In just a little less than one week, the THOR (Thwaites Glacier Offshore Research) science team members will embark on a two month cruise to the Amundsen Sea, Antarctica. The mission: collect sediment cores from the seafloor beyond Thwaites Glacier that record its past behavior. They will also collect ocean-floor sediments deposited at the current grounding line (the location where the current ice shelf is attached to the seafloor) that contain records of changes taking place in the glacier and the adjacent ocean (e.g. the last 10,000 years). The scientists will also use ship-based sounding and geophysics instruments to “see” the current and past topography of the seafloor and how it might influence present day ocean circulation near Thwaites Glacier. The information from this cruise and another that follows in 2021 will allow scientists to better assess the glacier’s current and future stability.
THOR Team on the cruise: Rob Larter (Chief Scientist), Rebecca Totten Minzoni, Kelly Hogan, Alastair Graham, Rachel Clark, Linda Welzenbach