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Title: Sub-ice relief and geology of East Antarctica
Author: Drewry, David J.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3432 8600
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 1973
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Continuous airborne radio echo sounding by the Scott Polar Research Institute has enabled delimitation of the sub-ice topographic configuration of Eastern Antarctica. Reduction and evaluation of profiles of ice/bedrock interface, combined with critically assessed results of previous geophysical and geological investigations, has allowed some interpretation of the geological structure and glacial history of East Antarctica. A comparison of the relative and absolute accuracy of radio echo sounding results and seismic-gravity data in East Antarctica indicates an average agreement between the different techniques to better than 10%. The results of some previously unchecked traverses, however, have been revised. Maps and profiles of bedrock relief have been compiled and are discussed in general. They have provided the basis for a quantitative investigation and regionalization of sub-ice relief based upon the statistical variation of the vertical and horizontal components of surface roughness. The resulting. topographic regions along with details of radio echo profiles and other geophysical measurements have enabled interpretation of aspects of Antarctic crustal structure including: 1) estimates of the isostatically compensated bedrock surface 2) estimates of crustal thickness 3) the nature of the transition between the fault-block Transantarctic Mountains and the East Antarctic craton. 4) the extent of the topographically distinctive Beacon Supergroup lithological province 5) the delimitation of the major neotectonic characteristics of East Antarctica - zones of uplift and depression 6) a generalized outline of the major tectonic units of East Antarctica. Investigations of glacial geological history have been assisted by detailed mapping and analysis of sub-ice relief adjacent to the Transantarctic Mountains. Evidence of inland-trending valleys of probable glacial origin suggests that glaciers once descended both flanks of the Mountains during a local, upland glacial phase predating the continental ice sheet. Such findings have assisted in evaluation of proposed models for the development of the East Antarctic ice sheet, contributed to the dating of uplift in the Transantarctic Mountains and provided material for the discussion of a probable pre-glacial fluvial erosion phase in the Transantarctic Mountains.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral