Antarctic Drilling Program


Date of this Version



Published in Marine Geophysical Research 32 (2011), pp. 383–395; doi: 10.1007/s11001-011-9115-3 Copyright © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Used by permission.


In the austral summer of 2007, 20.5 km of high-resolution over-sea-ice seismic reflection data were collected in the Granite Harbor region of southern McMurdo Sound over the Mackay Sea Valley. The goal of the survey was to image thin pelagic sediment deposited in the Mackay Sea Valley after the Last Glacial Maximum. A generator–injector air gun was lowered beneath the sea ice through holes drilled by an auger drill system. The recording system was a 60 channel snow streamer with vertically oriented gimbaled geophones spaced 25 m apart. Unique problems in the over-sea-ice seismic reflection survey—noise from the ice column flexing and timing delays caused by trapped air at previous shot points—were overcome to improve the quality of the seismic data. The Mackay Sea Valley survey produced seismic data with a vertical resolution of 6.3 m. The processed seismic data show pelagic sediment thickness of up to 50 m within the Mackay Sea Valley with some locations showing possible older sediments beneath the pelagic sediment layer.