Sampling bedrock beneath the ice sheet, GHC will identify if and when the glacier retreated in the past, how it recovered, and how it is currently responding to environmental conditions.

Investigating sediments deposited in the seas near the glacier, Thwaites Offshore Research (THOR) will reconstruct past changes in environmental conditions and the glacier’s response to these, thereby adding context to our projections of future change.

Measuring ocean circulation and thinning beneath the floating part of the glacier using state of the art technology such as AUVs and automated land-ice stations, TARSAN will investigate how the ocean and atmosphere are affecting the glacier.

Thwaites Glacier geological map and associated geophysical information

The geology underlying Thwaites Glacier plays a critical role in mediating ice flow in this region yet is extremely poorly known. Using new compilations of airborne radar, magnetic and gravity data, supported by published geological evidence, we have interpreted the subglacial geology of the Thwaites Glacier region. Here we provide the new data compilations, results of 3D inversions and vector components defining the lithological units on our new geological sketch map.

Kay Peak Camp, credit Greg Balco
Kay Peak Camp. Photo credit: Greg Balco


Scientists are interested in learning about how the ocean affects the ice shelves around Antarctica! The Southern Ocean, that circles around all of Antarctica, has different layers of water at different ocean depths that have different temperatures, salinity and more! Unfortunately, Antarctica is a very difficult environment to work in! The frigid temperatures, icebergs, and extreme weather make it very hard for scientists to collect data.

High School students interested in exploring the poles and polar science, join a group of like minded peers! Our High School Polar Ambassadors Program is engaging students from a diversity of communities and backgrounds to learn about polar science, share their own stories about climate and community and build resources to share more broadly with others. Understanding the polar regions and how they connect to us, influence our lives and are influenced by us, is just the beginning!

Julia Villafranca is a Masters student at the University of Houston working with Dr. Julia Wellner. Her thesis uses sub-bottom sediment profiles collected from the Amundsen Sea Sector on two National Science Foundation-supported research cruises in 2019 and 2020 to map sediment deposits and calculate their thickness.