Glaciomarine Sediment Drifts from Gerlache Strait, Antarctic Peninsula

  1. Michael J. Hambrey4,
  2. Poul Christoffersen4,5,
  3. Neil F. Glasser4 and
  4. Bryn Hubbard4
  1. Veronica Willmott,
  2. Eugene Domack1,
  3. Laurence Padman2 and
  4. Miquel Canals3

Published Online: 24 MAR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444304435.ch6

Glacial Sedimentary Processes and Products

Glacial Sedimentary Processes and Products

How to Cite

Willmott, V., Domack, E., Padman, L. and Canals, M. (2007) Glaciomarine Sediment Drifts from Gerlache Strait, Antarctic Peninsula, in Glacial Sedimentary Processes and Products (eds M. J. Hambrey, P. Christoffersen, N. F. Glasser and B. Hubbard), Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444304435.ch6

Editor Information

  1. 4

    Centre for Glaciology, Institute of Geography & Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University, Wales, Ceredigion SY23 3DB, UK

  2. 5

    Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, Lensfield Road, Cambridge, CB2 1ER, UK

Author Information

  1. 1

    Hamilton College, Dept. of Geosciences, 198 College Hill Rd, Clinton, NY, USA

  2. 2

    Earth & Space Research, 3350 SW Cascade Ave, Corvallis, OR, USA

  3. 3

    GRC Geociencies Marines, Dept. d'Estratigrafia, P. i Geociencies Marines, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 24 MAR 2009
  2. Published Print: 14 DEC 2007

Book Series:

  1. Special Publication Number 39 of the International Association of Sedimentologists

Book Series Editors:

  1. Isabel Montanez

Series Editor Information

  1. University of California, Davis, USA

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405183000

Online ISBN: 9781444304435



  • quaternary glacial systems;
  • glaciomarine sediment drifts from Gerlache Strait, Antarctic Peninsula;
  • sediment cores collected along Gerlache Strait, Western Antarctic Peninsula;
  • high-resolution seismic profiles - obtained with two different systems;
  • tide model;
  • Schollaert Drift ( JPC-28);
  • Avicenna Bay ( JPC-29);
  • sediment facies and sedimentary units;
  • age of deposits and sedimentation rates


Four sediment cores were collected along the Gerlache Strait, Western Antarctic Peninsula, over two extremely thick, sedimentary accumulations: the Andvord and the Schollaert drifts. The four cores present a sediment facies succession from couplets of laminated diatom ooze and sandymud alternating with massive, bioturbated, terrigenous silt/clay unit to a predominantly massive, bioturbated, silty-clay unit. Seismic profiles across the Schollaert Drift show an internal structure defined by wavy stratified reflectors onlapping the northern slope of the strait. We suggest that the formation of the Schollaert Drift was strongly related to the persistence of estuarine conditions during the Middle Holocene along the Gerlache Strait, arising from blockage of the southern entrance by increased glaciation. Such a blockage would have resulted in a retention of fresh water input from melting ice margins and melting sea ice, increased surface temperatures, and reduced exchange with waters originating from the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. In that context, the increase in suspended sediment would have been redistributed by tidal currents leading to enhanced deposition of sediment across the Schollaert Drift.