Offshore New Harbor (ONH) Project: Exploring Undiscovered Country

The aim of the Offshore New Harbor Project is to obtain prima facies documentation of ice volume and climatic changes that occurred in the western Ross Sea during the Greenhouse World (55-34 million years ago, Ma) and across the transition into the Icehouse World (34-25 Ma). This research is crucial to our understanding of Antarctica’s role in past as well as future climate changes, since it was during this time interval (40-25 Ma) that atmospheric CO2 was as high as what is predicted for this century (see Pagani et al., 2005 in Science).

This fall, an expedition will go to the offshore New Harbor area of the Ross Sea to obtain seismic and gravity data that will image and constrain the geometry of the sediments buried below the sea floor. The goal of the expedition is to use these geophysical data to evaluate the depositional history of the New Harbor area, which will be applied to develop a drilling strategy to recover these sediments. The successful gathering of these data will lead to a drilling proposal to be submitted as early as 2009.  

This year’s team will include Dr. Steve Pekar (lead PI and professor at Queens College, CUNY), Dr. Marvin Speece (Co-PI from Montana Tech), Dr. Gary Wilson (will lead the gravity survey, University of Otago, New Zealand), and Ms. Brown (a teacher at the Promise Academy, which is part of the Harlem Children’s Zone).

Catch up with this year's expedition at their blog and find more information about the project at the ONH website.


For more information contact:
Dr. Stephen Pekar

School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Queens College
65-30 Kissena Blvd.
Flushing, NY 11367