Ma ago (WL1), the first arrival of the ice sheet to the Mawson Sea (WL3) and continental scale glaciation at about 34 Ma ago (WL4).

  1. Ice sheet elevation change in West Antarctica from CryoSat interferometric altimetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McMillan, M.; Shepherd, A.; Ridout, A.; Sundal, A.

    2013-12-01

    Two decades of radar altimetry have shown accelerating mass losses from the Amundsen Sea Sector of West Antarctica. The mass imbalance of this region, which dominates that of all Antarctica, manifests as sustained ice thinning focussed upon fast-flowing ice streams and their tributaries. Ongoing observations are required to determine whether rates of mass loss continue to increase and, more widely, to monitor the stability of this sector of the ice sheet. With the retirement of the ERS-2 satellite in 2011 and the loss of Envisat in 2012, CryoSat-2 offers the unique potential to extend the current altimetry record. In coastal regions of Antarctica the satellite operates in a novel Synthetic Aperture Radar interferometric (SARin) mode, which enables improved resolution and echo location. Here, we apply a repeat track algorithm to SARin mode data to derive ice sheet elevation, volume and mass changes during the period 2010-2013, focussing upon the Amundsen Sea Sector of West Antarctica. Binning elevation change measurements at 5 km resolution gives on average 40 observations per grid cell, illustrating the high sampling density offered by CryoSat-2. We find that, since the cessation of ERS and Envisat measurements, thinning continues to be most pronounced along the fast-flowing ice streams and tributaries, with rates of 4-8 m/yr near the grounding lines of the Pine Island, Thwaites and Smith Glaciers. We compare these new observations to previous measurements made by the ERS and Envisat satellites.

  2. Does temperature structure phytoplankton community composition in the Ross Sea, Antarctica?

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Ross Sea polynya experiences one of the largest phytoplankton blooms in the Southern Ocean. Energy flow potential within the Ross Sea food web is primarily set by diatoms and prymnesiophytes, the latter dominated by Phaeocystis antarctica. We investigated physical, chemical,...

  3. Characterization of Ionosphere Waveguide Propagation by Monitoring HAARP HF Transmissions in Antarctica

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-04-17

    Yampolski SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY CENTER IN UKRAINE METALISTIV 7A, KYIV, UKRAINE *INSTITUTE OF RADIO ASTRONOMY NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF UKRAINE...KYIV, UKRAINE *INSTITUTE OF RADIO ASTRONOMY NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF UKRAINE 4, CHERVONOPRAPORNA SR, KHARKOV 61002 UKRAINE 8. PERFORMING...MONITORING HAARP HF TRANSMISSIONS IN ANTARCTICA Final report (Full Form) Director, Institute of Radio Astronomy , National Academy of

  4. Active-site titration analysis of surface influence on immobilized Candida antarctica Lipase B activity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Matrix morphology and surface polarity effects were investigated for Candida antarctica lipase B immobilization. Measurements of the amount of lipase immobilized (bicinchoninic acid method) and the catalyst’s tributyrin hydrolysis activity, coupled with a determination of the lipase’s functional fr...

  5. Meteoritic Ablation Debris from the Transantarctic Mountains: Evidence for a Tunguska-like Impact over Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Ginneken, M.; Folco, L.; Perchiazzi, N.; Rochette, P.; Bland, P. A.

    2010-03-01

    Meteorite Ablation Spheres were found in Antarctica. They are likely paired with particles from two coeval dust layers from Dome F and Dome C ice cores. Continental scale distribution of the MAS can be explained by a Tunguska-like impact event.

  6. Evaluation of a New SnowPaver at McMurdo Station, Antarctica

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-01

    1963) have shown that milling or disaggregating snow and then compacting it greatly enhances the metamorphism of snow. Studies made by CRREL in...bent. This usually happens when something big like a rock is hit during operation, so this probably is not an issue in Antarctica. ERDC/CRREL TR-14

  7. Onset of deglacial warming in West Antarctica driven by local orbital forcing

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    WAIS Divide Project Members,; Steig, Eric J.; Markle, Bradley R.; Schoenemann, Spruce W.; Ding, Qinghua; Taylor, Kendrick C.; McConnell, Joseph R.; Brook, Edward J.; Sowers, Todd; White, James W. C.; Alley, Richard B.; Chen, Hai; Clow, Gary D.; Cole-Dai, Jihong; Conway, Howard; Fitzpatrick, Joan J.; Hargreaves, Geoffrey; ,

    2013-01-01

    The cause of warming in the Southern Hemisphere during the most recent deglaciation remains a matter of debate. Hypotheses for a Northern Hemisphere trigger, through oceanic redistributions of heat, are based in part on the abrupt onset of warming seen in East Antarctic ice cores and dated to 18,000 years ago, which is several thousand years after high-latitude Northern Hemisphere summer insolation intensity began increasing from its minimum, approximately 24,000 years ago. An alternative explanation is that local solar insolation changes cause the Southern Hemisphere to warm independently. Here we present results from a new, annually resolved ice-core record from West Antarctica that reconciles these two views. The records show that 18,000 years ago snow accumulation in West Antarctica began increasing, coincident with increasing carbon dioxide concentrations, warming in East Antarctica and cooling in the Northern Hemisphere associated with an abrupt decrease in Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. However, significant warming in West Antarctica began at least 2,000 years earlier. Circum-Antarctic sea-ice decline, driven by increasing local insolation, is the likely cause of this warming. The marine-influenced West Antarctic records suggest a more active role for the Southern Ocean in the onset of deglaciation than is inferred from ice cores in the East Antarctic interior, which are largely isolated from sea-ice changes.

  8. Continuous on-line water vapor isotope measurements in Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Landsberg, Janek; Romanini, Daniele; Holmen, Kim; Isaksson, Elisabeth; Meijer, Harro; Kerstel, Erik

    2010-05-01

    In the context of a globally warming climate it is crucial to study the climate variability in the past and to understand the underlying mechanisms (1). Precipitation deposited on the polar ice caps provides a means to retrieve information on temperature changes (through the paleo-temperature dependence of the isotopic composition of the ice) and atmospheric composition (of gas stored in bubbles in the ice) on time scales from one to almost one million years, with sub-annual resolution in the most recent centuries. However, it is now widely recognized that the calibration of the paleo-thermometer is highly problematic. For this reason attempts to model the global water cycle, including the isotope signals, are ongoing with the aim of providing a more physical basis of the isotope - temperature relation. Currently, there is a large divergence in the results obtained by different modeling strategies. The missing link in these model studies is their forcing by experimental data on the pre-deposition isotopic composition of the vapor phase compartment of the hydrological cycle. We propose to measure the isotopic composition of moisture carried towards and deposited on Antarctica, in order to constrain the numerical models. In this context we are developing a modified, more sensitive and precise, version of a laser water vapor isotope spectrometer, originally designed for stratospheric studies (2, 3). This instrument, which will first be operated at the Norwegian station of Troll in Queen Maud Land, will enable the continuous, online measurement of all three stable isotope ratios of atmospheric water vapor. So far, such data is non-existent. Our data should improve the validity of the models and improve the understanding of the physical mechanisms at the basis of the isotope thermometer. This in turn will lead to an increased confidence in the predictions of (general circulation) models concerning climate variability. (1) International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 4

  9. Understanding the Magmatic Construction of the Dufek Complex, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheadle, M. J.; Meurer, W. P.; Grimes, C. B.; Gee, J. S.; McCullough, B. C.

    2007-12-01

    The Jurassic (~180Ma) Dufex Complex in the Pensacola Mountains of Antarctica is arguably one of the largest layered mafic intrusions in the world, with a minimum areal extent of 6600km2. It is mostly buried beneath the Antarctic Icesheet, but is exposed in two parallel mountain ranges; the 45km long Dufek Massif and the 85km long Forrestal Range, which have exposed stratigraphic thicknesses of ~1.8 km and ~1.7 km respectively (Ford, 1976). The two sections appear to be petrologically related, showing a continuous differentiation trend; although some geophysical studies suggest they may represent separate intrusive events (Ferris et al., 1998). The Dufek Massif section consists of the ~230m thick Walker Anothosite unit overlain by the 1550m thick Augenbaugh Gabbro unit. The bottom of the intrusion is not exposed, although geophysical data suggest the presence of an ultramafic basal unit. In the Antarctic summer of 2006/07, we collected and logged 630 oriented rock cores from the lowermost 600m of the section producing a revised and more detailed stratigraphy for this part of the intrusion. In particular, we re-located the boundary between the Walker Anorthosite upwards, so that the Lower Anorthosite of the Augenbaugh Gabbro unit becomes the top of the Walker Anorthosite. We also collected and logged an additional 210 cores from a 100m section higher in the Augenbaugh Gabbro unit. Magnetic susceptibility variation with height was used to correlate between stratigraphic sections. The Walker Anorthosite consists of ortho- and clinopyroxene-bearing spotted anorthosites, interbedded on the meter scale with norites and layered gabbronorites. Modal plagioclase exceeds 65%. Slumped horizons a few meters thick are common, demonstrating a lack of stability of the accumulating mush. The lower part of the Augenbaugh Gabbro unit consists of massive and weakly banded gabbronorites with both cumulus pyroxene and plagioclase, and modal plagioclase ranging from 55- 65%. Rare, thin

  10. Spatial variability in degassing at Erebus volcano, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ilanko, Tehnuka; Oppenheimer, Clive; Kyle, Philip; Burgisser, Alain

    2015-04-01

    Erebus volcano on Ross Island, Antarctica, hosts an active phonolitic lava lake, along with a number of persistently degassing vents in its summit crater. Flank degassing also occurs through ice caves and towers. The longevity of the lake, and its stable convection, have been the subject of numerous studies, including Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy of the lava lake. Two distinct gas compositions were previously identified in the main lava lake plume (Oppenheimer et al., 2009; 2011): a persistent 'conduit' gas with a more oxidised signature, ascribed to degassing through a permeable magma conduit; and a H2O- and SO2- enriched 'lake' composition that increases and decreases cyclically due to shallow degassing of incoming magma batches. During the past decade of annual field seasons on Erebus, gas compositions have been measured through FTIR spectroscopy at multiple sites around Erebus volcano, including flank degassing through an ice cave (Warren Cave). We present measurements from four such vents, and compare their compositions to those emitted from the main lava lake. Summit degassing involves variable proportions of H2O, CO2, CO, SO2, HF, HCl, OCS. Cyclicity is evident in some summit vents, but with signatures indicative of shallower magmatic degassing than that of the lava lake. By contrast, flank degassing at Warren Cave is dominated by H2O, CO2, and CH4. The spatial variability in gas compositions within the summit crater suggests an alternative origin for 'conduit' and 'lake' degassing to previous models that assume permeability in the main conduit. Rather, the two compositions observed in main lake degassing may be a result of decoupled 'conduit' gas and pulses of magma rising through discrete fractures before combining in the lake floor or the main plume. Smaller vents around the crater thus emit isolated 'lake' or 'conduit' compositions while their combined signature is observed in the lava lake. We suggest that this separation between gas

  11. The Search for Life from Antarctica to Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McKay, Christopher P.; Cuzzi, Jeffrey N. (Technical Monitor)

    1995-01-01

    Although the Viking results may indicate that Mars has no life today, the possibility exists that Mars may hold the best record of the events that led to the origin of life. There is direct geomorphological evidence that in the past Mars had large amounts of liquid water on its surface. Atmospheric models would suggest that this early period of hydrological activity was due to the presence of a thick atmosphere and the resulting warmer temperatures. From a biological perspective the existence of liquid water, by itself motivates the question of the origin of life on Mars. From studies of the Earth's earliest biosphere we know that by 3.5 Gyr. ago, life had originated on Earth and reached a fair degree of biological sophistication. Surface activity and erosion on Earth make it difficult to trace the history of life before the 3.5 Gyr timeframe. If Mars did maintain a clement environment for longer than it took for life to originate on Earth, then the question of the origin of life on Mars follows naturally. Human exploration of Mars will probably begin with a small base manned by a temporary crew, a necessary first start. But exploration of the entire planet win require a continued presence on the Martian surface and the development of a self sustaining community in which humans can live and work for very long periods of time. A permanent Mars research base can be compared to the permanent research bases which several nations maintain in Antarctica at the South Pole, the geomagnetic pole, and elsewhere. In the long run, a continued human presence on Mars will be t he most economical way to study that planet in detail. It is possible that at some time in the future we might recreate a habitable climate on Mars, returning it to the life-bearing state it may have enjoyed early in its history. Our studies of Mars are still in a preliminary state but everything we have learned suggests that it may be possible to restore Mars to a habitable climate.

  12. Sedimentation of particulate organic carbon on the Amundsen Shelf, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Minkyoung; Hwang, Jeomshik; Lee, Sang H.; Kim, Hyung J.; Kim, Dongseon; Yang, Eun J.; Lee, SangHoon

    2016-01-01

    We examined the recent history of sedimentary organic carbon (SOC) accumulation on the western Amundsen Shelf, to help characterize the biological carbon pump in the Amundsen Sea, Antarctica. Vertical sedimentary profiles (in the upper 21-cm) of SOC content, radio- and stable-carbon isotopes were obtained at four locations in the western Amundsen Sea: near the shelf break, inside the polynya near the Dotson Ice Shelf, and at both the periphery and the center of the Amundsen Sea polynya. Profiles were representative not only of various distances from the coast, but also of various summertime sea ice conditions and bottom depths. The SOC content (up to 1.1%) and the radiocarbon content were distinctly higher at the periphery and at the center of the polynya than at the other sites. The SOC and 14C contents were generally consistent with the spatial distribution of primary productivity in the surface water. A linear SOC accumulation rate of about 1.0 g C m-2 yr-1 was determined from the conventional 14C ages of bulk SOC below the surface mixed layer at the periphery and at the center of the polynya, for the time period of 3.1-4.7 kyr before present (BP). This linear SOC accumulation rate was about 20 times greater than the rates determined at the two other sites for the period of 4.6-15.7 kyr BP. Note that all values are for uncorrected 14C ages. At the center of the polynya, a sudden change in SOC accumulation rate was observed at about 16 cm depth, corresponding to 4.7 kyr BP, implying that changes (during this time period) in physical environments greatly affected primary production, SOC burial and/or supply of allochthonous particles to this site. The vertical distribution of 14C content in the sediments implies that aged organic matter, likely associated with resuspended sediments, was also being deposited inside the polynya, in addition to autochthonous biogenic particles. If our estimation of SOC accumulation is extrapolated to the western Amundsen Shelf

  13. Paleolimnology of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doran, P. T.; Wharton, R. A. Jr; Lyons, W. B.; Wharton RA, J. r. (Principal Investigator)

    1994-01-01

    The McMurdo Dry Valleys presently contain more than 20 permanent lakes and ponds, which vary markedly in character. All, with the exception of a hypersaline pond, have a perennial ice-cover. The dry valley lakes, and lakes in other ice-free regions of continental Antarctica, are unique on this planet in that they consistently maintain a thick year-round ice cover (2.8-6.0 m) over liquid water. The persistent ice covers minimize wind-generated currents and reduce light penetration, as well as restricting sediment deposition into a lake and the exchange of atmospheric gases between the water column and the atmosphere. From a paleolimnological perspective, the dry valley lakes offer an important record of catchment and environmental changes. These lakes are also modern-day equivalents of periglacial lakes that were common during glacial periods at temperate latitudes. The present lakes are mostly remnants of larger glacial lakes that occupied the valleys in the past, perhaps up to 4.6 Ma ago. Two of the valleys contain evidence of being filled with large glacial lakes within the last 10000 years. Repeated drying and filling events since then have left a characteristic impression on the salt profiles of some lakes creating a unique paleo-indicator within the water column. These events are also marked in the sediments by the concentration and dilution of certain chemical constituents, particularly salts, and are also corroborated by carbonate speciation and oxygen isotope analysis. Stratigraphic analysis of dry valley lake sediments is made difficult by the occurrence of an 'old carbon' reservoir creating spurious radiocarbon dates, and by the high degree of spatial variability in lake sedimentation. From a biological perspective, the lakes are relatively simple, containing various taxa of planktonic and benthic microorganisms, but no higher forms of life, which is an advantage to paleolimnologists because there is no bioturbation in the sediments. Useful biological

  14. Ice Velocity Mapping in Antarctica - Towards a Virtual Satellite Constellation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scheuchl, B.; Mouginot, J.; Rignot, E. J.; Crevier, Y.

    2013-12-01

    Ice sheets are acknowledged by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as an Essential Climate Variable (ECV) needed to make significant progress in the generation of global climate products and derived information. Ice velocity is a crucial geophysical parameter that can be measured using spaceborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data. Here, we report on an update to available Earth System Data Records (ESDR) of ice velocity in Antarctica based on data from a suite of spaceborne (SAR) sensors and provide an overview on international coordination in an effort to best utilize the available SAR satellites. Building on the first complete mapping of the flow of ice surface over the Antarctic continent using data predominantly acquired during IPY, we are working on a series of regional studies analyzing data from several different epochs. The analysis of velocity changes between discrete measurements requires even more careful data processing in order to be able to accurately measure subtle changes. Examples for Larsen-C and the Amundsen Sea Embayment will be presented. Data continuity is a crucial aspect to this work, particularly in light of the fact that 4 SAR missions have ceased operations since IPY and all available missions have a primary mandate that is not scientific data collection. Following the successful internationally coordinated SAR data acquisitions over ice sheets during the International Polar Year 2007/2008, efforts are undertaken to continue data acquisitions in the spirit of collaboration. The Polar Space Task Group (PSTG) is succeeding the IPY coordinating body of international space agencies, Space Task Group (STG). The PSTG SAR Coordination Working Group was created to address the issue of SAR data acquisitions in the cryosphere. A review of ice sheet requirements was undertaken by the science community, presented to PSTG, and followed up with a set of sensor specific

  15. Subglacial water transport throughout Antarctica from ICESAT laser altimetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, B. E.; Joughin, I. R.; Fricker, H. A.; Tulaczyk, S.

    2007-12-01

    A survey of the Antarctic ice sheet using satellite laser altimetry has detected 46 small regions of surface uplift or drawdown in twelve different glacier drainages around Antarctica. Surface displacements are measured relative to the best-fitting plane passing through multiple (5-11) elevation measurements on the same repeat-track, allowing correction for across-track slopes. Volume displacements are derived by interpolating displacements from multiple tracks to a common grid. These ECAs (Elevation Change Anomalies) range from less than four km to more than 60 km across, with vertical displacements ranging from a few decimeters to over ten meters. Typical volume displacements are on the order of 0.05 cubic kilometers over the three-year survey, and the largest displacement is more than 1.4 cubic kilometers. Although the majority of the ECAs are within the Filchner- Ronne catchment, others (including those discussed by Fricker and others, 2007), are found in the Ross Embayment, in the drainages of Byrd Glacier and Lambert Glaciera, and in the interior of Wilkes Land. As have other researchers who have observed ECAs, we take these features to result from water motion at the bed. In all cases where the ice sheet velocity structure is known, the ECAs are in regions of ice stream or tributary flow, which implies that they are associated with melting bed conditions. Some of the ECAs appear to be downstream of linear features in the ice sheet surface, suggesting that they are associated with local minima in the hydraulic potential at the bed. Others have no clear association with surface topography. The relatively small number of ECAs precludes drawing strong conclusions about spatial and temporal correlations between filling and drainage events. However, a few conclusions are clear: Because adjacent ECAs are more likely to have correlated filling or drainage rates than to have anticorrelated filling or drainage rates, it does not appear that water is conserved among

  16. Chemodenitrification in the cryoecosystem of Lake Vida, Victoria Valley, Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Ostrom, N E; Gandhi, H; Trubl, G; Murray, A E

    2016-11-01

    Lake Vida, in the Victoria Valley of East Antarctica, is frozen, yet harbors liquid brine (~20% salt, >6 times seawater) intercalated in the ice below 16 m. The brine has been isolated from the surface for several thousand years. The brine conditions (permanently dark, -13.4 °C, lack of O2 , and pH of 6.2) and geochemistry are highly unusual. For example, nitrous oxide (N2 O) is present at a concentration among the highest reported for an aquatic environment. Only a minor (17) O anomaly was observed in N2 O, indicating that this gas was predominantly formed in the lake. In contrast, the (17) O anomaly in nitrate (NO3-) in Lake Vida brine indicates that approximately half or more of the NO3- present is derived from atmospheric deposition. Lake Vida brine was incubated in the presence of (15) N-enriched substrates for 40 days. We did not detect microbial nitrification, dissimilatory reduction of NO3- to ammonium (NH4+), anaerobic ammonium oxidation, or denitrification of N2 O under the conditions tested. In the presence of (15) N-enriched nitrite (NO2-), both N2 and N2 O exhibited substantial (15) N enrichments; however, isotopic enrichment declined with time, which is unexpected. Additions of (15) N-NO2- alone and in the presence of HgCl2 and ZnCl2 to aged brine at -13 °C resulted in linear increases in the δ(15) N of N2 O with time. As HgCl2 and ZnCl2 are effective biocides, we interpret N2 O production in the aged brine to be the result of chemodenitrification. With this understanding, we interpret our results from the field incubations as the result of chemodenitrification stimulated by the addition of (15) N-enriched NO2- and ZnCl2 and determined rates of N2 O and N2 production of 4.11-41.18 and 0.55-1.75 nmol L(-1)  day(-1) , respectively. If these rates are representative of natural production, the current concentration of N2 O in Lake Vida could have been reached between 6 and 465 years. Thus, chemodenitrification alone is sufficient to explain the

  17. Recent Controlled Meteorological Balloon experiments in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hole, L. R.; Voss, P. B.; Vihma, T. P.

    2013-12-01

    Controlled Meteorological (CMET) balloons are unique in that their altitude can be changed at any time during flight. They are remotely controlled via the Iridium network and use GPS for positioning. Over the past seven years, they have been operated at altitudes from sea-level to six kilometers and have flown for periods as long as five days. Campaigns have been carried out from the Amazon via Mexico City to polar regions. CMET balloons can perform repeated soundings in order to probe evolving thermal and chemical structure, measure wind shear, and track atmospheric layers. Typical ascent/descent rate is 1 m/s and the data sampling rate is 10 sec. The standard CMET balloon consists of zero-pressure balloon (~300-500 liters at sea level) which itself contains a much smaller (~100 liter) super-pressure balloon. Transferring helium between the super-pressure balloon and the zero-pressure balloon regulates the volume (and density) of the system, leading to controlled ascent and descent. Due to the rarity of meteorological observations from the Antarctic, especially from inland and over the sea, CMET balloons have potential to provide strongly needed data for evaluation of numerical weather prediction and climate models. Here, we present data from a CMET campaign carried out at the Finnish Aboa station in Antarctica (73° 03' S, 13° 25' W) in January 2013. The campaign was unique in that three CMET balloons were shipped to the station and launched by the local team. After the launch, they were controlled by scientists located in MA, USA and Norway. One balloon, Bravo, cruised for more than 100 hours over the coastal slopes of Queen Maud Land and nearby sea ice with a total trajectory length of over 3000 km (Fig. 1). It also passed nearby the UK Halley station. The altitude was generally kept at about 3000-3500 masl, but 8 controlled soundings down to 400-500 masl were carried out. The balloon data were compared with the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF

  18. Seismic monitoring at Deception Island volcano (Antarctica): Recent advances

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carmona, E.; Almendros, J.; Martín, R.; Cortés, G.; Alguacil, G.; Moreno, J.; Martín, B.; Martos, A.; Serrano, I.; Stich, D.; Ibáñez, J. M.

    2012-04-01

    Deception Island (South Shetland Island, Antarctica) is an active volcano with recent eruptions (e.g. 1967, 1969 and 1970). It is also among the Antarctic sites most visited by tourists. Besides, there are currently two scientific bases operating during the austral summers, usually from late November to early March. For these reasons it is necessary to deploy a volcano monitoring system as complete as possible, designed specifically to endure the extreme conditions of the volcanic environment and the Antarctic climate. The Instituto Andaluz de Geofísica of University of Granada, Spain (IAG-UGR) performs seismic monitoring on Deception Island since 1994 during austral summer surveys. The seismicity basically includes volcano-tectonic earthquakes, long-period events and volcanic tremor, among other signals. The level of seismicity is moderate, except for a seismo-volcanic crisis in 1999. The seismic monitoring system has evolved during these years, following the trends of the technological developments and software improvements. Recent advances have been mainly focused on: (1) the improvement of the seismic network introducing broadband stations and 24-bit data acquisition systems; (2) the development of a short-period seismic array, with a 12-channel, 24-bit data acquisition system; (3) the implementation of wireless data transmission from the network stations and also from the seismic array to a recording center, allowing for real-time monitoring; (4) the efficiency of the power supply systems and the monitoring of the battery levels and power consumption; (5) the optimization of data analysis procedures, including database management, automated event recognition tools for the identification and classification of seismo-volcanic signals, and apparent slowness vector estimates using seismic array data; (6) the deployment of permanent seismic stations and the transmission of data during the winter using a satellite connection. A single permanent station is operating

  19. Boulder weathering in McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Putkonen, Jaakko; Morgan, Daniel; Balco, Greg

    2014-08-01

    Earth's dynamic surface undergoes a continuous cycle of mountain building and denudation. One of the important links in this cycle is the break-up and comminution of the rocks that allows for effective transportation of debris by surface processes. The starting and end points in this transformation are well known: bedrock and boulders on one end and silt and clay on the other. However, the existing knowledge of the rates and processes responsible of the intermediate steps is currently limited. To fill this gap in knowledge we studied boulders and their weathering products in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, that have been weathering for hundreds of thousands of years sub-aerially exposed at the ground surface. Our study boulders of locally distinct lithology have trails of rock fragments leading downhill revealing the rate of weathering and subsequent transport rate of the fragments. The rock fragments emanate from the source boulder and decrease in size as the distance downslope increases. We measured the fragment sizes and distances for various lithologies on varying slope angles. We found that large fragments up to 0.4 m in diameter can be transported up to 60 m downslope by unknown processes. The total length of the fragment trail increases with the slope angle. The maximum transport distances of sandstone boulders are approximately 10 times longer than other lithologies, which may be explained by the larger observed fragment sizes of the sandstones. On the other hand measurements of the smaller, generally less than 0.04 m diameter fragments that are transported by wind, revealed much shorter transport distances (< 10 m). To gain insights of the boulder and resulting fragment weathering rates we constructed a boulder weathering-fragment transport computer model. The model is based on simple rules and probabilities that describe the weathering and transportation. The model is constrained by the observed fragment size distribution, fragment distribution in

  20. New Aerogeophysical exploration of the Gamburtsev Province (East Antarctica)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferraccioli, F.; Bell, R. E.; Studinger, M.; Damaske, D.; Jordan, T. A.; Corr, H.; Braaten, D. A.; Gogineni, P. S.; Fahnestock, M. A.; Finn, C.; Rose, K.

    2009-12-01

    The enigmatic Gamburstev Subglacial Mountains (GSM) in the interior of East Antarctica, have remained the least understood mountain range on earth, since their discovery some 50 years ago. An improved knowledge of the GSM region is however essential to underpin reconstructions of the Antarctic cryosphere and climate evolution. The GSM are a key nucleation site for the inception of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet approximately 34 Ma ago, and the adjacent Lambert Glacier played a pivotal role for ice sheet dynamics throughout the Neogene (23-0 Ma). The GSM province may also provide tectonic controls for major subglacial lakes flanking the range. In addition, the ice encasing the GSM province has been inferred to contain the oldest detailed climate record of the planet, a prime target for future deep ice core drilling. With the overarching aim of accomplishing the first systematic study of the cryosphere and lithosphere of the GSM province we launched a new geophysical exploration effort- AGAP (Antarctica’s Gamburtsev Province)-, a flagship programme of the International Polar Year. The aerogeophysical and seismology components of AGAP were accomplished by pooling resources from 7 nations. We deployed 2 Twin Otters, equipped with state-of-the art geophysical instrumentation and operating from two remote field camps on either side of Dome A. Over 120,000 line-km of new airborne radar, laser, aerogravity and aeromagnetic data survey were collected during the 2008/09 field campaign. Our grids of ice surface, ice thickness, subglacial topography, and gravity and magnetic anomalies provide a new geophysical foundation to analyse the GSM province, from the surface of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet down to mantle depths beneath the Precambrian shield. The anomalously high-elevation, alpine-type landscape of the GSM is now mapped with unprecedented detail. Two distinct branches of a subglacial rift system are imaged along the north-western and north-eastern margins of the

  1. Eddy Flow during Magma Emplacement: The Basemelt Sill, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petford, N.; Mirhadizadeh, S.

    2014-12-01

    The McMurdo Dry Valleys magmatic system, Antarctica, forms part of the Ferrar dolerite Large Igneous Province. Comprising a vertical stack of interconnected sills, the complex provides a world-class example of pervasive lateral magma flow on a continental scale. The lowermost intrusion (Basement Sill) offers detailed sections through the now frozen particle macrostructure of a congested magma slurry1. Image-based numerical modelling where the intrusion geometry defines its own unique finite element mesh allows simulations of the flow regime to be made that incorporate realistic magma particle size and flow geometries obtained directly from field measurements. One testable outcome relates to the origin of rhythmic layering where analytical results imply the sheared suspension intersects the phase space for particle Reynolds and Peclet number flow characteristic of macroscopic structures formation2. Another relates to potentially novel crystal-liquid segregation due to the formation of eddies locally at undulating contacts at the floor and roof of the intrusion. The eddies are transient and mechanical in origin, unrelated to well-known fluid dynamical effects around obstacles where flow is turbulent. Numerical particle tracing reveals that these low Re number eddies can both trap (remove) and eject particles back into the magma at a later time according to their mass density. This trapping mechanism has potential to develop local variations in structure (layering) and magma chemistry that may otherwise not occur where the contact between magma and country rock is linear. Simulations indicate that eddy formation is best developed where magma viscosity is in the range 1-102 Pa s. Higher viscosities (> 103 Pa s) tend to dampen the effect implying eddy development is most likely a transient feature. However, it is nice to think that something as simple as a bumpy contact could impart physical and by implication chemical diversity in igneous rocks. 1Marsh, D.B. (2004), A

  2. Climate Controlled Sedimentation in Maxwell Bay, King George Island, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hass, H.; Kuhn, G.; Wittenberg, N.; Woelfl, A.; Betzler, C.

    2012-12-01

    Climatic change in Antarctica is strongest over the Antarctic Peninsula where in places the annual mean temperatures increased by 0.5 K per decade through the past 60 years. The impact of this warming trend is clearly visible in the form of retreating glaciers and melting ice sheets, loss of sea ice and strong meltwater discharge into the coastal zone. While it is generally accepted that the rapidity of the present climate change bears a significant anthropogenic aspect, it is not clear whether the effects caused by the warming trend are exceptional and unprecedented or whether the reaction of the environment is similar to that of earlier climate phases such as the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) about 1,000 years ago. One of the major goals of the joint international research project IMCOAST is to investigate the strength of the recent warming trend and its impact on the marine environment of the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP). The study we present here reveals the Upper Holocene climatic history based on high-resolution sediment cores from Maxwell Bay (King George Island, WAP) and information on the actual processes triggered or altered by the recent warming trend based on sedimentologic and hydroacoustic investigations in Potter Cove, a tributary fjord to Maxwell Bay. Long sediment cores from Maxwell Bay reveal grain-size changes that can be linked to cold and warm phases such as the Little Ice Age (LIA) and the MWP. Generally, warm phases are finer grained than cold phases as a result of longer and stronger melting processes during the warm phases. It is suggested that meltwater plumes carry fine-grained sediment out of the surrounding fjords into Maxwell Bay where it settles in suitable areas to produce sediments that have a modal value around 16 μm. This mode is largely absent in sediments deposited during e.g. the LIA. However, post LIA sediments are depleted in the 16 μm-mode sediment suggesting slightly different conditions during the last century. One reason

  3. Seismic Stratigraphy of the Ross Island Flexural Basin, West Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wenman, C. P.; Harry, D. L.; Jha, S.

    2014-12-01

    Marine seismic reflection data collected over the past 30+ years in the Ross Sea region of southwest Antarctica has been tied to the ANDRILL and CIROS boreholes to develop a seismic stratigraphic model that constrains the spatial and temporal evolution of the flexural basin surrounding Ross Island. Ross Island was formed from 4.6 Ma to present by extrusive volcanism in the Ross Sea at the southern end of the Terror Rift. Preliminary mapping has identified a hinge zone trending northeastward from Mt. Bird, separating the well-developed flexural moat on the west side of the island from sub-horizontal strata on the northeast and east sides. The flexural moat on the west and north-northwest sides of the island is approximately 40-45 km wide with sediment fill thickness of roughly 1100 m. Seismic lines to the east and northeast of the island do not indicate the presence of a flexural moat. Instead, the thickness of strata on the east side of the island that are time-equivalent to the infill of the flexural moat on the west side remains constant from the Coulman High westward to within ~28 km of Ross Island (the landward extent of the seismic data coverage). The concordant post-Miocene strata on the east and northeast sides of Ross Island imply either that the flexural basin does not extend more than ~28 km eastward from the Ross Island shoreline, or that the flexural basin is not present on that side of the island. The first scenario requires that the elastic strength of the lithosphere differ on either side of the hinge. The second scenario can be explained by a mechanical rupture in the lithosphere beneath Ross Island, with Ross Island acting as an end-load on a mechanical half-plate that forms the lithosphere beneath Ross Island and westward. In this model, the lithosphere east of Ross Island and the hinge forms a second half-plate, bearing little or none of the Ross Island volcanic load.

  4. Modelling of mineral dust for interglacial and glacial climate conditions with a focus on Antarctica

    SciTech Connect

    Sudarchikova, Natalia; Mikolajewicz, Uwe; Timmreck, C.; O'Donnell, D.; Schurgers, G.; Sein, Dmitry; Zhang, Kai

    2015-05-19

    The mineral dust cycle responds to climate variations and plays an important role in the climate system by affecting the radiative balance of the atmosphere and modifying biogeochemistry. Polar ice cores provide unique information about deposition of aeolian dust particles transported over long distances. These cores are a palaeoclimate proxy archive of climate variability thousands of years ago. The current study is a first attempt to simulate past interglacial dust cycles with a global aerosol–climate model ECHAM5-HAM. The results are used to explain the dust deposition changes in Antarctica in terms of quantitative contribution of different processes, such as emission, atmospheric transport and precipitation, which will help to interpret palaeodata from Antarctic ice cores. The investigated periods include four interglacial time slices: the pre-industrial control (CTRL), mid-Holocene (6000 yr BP; hereafter referred to as \\"6 kyr\\"), last glacial inception (115 000 yr BP; hereafter \\"115 kyr\\") and Eemian (126 000 yr BP; hereafter \\"126 kyr\\"). One glacial time interval, the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) (21 000 yr BP; hereafter \\"21 kyr\\"), was simulated as well to be a reference test for the model. Results suggest an increase in mineral dust deposition globally, and in Antarctica, in the past interglacial periods relative to the pre-industrial CTRL simulation. Approximately two-thirds of the increase in the mid-Holocene and Eemian is attributed to enhanced Southern Hemisphere dust emissions. Slightly strengthened transport efficiency causes the remaining one-third of the increase in dust deposition. The moderate change in dust deposition in Antarctica in the last glacial inception period is caused by the slightly stronger poleward atmospheric transport efficiency compared to the pre-industrial. Maximum dust deposition in Antarctica was simulated for the glacial period. LGM dust deposition in Antarctica is substantially increased due to 2.6 times higher

  5. Lithospheric Structure of Antarctica and Implications for Geological and Cryospheric Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiens, Douglas; Heeszel, David; Sun, Xinlei; Lloyd, Andrew; Nyblade, Andrew; Anandakrishnan, Sridhar; Aster, Richard; Chaput, Julien; Huerta, Audrey; Hansen, Samantha; Wilson, Terry

    2013-04-01

    Recent broadband seismic deployments, including the AGAP/GAMSEIS array of 24 broadband seismographs over the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains (GSM) in East Antarctica and the POLENET/ANET deployment of 33 seismographs across much of West Antarctica, reveal the detailed crust and upper mantle structure of Antarctica for the first time. The seismographs operate year-around even in the coldest parts of Antarctica, due to novel insulated boxes, power systems, and modified instrumentation developed in collaboration with the IRIS PASSCAL Instrument Center. We analyze the data using several different techniques to develop high-resolution models of Antarctic seismic structure. We use Rayleigh wave phase velocities at periods of 20-180 s determined using a modified two-plane wave decomposition of teleseismic Rayleigh waves to invert for the three dimensional shear velocity structure. In addition, Rayleigh wave group and phase velocities obtained by ambient seismic noise correlation methods provide constraints at shorter periods and shallower depths. Receiver functions provide precise estimates of crustal structure beneath the stations, and P and S wave tomography provides models of upper mantle structure down to ~ 500 km depth along transects of greater seismic station density. The new seismic results show that the high elevations of the GSM are supported by thick crust (~ 55 km), and are underlain by thick Precambrian continental lithosphere that initially formed during Archean to mid-Proterozoic times. The absence of lithospheric thermal anomalies suggests that the mountains were formed by a compressional orogeny during the Paleozoic, thus providing a locus for ice sheet nucleation throughout a long period of geological time. Within West Antarctica, the crust and lithosphere are extremely thin near the Transantarctic Mountain Front and topographic lows such as the Bentley Trench and Byrd Basin, which represent currently inactive Cenozoic rift systems. Slow seismic

  6. Evidence for the Introduction, Reassortment, and Persistence of Diverse Influenza A Viruses in Antarctica

    PubMed Central

    Su, Yvonne C. F.; Aban, Malet; Peck, Heidi; Lau, Hilda; Baas, Chantal; Deng, Yi-Mo; Spirason, Natalie; Ellström, Patrik; Hernandez, Jorge; Olsen, Bjorn; Barr, Ian G.; Vijaykrishna, Dhanasekaran; Gonzalez-Acuna, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Avian influenza virus (AIV) surveillance in Antarctica during 2013 revealed the prevalence of evolutionarily distinct influenza viruses of the H11N2 subtype in Adélie penguins. Here we present results from the continued surveillance of AIV on the Antarctic Peninsula during 2014 and 2015. In addition to the continued detection of H11 subtype viruses in a snowy sheathbill during 2014, we isolated a novel H5N5 subtype virus from a chinstrap penguin during 2015. Gene sequencing and phylogenetic analysis revealed that the H11 virus detected in 2014 had a >99.1% nucleotide similarity to the H11N2 viruses isolated in 2013, suggesting the continued prevalence of this virus in Antarctica over multiple years. However, phylogenetic analysis of the H5N5 virus showed that the genome segments were recently introduced to the continent, except for the NP gene, which was similar to that in the endemic H11N2 viruses. Our analysis indicates geographically diverse origins for the H5N5 virus genes, with the majority of its genome segments derived from North American lineage viruses but the neuraminidase gene derived from a Eurasian lineage virus. In summary, we show the persistence of AIV lineages in Antarctica over multiple years, the recent introduction of gene segments from diverse regions, and reassortment between different AIV lineages in Antarctica, which together significantly increase our understanding of AIV ecology in this fragile and pristine environment. IMPORTANCE Analysis of avian influenza viruses (AIVs) detected in Antarctica reveals both the relatively recent introduction of an H5N5 AIV, predominantly of North American-like origin, and the persistence of an evolutionarily divergent H11 AIV. These data demonstrate that the flow of viruses from North America may be more common than initially thought and that, once introduced, these AIVs have the potential to be maintained within Antarctica. The future introduction of AIVs from North America into the Antarctic

  7. Modelling of mineral dust for interglacial and glacial climate conditions with a focus on Antarctica

    DOE PAGES

    Sudarchikova, Natalia; Mikolajewicz, Uwe; Timmreck, C.; ...

    2015-05-19

    The mineral dust cycle responds to climate variations and plays an important role in the climate system by affecting the radiative balance of the atmosphere and modifying biogeochemistry. Polar ice cores provide unique information about deposition of aeolian dust particles transported over long distances. These cores are a palaeoclimate proxy archive of climate variability thousands of years ago. The current study is a first attempt to simulate past interglacial dust cycles with a global aerosol–climate model ECHAM5-HAM. The results are used to explain the dust deposition changes in Antarctica in terms of quantitative contribution of different processes, such as emission,more » atmospheric transport and precipitation, which will help to interpret palaeodata from Antarctic ice cores. The investigated periods include four interglacial time slices: the pre-industrial control (CTRL), mid-Holocene (6000 yr BP; hereafter referred to as \\"6 kyr\\"), last glacial inception (115 000 yr BP; hereafter \\"115 kyr\\") and Eemian (126 000 yr BP; hereafter \\"126 kyr\\"). One glacial time interval, the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) (21 000 yr BP; hereafter \\"21 kyr\\"), was simulated as well to be a reference test for the model. Results suggest an increase in mineral dust deposition globally, and in Antarctica, in the past interglacial periods relative to the pre-industrial CTRL simulation. Approximately two-thirds of the increase in the mid-Holocene and Eemian is attributed to enhanced Southern Hemisphere dust emissions. Slightly strengthened transport efficiency causes the remaining one-third of the increase in dust deposition. The moderate change in dust deposition in Antarctica in the last glacial inception period is caused by the slightly stronger poleward atmospheric transport efficiency compared to the pre-industrial. Maximum dust deposition in Antarctica was simulated for the glacial period. LGM dust deposition in Antarctica is substantially increased due to 2.6 times

  8. Geochemistry of the Onyx River (Wright Valley, Antarctica) and its role in the chemical evolution of Lake Vanda

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Green, William J.; Canfield, Donald E.

    1984-12-01

    The Onyx River (Wright Valley, Antarctica) is a dilute meltwater stream originating in the vicinity of the Wright Lower Glacier. It acquires a significant fraction of its salt content when glacial meltwaters contact Wright Valley soils at Lake Brownworth and the concentrations of all ions increase with distance along the 28-km channel down to Lake Vanda. Average millimolar concentrations of major ions at the Vanda weir during the 1980-1981 flow season were: Ca = 0.119; Mg = 0.061; Na = 0.212; K = 0.033; Q = 0.212; SO4 = 0.045; HCO3 = 0.295; and SiO2 = 0.049. Based on the flow measurements of Chinn (1982), this amounts to an annual flux (in moles) to Lake Vanda of: Ca = 0.238 × 10 6; Mg = 0.122 × 10 6; Na = 0.424 × 10 6; K = 0.066 × 10 6; Cl = 0.424 × 10 6; SO4 = 0.09 × 10 6; HCO3 = 0.59 × 10 6; SiO2 = 0.098 × 10 6. In spite of the large salt input from this source, equilibrium evaporation of Onyx River water would have resulted in early calcite deposition and in the formation of a Na-Mg-Cl-HCO 3 brine rather than in the Ca-Na-Mg-Cl waters observed in Lake Vanda. The river alone could not have produced a brine having the qualitative geochemical features of the lower saline waters of Lake Vanda. It is proposed that the Vanda brine is instead the result of past ( > 1200 yrs BP) mixing events between Onyx River inflows and calcium chloride-rich deep groundwaters derived from the Don Juan Basin. The mixing model presented here shows that the Onyx River is the major contributor of K, HCO 3, SO 4, and (possibly) Mg found in the lake and a significant contributor (approximately one half) of the observed Na. Calcium and Cl, on the other hand, came largely from deep groundwater sources in the Don Juan Basin. All concentrations except Mg are well predicted by this model. The chemical composition of the geologically recent upper lake is explained in terms of ionic diffusion from the pre-formed brine, coupled with Onyx River inflow. Ionic ratios calculated from this

  9. Chevkinite-group minerals from granulite-facies metamorphic rocks and associated pegmatites of East Antarctica and South India

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belkin, H.E.; Macdonald, R.; Grew, E.S.

    2009-01-01

    Electron microprobe data are presented for chevkinite-group minerals from granulite-facies rocks and associated pegmatites of the Napier Complex and Mawson Station charnockite in East Antarctica and from the Eastern Ghats, South India. Their compositions conform to the general formula for this group, viz. A4BC2D2Si4O22 where, in the analysed specimens A = (rare-earth elements (REE), Ca, Y, Th), B = Fe2+, Mg, C = (Al, Mg, Ti, Fe2+, Fe3+, Zr) and D = Ti and plot within the perrierite field of the total Fe (as FeO) (wt.%) vs. CaO (wt.%) discriminator diagram of Macdonald and Belkin (2002). In contrast to most chevkinite-group minerals, the A site shows unusual enrichment in the MREE and HREE relative to the LREE and Ca. In one sample from the Napier Complex, Y is the dominant cation among the total REE + Y in the A site, the first reported case of Y-dominance in the chevkinite group. The minerals include the most Al-rich yet reported in the chevkinite group (49.15 wt.% Al2O3), sufficient to fill the C site in two samples. Conversely, the amount of Ti in these samples does not fill the D site, and, thus, some of the Al could be making up the deficiency at D, a situation not previously reported in the chevkinite group. Fe abundances are low, requiring Mg to occupy up to 45% of the B site. The chevkinite-group minerals analysed originated from three distinct parageneses: (1) pegmatites containing hornblende and orthopyroxene or garnet; (2) orthopyroxene-bearing gneiss and granulite; (3) highly aluminous paragneisses in which the associated minerals are relatively magnesian or aluminous. Chevkinite-group minerals from the first two parageneses have relatively high FeO content and low MgO and Al2O3 contents; their compositions plot in the field for mafic and intermediate igneous rocks. In contrast, chevkinite-group minerals from the third paragenesis are notably more aluminous and have greater Mg/Fe ratios. ?? 2009 The Mineralogical Society.

  10. Petrology, geochemistry and zircon U-Pb geochronology of a layered igneous complex from Akarui Point in the Lützow-Holm Complex, East Antarctica: Implications for Antarctica-Sri Lanka correlation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kazami, Sou; Tsunogae, Toshiaki; Santosh, M.; Tsutsumi, Yukiyasu; Takamura, Yusuke

    2016-11-01

    The Lützow-Holm Complex (LHC) of East Antarctica forms part of a complex subduction-collision orogen related to the amalgamation of the Neoproterozoic supercontinent Gondwana. Here we report new petrological, geochemical, and geochronological data from a metamorphosed and disrupted layered igneous complex from Akarui Point in the LHC which provide new insights into the evolution of the complex. The complex is composed of mafic orthogneiss (edenite/pargasite + plagioclase ± clinopyroxene ± orthopyroxene ± spinel ± sapphirine ± K-feldspar), meta-ultramafic rock (pargasite + olivine + spinel + orthopyroxene), and felsic orthogneiss (plagioclase + quartz + pargasite + biotite ± garnet). The rocks show obvious compositional layering reflecting the chemical variation possibly through magmatic differentiation. The metamorphic conditions of the rocks were estimated using hornblende-plagioclase geothermometry which yielded temperatures of 720-840 °C. The geochemical data of the orthogneisses indicate fractional crystallization possibly related to differentiation within a magma chamber. Most of the mafic-ultramafic samples show enrichment of LILE, negative Nb, Ta, P and Ti anomalies, and constant HFSE contents in primitive-mantle normalized trace element plots suggesting volcanic arc affinity probably related to subduction. The enrichment of LREE and flat HREE patterns in chondrite-normalized REE plot, with the Nb-Zr-Y, Y-La-Nb, and Th/Yb-Nb/Yb plots also suggest volcanic arc affinity. The felsic orthogneiss plotted on Nb/Zr-Zr diagram (low Nb/Zr ratio) and spider diagrams (enrichment of LILE, negative Nb, Ta, P and Ti anomalies) also show magmatic arc origin. The morphology, internal structure, and high Th/U ratio of zircon grains in felsic orthogneiss are consistent with magmatic origin for most of these grains. Zircon U-Pb analyses suggest Early Neoproterozoic (847.4 ± 8.0 Ma) magmatism and protolith formation. Some older grains (1026-882 Ma) are regarded as

  11. Optimal site selection for a high-resolution ice core record in East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vance, Tessa R.; Roberts, Jason L.; Moy, Andrew D.; Curran, Mark A. J.; Tozer, Carly R.; Gallant, Ailie J. E.; Abram, Nerilie J.; van Ommen, Tas D.; Young, Duncan A.; Grima, Cyril; Blankenship, Don D.; Siegert, Martin J.

    2016-03-01

    Ice cores provide some of the best-dated and most comprehensive proxy records, as they yield a vast and growing array of proxy indicators. Selecting a site for ice core drilling is nonetheless challenging, as the assessment of potential new sites needs to consider a variety of factors. Here, we demonstrate a systematic approach to site selection for a new East Antarctic high-resolution ice core record. Specifically, seven criteria are considered: (1) 2000-year-old ice at 300 m depth; (2) above 1000 m elevation; (3) a minimum accumulation rate of 250 mm years-1 IE (ice equivalent); (4) minimal surface reworking to preserve the deposited climate signal; (5) a site with minimal displacement or elevation change in ice at 300 m depth; (6) a strong teleconnection to midlatitude climate; and (7) an appropriately complementary relationship to the existing Law Dome record (a high-resolution record in East Antarctica). Once assessment of these physical characteristics identified promising regions, logistical considerations (for site access and ice core retrieval) were briefly considered. We use Antarctic surface mass balance syntheses, along with ground-truthing of satellite data by airborne radar surveys to produce all-of-Antarctica maps of surface roughness, age at specified depth, elevation and displacement change, and surface air temperature correlations to pinpoint promising locations. We also use the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast ERA 20th Century reanalysis (ERA-20C) to ensure that a site complementary to the Law Dome record is selected. We find three promising sites in the Indian Ocean sector of East Antarctica in the coastal zone from Enderby Land to the Ingrid Christensen Coast (50-100° E). Although we focus on East Antarctica for a new ice core site, the methodology is more generally applicable, and we include key parameters for all of Antarctica which may be useful for ice core site selection elsewhere and/or for other purposes.

  12. Optimal site selection for a high resolution ice core record in East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vance, T.; Roberts, J.; Moy, A.; Curran, M.; Tozer, C.; Gallant, A.; Abram, N.; van Ommen, T.; Young, D.; Grima, C.; Blankenship, D.; Siegert, M.

    2015-11-01

    Ice cores provide some of the best dated and most comprehensive proxy records, as they yield a vast and growing array of proxy indicators. Selecting a site for ice core drilling is nonetheless challenging, as the assessment of potential new sites needs to consider a variety of factors. Here, we demonstrate a systematic approach to site selection for a new East Antarctic high resolution ice core record. Specifically, seven criteria are considered: (1) 2000 year old ice at 300 m depth, (2) above 1000 m elevation, (3) a minimum accumulation rate of 250 mm yr-1 IE, (4) minimal surface re-working to preserve the deposited climate signal, (5) a site with minimal displacement or elevation change of ice at 300 m depth, (6) a strong teleconnection to mid-latitude climate and (7) an appropriately complementary relationship to the existing Law Dome record (a high resolution record in East Antarctica). Once assessment of these physical characteristics identified promising regions, logistical considerations (for site access and ice core retrieval) were briefly considered. We use Antarctic surface mass balance syntheses, along with ground-truthing of satellite data by airborne radar surveys to produce all-of-Antarctica maps of surface roughness, age at specified depth, elevation and displacement change and surface air temperature correlations to pinpoint promising locations. We also use the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast ERA 20th Century reanalysis (ERA-20C) to ensure a site complementary to the Law Dome record is selected. We find three promising sites in the Indian Ocean sector of East Antarctica in the coastal zone from Enderby Land to the Ingrid Christensen Coast (50-100° E). Although we focus on East Antarctica for a new ice core site, the methodology is more generally applicable and we include key parameters for all of Antarctica which may be useful for ice core site selection elsewhere and/or for other purposes.

  13. Continent-wide risk assessment for the establishment of nonindigenous species in Antarctica

    PubMed Central

    Chown, Steven L.; Huiskes, Ad H. L.; Gremmen, Niek J. M.; Lee, Jennifer E.; Terauds, Aleks; Crosbie, Kim; Frenot, Yves; Hughes, Kevin A.; Imura, Satoshi; Kiefer, Kate; Lebouvier, Marc; Raymond, Ben; Tsujimoto, Megumu; Ware, Chris; Van de Vijver, Bart; Bergstrom, Dana Michelle

    2012-01-01

    Invasive alien species are among the primary causes of biodiversity change globally, with the risks thereof broadly understood for most regions of the world. They are similarly thought to be among the most significant conservation threats to Antarctica, especially as climate change proceeds in the region. However, no comprehensive, continent-wide evaluation of the risks to Antarctica posed by such species has been undertaken. Here we do so by sampling, identifying, and mapping the vascular plant propagules carried by all categories of visitors to Antarctica during the International Polar Year's first season (2007–2008) and assessing propagule establishment likelihood based on their identity and origins and on spatial variation in Antarctica's climate. For an evaluation of the situation in 2100, we use modeled climates based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Special Report on Emissions Scenarios Scenario A1B [Nakićenović N, Swart R, eds (2000) Special Report on Emissions Scenarios: A Special Report of Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK)]. Visitors carrying seeds average 9.5 seeds per person, although as vectors, scientists carry greater propagule loads than tourists. Annual tourist numbers (∼33,054) are higher than those of scientists (∼7,085), thus tempering these differences in propagule load. Alien species establishment is currently most likely for the Western Antarctic Peninsula. Recent founder populations of several alien species in this area corroborate these findings. With climate change, risks will grow in the Antarctic Peninsula, Ross Sea, and East Antarctic coastal regions. Our evidence-based assessment demonstrates which parts of Antarctica are at growing risk from alien species that may become invasive and provides the means to mitigate this threat now and into the future as the continent's climate changes. PMID:22393003

  14. Continent-wide risk assessment for the establishment of nonindigenous species in Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Chown, Steven L; Huiskes, Ad H L; Gremmen, Niek J M; Lee, Jennifer E; Terauds, Aleks; Crosbie, Kim; Frenot, Yves; Hughes, Kevin A; Imura, Satoshi; Kiefer, Kate; Lebouvier, Marc; Raymond, Ben; Tsujimoto, Megumu; Ware, Chris; Van de Vijver, Bart; Bergstrom, Dana Michelle

    2012-03-27

    Invasive alien species are among the primary causes of biodiversity change globally, with the risks thereof broadly understood for most regions of the world. They are similarly thought to be among the most significant conservation threats to Antarctica, especially as climate change proceeds in the region. However, no comprehensive, continent-wide evaluation of the risks to Antarctica posed by such species has been undertaken. Here we do so by sampling, identifying, and mapping the vascular plant propagules carried by all categories of visitors to Antarctica during the International Polar Year's first season (2007-2008) and assessing propagule establishment likelihood based on their identity and origins and on spatial variation in Antarctica's climate. For an evaluation of the situation in 2100, we use modeled climates based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Special Report on Emissions Scenarios Scenario A1B [Nakićenović N, Swart R, eds (2000) Special Report on Emissions Scenarios: A Special Report of Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK)]. Visitors carrying seeds average 9.5 seeds per person, although as vectors, scientists carry greater propagule loads than tourists. Annual tourist numbers (∼33,054) are higher than those of scientists (∼7,085), thus tempering these differences in propagule load. Alien species establishment is currently most likely for the Western Antarctic Peninsula. Recent founder populations of several alien species in this area corroborate these findings. With climate change, risks will grow in the Antarctic Peninsula, Ross Sea, and East Antarctic coastal regions. Our evidence-based assessment demonstrates which parts of Antarctica are at growing risk from alien species that may become invasive and provides the means to mitigate this threat now and into the future as the continent's climate changes.

  15. Upper mantle structure of central and West Antarctica from array analysis of Rayleigh wave phase velocities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heeszel, David S.; Wiens, Douglas A.; Anandakrishnan, Sridhar; Aster, Richard C.; Dalziel, Ian W. D.; Huerta, Audrey D.; Nyblade, Andrew A.; Wilson, Terry J.; Winberry, J. Paul

    2016-03-01

    The seismic velocity structure of Antarctica is important, both as a constraint on the tectonic history of the continent and for understanding solid Earth interactions with the ice sheet. We use Rayleigh wave array analysis methods applied to teleseismic data from recent temporary broadband seismograph deployments to image the upper mantle structure of central and West Antarctica. Phase velocity maps are determined using a two-plane wave tomography method and are inverted for shear velocity using a Monte Carlo approach to estimate three-dimensional velocity structure. Results illuminate the structural dichotomy between the East Antarctic Craton and West Antarctica, with West Antarctica showing thinner crust and slower upper mantle velocity. West Antarctica is characterized by a 70-100 km thick lithosphere, underlain by a low-velocity zone to depths of at least 200 km. The slowest anomalies are beneath Ross Island and the Marie Byrd Land dome and are interpreted as upper mantle thermal anomalies possibly due to mantle plumes. The central Transantarctic Mountains are marked by an uppermost mantle slow-velocity anomaly, suggesting that the topography is thermally supported. The presence of thin, higher-velocity lithosphere to depths of about 70 km beneath the West Antarctic Rift System limits estimates of the regionally averaged heat flow to less than 90 mW/m2. The Ellsworth-Whitmore block is underlain by mantle with velocities that are intermediate between those of the West Antarctic Rift System and the East Antarctic Craton. We interpret this province as Precambrian continental lithosphere that has been altered by Phanerozoic tectonic and magmatic activity.

  16. An Evaluation of Antarctica as a Calibration Target for Passive Microwave Satellite Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kim, Edward

    2012-01-01

    Passive microwave remote sensing at L-band (1.4 GHz) is sensitive to soil moisture and sea surface salinity, both important climate variables. Science studies involving these variables can now take advantage of new satellite L-band observations. The first mission with regular global passive microwave observations at L-band is the European Space Agency's Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS), launched November, 2009. A second mission, NASA's Aquarius, was launched June, 201l. A third mission, NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) is scheduled to launch in 2014. Together, these three missions may provide a decade-long data record -- provided that they are intercalibrated. The intercalibration is best performed at the radiance (brightness temperature) level, and Antarctica is proving to be a key calibration target. However, Antarctica has thus far not been fully characterized as a potential target. This paper will present evaluations of Antarctica as a microwave calibration target for the above satellite missions. Preliminary analyses have identified likely target areas, such as the vicinity of Dome-C and larger areas within East Antarctica. Physical sources of temporal and spatial variability of polar firn are key to assessing calibration uncertainty. These sources include spatial variability of accumulation rate, compaction, surface characteristics (dunes, micro-topography), wind patterns, and vertical profiles of density and temperature. Using primarily SMOS data, variability is being empirically characterized and attempts are being made to attribute observed variability to physical sources. One expected outcome of these studies is the potential discovery of techniques for remotely sensing--over all of Antarctica--parameters such as surface temperature.

  17. Subplasma membrane Ca2+ signals.

    PubMed

    McCarron, John G; Chalmers, Susan; Olson, Marnie L; Girkin, John M

    2012-07-01

    Ca(2+) may selectively activate various processes in part by the cell's ability to localize changes in the concentration of the ion to specific subcellular sites. Interestingly, these Ca(2+) signals begin most often at the plasma membrane space so that understanding subplasma membrane signals is central to an appreciation of local signaling. Several experimental procedures have been developed to study Ca(2+) signals near the plasma membrane, but probably the most prevalent involve the use of fluorescent Ca(2+) indicators and fall into two general approaches. In the first, the Ca(2+) indicators themselves are specifically targeted to the subplasma membrane space to measure Ca(2+) only there. Alternatively, the indicators are allowed to be dispersed throughout the cytoplasm, but the fluorescence emanating from the Ca(2+) signals at the subplasma membrane space is selectively measured using high resolution imaging procedures. Although the targeted indicators offer an immediate appeal because of selectivity and ease of use, their limited dynamic range and slow response to changes in Ca(2+) are a shortcoming. Use of targeted indicators is also largely restricted to cultured cells. High resolution imaging applied with rapidly responding small molecule Ca(2+) indicators can be used in all cells and offers significant improvements in dynamic range and speed of response of the indicator. The approach is technically difficult, however, and realistic calibration of signals is not possible. In this review, a brief overview of local subplasma membrane Ca(2+) signals and methods for their measurement is provided.

  18. Coachella Valley, CA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    These band composites, acquired on June 4, 2000, cover a 11 by 13.5 km sub-scene in the Coachella Valley, CA. The area is shown by the yellow box on the full scene in the LOWER RIGHT corner, northwest of the Salton Sea. This is a major agricultural region of California, growing fruit and produce throughout the year. Different combinations of ASTER bands help identify the different crop types. UPPER LEFT: bands 3, 2, 1 as red, green, and blue (RGB); UPPER RIGHT: bands 4, 2, 1 as RGB; LOWER LEFT: bands 4, 3, 2 as RGB. The image is centered at 33.6 degrees north latitude, 116.1 degrees west longitude.

    The U.S. science team is located at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The Terra mission is part of NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

  19. Lichensphere: a protected natural microhabitat of the non-lichenised fungal communities living in extreme environments of Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Santiago, Iara F; Soares, Marco Aurélio; Rosa, Carlos A; Rosa, Luiz H

    2015-11-01

    We surveyed the diversity, distribution and ecology of non-lichenised fungal communities associated with the Antarctic lichens Usnea antarctica and Usnea aurantiaco-atra across Antarctica. The phylogenetic study of the 438 fungi isolates identified 74 taxa from 21 genera of Ascomycota, Basidiomycota and Zygomycota. The most abundant taxa were Pseudogymnoascus sp., Thelebolus sp., Antarctomyces psychrotrophicus and Cryptococcus victoriae, which are considered endemic and/or highly adapted to Antarctica. Thirty-five fungi may represent new and/or endemic species. The fungal communities displayed high diversity, richness and dominance indices; however, the similarity among the communities was variable. After discovering rich and diverse fungal communities composed of symbionts, decomposers, parasites and endemic and cold-adapted cosmopolitan taxa, we introduced the term "lichensphere". We hypothesised that the lichensphere may represent a protected natural microhabitat with favourable conditions able to help non-lichenised fungi and other Antarctic life forms survive and disperse in the extreme environments of Antarctica.

  20. Comments on: "11-year cycle in Schumann resonance data as observed in Antarctica" by Nickolaenko et al. (2015)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, E.

    2016-03-01

    Recent interpretation by Nickolaenko et al. (2015) of Schumann resonance observations in Antarctica is reviewed. Evidence from the literature suggests that certain aspects of these interpretations are flawed. Alternative interpretations are offered.