THOR research onboard the N.B. Palmer icebreaker through March 2020

  • THOR team

The Thwaites Glacier Offshore Research (THOR) team set sail from Punta Arenas, Chile, on January 26, 2020 and is conducting research in the Amundsen Sea off the coast of Thwaites Glacier. During their 60-day cruise on the US icebreaker Nathaniel B. Palmer, the team is collecting sediment samples on the ocean floor beneath them, water samples, ocean temperature measurements, and mapping the seafloor to better understand changes to the area over recent and geologic time. Sediment samples from the ocean floor hold a record of glacial and ocean change over time. All of these observations combine to broader the team's understanding and reconstruction of how Thwaites Glacier has responded to environmental changes in the past.

National Science Foundation selected US teacher Sarah Slack to participate in the science on the cruise, and she writes about her experiences in an engaging blog on the US PolarTREC website.

Interested in where the icebreaker is located presently? Track the Nathaniel B. Palmer's journey here.

Lastly, learn more about the THOR team's research on the Thwaites Glacier Offshore Research website.

Image of sediment core from Amundsen Sea. Credit: Julia Wellner
February 6, 2020: first megacore of the cruise and a perfect 12 for 12 tubes! University of Houston student Laura Taylor and Southampton student Becky Hopkins in picture but everyone on deck for this one. Credit: Julia Wellner