Antarctica: seismic structure and neotectonics

Posted by pkm at Feb 10, 2015 10:25 AM |
Anya Reading - Earth Sciences, School of Physical Sciences, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania

The structure of Antarctica, the last continent, has been understood through combining international efforts in geology and geophysics, not least seismology.  This contribution shows how understanding evolved through time and is an exemplar of national endeavour by countries such as the UK and Australia, and international cooperation.  The International Polar Year of 2007-08, following 50 years after the International Geophysical Year of 1957-58, saw extensive cooperative field deployments of seismic stations and highly significant developments in the ability to image, using seismic energy, the deep Antarctic continent beneath the extensive ice-caps of the interior.  Antarctica’s neotectonics, the way that the continent is deforming by aseismic and seismic means, presents a myriad of ways in which we may better understand the deep Earth.  In particular, the uplift response of the solid Earth to melting icecaps in West Antarctica is a new window into Earth deformation at fast timescales.  New collaborations between Australian and UK scientists are underway combining Earth deformation and seismic approaches to understanding the asthenosphere-lithosphere-cryosphere system.

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