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5 Km Thick Rocky Layer Found in Weddell Sea of the Antarctic
April 28, 2018 17:48


The new data will help to obtain additional information about the period of Antarctica icing.
Russian scientists of the Polar Marine Exploration Expedition have discovered a five-kilometer thick layer of sedimentary rocks in the north western part of the Weddell Sea (Western Antarctica), with a three-beam echo sounder first applied for examining the bottom. The information obtained will make it possible to clarify the geological history of the region, the expedition director Vladimir Kryukov told to journalists.
"This year we have conducted the first ever study of the bottom with the help of a three-beam echo depth sounder - new equipment installed on board the Academic Karpinsky research vessel and received a three-dimensional image of the bottom relief and its geological structure at the 15 kilometers depth. It turned out that in the northwestern part of the Weddell Sea, the layer of sedimentary rocks is about five kilometers thick,” - he said.
The head of the Russian Antarctic Expedition department, Valery Lukin, said that now the information about the geological structure of the Antarctic Seas is of purely scientific value. “The data obtained will help understand the geological history of the Antarctic and understand the plate tectonics it is composed of,” - he said, explaining that “any activity in Antarctica and the surrounding seas is prohibited by international treaties”.
According to Mr. Kryukov, the new data is important for research in the field of paleoclimate. In particular, they will help to obtain additional information in regards of the period of icing of Antarctica. "Researchers of the subglacial Vostok Lake in the central part of Antarctica from the Russian Antarctic Expedition and the St. Petersburg Mining University have previously concluded that the continent has been ice-bound for more than a million years," - he noted.
The information collected by scientists in the Weddell Sea has been delivered to St. Petersburg by plane. The data were transferred to colleagues from the All-Russian Oceanology Research Institute. As for the ship Academic Karpinsky, it is expected to arrive in St. Petersburg on April 30.
“Preliminary results of the data analysis will be ready by the end of this calendar year, and final summary will be available by the time of Academic Karpinsky’s return from its next Antarctic voyage”, - Mr. Kryukov pointed out.
About the Expedition
The Polar Marine Exploration Expedition has been working in the Antarctic waters for about 30 years, studying the relief and geological structure of the Antarctic seas. The entire eastern part of the Antarctic has been explored, and exploring of the western Antarctic has been started from the Weddell Sea in 2018. 
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Sources: Http://tass.ru 

Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Climate Change Antarctic Polar Marine Exploration   

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