Project Period

December 1, 1996-November 30, 1998

Level of Access

Open-Access Report

Grant Number


Submission Date



This award provides support for one year of funding to perform carbon-14 analyses on samples (seal skin and Adamussium colbecki shells) collected in firm stratigraphic position within numerous raised beaches along the Scott Coast of the western Ross Sea, Antarctica. These measurements will enable the development of a radiocarbon chronology and will result in detailed relative sea- level curves for five separate localities along the Scott Coast. These relative sea-level curves will help to constrain the timing of deglaciation in the western Ross Sea. During the last glaciation, West Antarctic ice expanded into the Ross Sea, merged with East Antarctic ice emanating from outlet glaciers in the Transantarctic Mountains, and extended to (or close to) the edge of the continental shelf. With an accurate, well-constrained chronology for ice recession in the western Ross Sea, those factors that could have triggered deglaciation and hence may have controlled the extent of the West Antarctic ice sheet will be able to be evaluated.