Sediment cores were collected from the 3 sites (approx. 6m from Moutonnee Valley, 2.5m from Ablation Valley and 5m from Citadel Bastion on Alexander Island). They were analysed for physical property data including: magnetic susceptibility, wet weight, loss on ignition, grain size, isotopic content, bulk carbon, CHN, diatom content, forams, Authigenic carbonate, radiocarbon ages, Strontium and Neodymium content, major, trace and rare earth elements of sediments and clasts and clast lithological analysis. Analyses were carried out at Durham and Edinburgh with isotopic analysis conducted at NIGL (NERC Isotopic Geoscience Laboratory).
A transect of cores was taken from shelf to deep sea west of the Antarctic Peninsula off Marguerite Bay using a 12 m RVS piston corer, box corer and BGS vibrocorer deployed from RSS James Clark Ross cruise JR71 (12 days sea-time in 2001-2002). Successful coring and examination of sediments now on and immediately beneath the sea floor, which provided the deforming bed of the former ice stream, enhanced our understanding of conditions beneath ice streams. Data was collected as part of a project was to reconstruct the Late Quaternary dynamics of the Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet in Marguerite Bay and to compare sedimentation and ice-rafted debris records with the Larsen Ice Shelf area, on the other side of the Antarctic Peninsula. The mapping of streamlined sedimentary bedforms on the outer shelf has allowed the dimensions of a former fast-flowing ice stream present at the Last Glacial Maximum to be defined. This, in turn, enabled estimates of the past magnitude of ice flow through this glacial system to be calculated.
Sediments cores collected aboard the RRS James Clark Ross (JR104) in the Bellingshausen Sea, 2004. This work was carried out as part of the first systematic investigation of the former ice drainage basin in the southern Bellingshausen Sea. Reconnaissance data collected on previous cruises JR04 (1993) and cruises of R/V Polarstern in 1994 and 1995 suggested that this area contained the outlet of a very large ice drainage basin during late Quaternary glacial periods. The data and samples collected allowed us to address questions about the timing and rate of grounding line retreat from the continental shelf, the dynamic character of the ice that covered the shelf, and its influence on glaciomarine processes on the adjacent continental slope.