Technologies for retrieving sediment cores in Antarctic subglacial settings

Dominic Hodgson, Michael Bentley, James Smith, Julian Klepacki, Keith Makinson, Andrew Smith, Kevin Saw, Reed Scherer, Ross Powell, Slawek Tulaczyk, Mike Rose, David Pearce, Matt Mowlem, Peter Keen, Martin Siegert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Accumulations of sediment beneath the Antarctic Ice Sheet contain a range of physical and chemical proxies with the potential to document changes in ice sheet history and to identify and characterize life in subglacial settings. Retrieving subglacial sediments and sediment cores presents several unique challenges to existing technologies. This paper briefly reviews the history of sediment sampling in subglacial environments. It then outlines some of the technological challenges and constraints in developing the corers being used in sub-ice shelf settings (e.g. George VI Ice Shelf and Larsen Ice Shelf), under ice streams (e.g. Rutford Ice Stream), at or close to the grounding line (e.g. Whillans Ice Stream) and in subglacial lakes deep under the ice sheet (e.g. Lake Ellsworth). The key features of the corers designed to operate in each of these subglacial settings are described and illustrated together with comments on their deployment procedures.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20150056
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2059
Early online date28 Jan 2016
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2016


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