Enigmatic Sea Floor Mounds in Antarctica--analysis of bathymetry data from geophysical cruise NBP04-01

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The Ohio State University

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As part of the 2004 Nathaniel B. Palmer-0401 geophysical cruise, a structural geology enigma was identified on the Ross Sea floor off the Antarctica coast. Using multibeam bathymetry, a series of eight mysterious, “pepperoni-shaped” mounds were identified on the sea floor. My research entails the morphological study of these structures and the determination of their relationship to either nearby volcanism or subglacial features. Through the use of the IVS-Fledermaus© software program, bathymetric data obtained from the cruise was projected in a 3-dimensional model. Morphological data from the seafloor hills is compared to the attributes of glacial drumlins and volcanic tuya. Future work will include adding seismic and magnetic profiles of the area to the 3D model to constrain their composition and the internal subsurface structure associated with the hills. Once the origin of these features has been determined, a search for their existence in similar environments worldwide can be conducted in order to determine their uniqueness.



Antarctica, sea floor mounds, NBP04-01 cruise