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Submarine geomorphology of eastern Ross Sea and Sulzberger Bay, Antarctica

Marine Geology
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0025-3227(64)90043-x


Abstract The submarine morphological features of the eastern Ross Sea and Sulzberger Bay are classified into four main categories: (1) outer shelf— the deep-lying terrace of the continental shelf; ( 2) large, enclosed depressions within the continental shelf — the transverse depression perpendicular to the coast and the longitudinal depressions parallel to the coast; (3) inner shelf— the narrow, relatively shallow portions of the shelf lying between shore and the longitudinal depressions; and ( 4) moraine-like ridges referred to as transverse ridges or longitudinal ridges, depending on whether they are respectively perpendicular or parallel to the shoreline. The outer shelf break averages about 255 fathoms; the great depth of the outer shelf is attributed to remnant isostatic depression by the continental ice sheet of glacial maxima when the ice extended to the shelf break. The great (600 fathoms) transverse depression of Sulzberger Bay may be the product of erosion by a locally accelerated “ice stream” (during glacial maxima) whose position was controlled by bed rock structure. The origin of the longitudinal depressions can be attributed to erosion by continental ice along zones of weakness due to lithologic changes or faulting parallel to the shore line. The longitudinal ridges are interpreted as end moraines formed during pauses in the retreat of the continental ice sheet. The transverse ridges are interpreted as lateral and end moraines of a former extension of the Ross Ice Sheet.

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