Dr Waliur Rahaman from NCPOR, Goa is onboard JOIDES Resolution-IODP Expedition 379

IODP Expedition 379: Amundsen Sea West Antarctic Ice Sheet History

The WAIS, largely marine based, has likely had a very dynamic history over the last several million years being highly sensitive to both climatic and oceanographic changes. A complete collapse of the WAIS would result in a global sea level rise of 3.3–4.3 m, yet the world’s scientific community has not been able to predict its future behavior. Moreover, knowledge about past behavior of the WAIS is poor, in particular during geological times with climatic conditions similar to those expected for the near and distant future. Reconstructions and quantifications of partial or complete WAIS collapses in the past are urgently needed for constraining and testing ice sheet models that aim to predict future WAIS behavior and the potential contribution of the WAIS to global sea level rise. Large uncertainties exist regarding the chronology, extent, rates, and spatial and temporal variability of past advances and retreats of the WAIS across the continental shelf. These uncertainties largely result from the fundamental lack of data from drill cores recovered proximal to the WAIS. 

This expedition aims to core and log data in the Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) by drilling a transect from the oldest sequences close to the bedrock/basin boundary at the middle–inner shelf transition to the youngest sequences on the outer shelf in the eastern ASE. This will help to address objectives of reconstructing the onset of glaciation during the greenhouse to icehouse transition, processes of dynamic ice sheet behavior during the Neogene and Quaternary, and ocean conditions associated with the glacial cycles.

Dr Waliur Rahaman, an Indian Scientist from NCPOR, Goa is onboard JOIDES Resolution as an Inorganic Geochemist. The 60 day long expedition led by Co-chiefs Karsten Gohl (Germany) & Julia Wellner (USA) besides ~30 other scientists from different countries flagged off from Punta Arenas, Chile on 18th January 2019.