Theo Calkin

Theo Calkin


Office: CO421


BSc Victoria University of Wellington (2018)
MSc Candidate in Geomarine Geology

Master thesis


Sub-ice shelf processes and ice stream behaviour at WAIS Grounding Zone, Kamb Ice Stream, Antarctica.


Project objectives and description

The Kamb Ice Stream (KIS) is one of a series of ice streams which flow west off the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and coalesce to form the eastern Ross Ice Shelf. These ice streams are collectively termed the Siple Coast or Ross Ice Streams, and together account for around 40% of WAIS mass loss. Changes to the flow of these streams exerts a significant influence on WAIS mass balance.

KIS is of note because, in contrast to the surrounding ice streams which move ice seaward at velocities of hundreds of metres per year, movement of KIS stagnated approximately 160 years ago. KIS offers a unique opportunity to improve our understanding of the factors contributing to ice stream behaviour, and the influence of different factors on the mass balance of WAIS. 

This project builds on information collected from sediment cores recovered near the grounding zone of the Kamb Ice Stream in the 2019/2020 austral summer.

My key objectives require me to: 

1. Reconstruct recent behaviour of Kamb Ice Stream from geological cores collected at the HWD-1 site

2. Describe core stratigraphy and sediment facies

3. Interpret sources of sediment and mode of emplacement and relate these to movement of the grounding line

4. Establish a core chronology if possible