Andvord Bay, Antarctic Peninsula

Antarctic Peninsula: Recognizing differences in processes and sedimentation compared to temperate fjords

The fjords on the west side of the Antarctic Peninsula stretch through polar and subpolar environments (and continue northward to the temperate conditions of Patagonia fjords).  They provide a valuable contrast regarding the processes of glacial-marine sedimentation driven by different conditions.  Over many years, our lab has been involved with investigations of numerous fjords here.  Due to the logistical difficulty, observations are commonly limited to a small fraction of the total fjord seabed.  Recently, we had the opportunity for an interdisciplinary research cruise that intensely investigated Andvord Fjord, and those samples and data are presently being analyzed.  Two-dozen cores were collected from a range of fjord basins, as well as sills separating the basins.  The character of the sediment and the rate of sediment accumulation vary with location, especially relative to glacial input.  The details are continuing to be unraveled.

Sampling a boxcore (Credit: E. Eidam)

(Credit: E. Eidam)







Project publications:

 Variability in sediment accumulation rates in an Antarctic fjord (in process)

 Funding source: National Science Foundation

People: Chuck Nittrouer, Emily Eidam

Collaborators: Craig Smith (University of Hawaii)