Advances in Earth Science ›› 2017, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (12): 1236-1244. doi: 10.11867/j.issn.1001-8166.2017.12.1236

Special Issue: IODP

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Geological Drilling in Polar Regions: Progress and Perspectives

Rujian Wang( ), Wenshen Xiao, Taoliang Zhang, Senyan Nie   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Marine Geology, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092,China
  • Received:2017-10-16 Revised:2017-11-25 Online:2017-12-20 Published:2018-03-06
  • About author:

    First author:Wang Rujian(1959-), male, Kunming City, Yunnan Province, Professor. Research areas include polar paleoceanography and

  • Supported by:
    Project supported by the National Natural Science Foudation of China“Late Quaternary paleoceanographic and paleoclimatic evolutionary histories in the Antarctic Ross Sea and their responses to global climate change”(No.41776191) and “Reconstructions of late Quaternary glacial-interglacial ice rafting and surface circulation changes in the Western Arctic Ocean”(No.41776187).

Rujian Wang, Wenshen Xiao, Taoliang Zhang, Senyan Nie. Geological Drilling in Polar Regions: Progress and Perspectives[J]. Advances in Earth Science, 2017, 32(12): 1236-1244.

The Antarctic and the Arctic regions play a key role in global sea level change and carbon cycle, and reserve key information of the Cenozoic transition from a green-house to an ice-house Earth. They have become hot spots in earth science studies. The geological drilling projects in both polar regions (e.g., DSDP/ODP/IODP/ICDP) have achieved remarkable successes, which have freshened the knowledge of global environmental and climatic evolution. Along with the Cenozoic global cooling, the timing of glaciation was almost synchronous on both the Antarctic and the Arctic. Accompanied with the Antarctic ice sheet build-up and increased terrestrial weathering, the enhanced formation of Antarctic Bottom Water exerts significant impact on global ocean circulation. The volume of unstable West Antarctic Ice Sheet fluctuates during glacial-interglacial periods showing 40 ka obliquity cycles, its volume significantly reduced or collapsed during several peak interglacials or long warm intervals. The Southern Ocean plays a significant role modulating atmospheric CO2 concentration, global deep water circulation and nutrient distribution, productivity at different time scales. Sea level responses to the waxing and waning of polar ice sheets at different time intervals were tested, which provide valuable clue for predicting future sea level changes. The upcoming IODP drilling projects on polar regions will keep focusing on the high latitude ice sheet development, Southern Ocean paleoceanographic evolution, land-ocean linkages in the Arctic, and the impacts on the global climate, which will provide important boundary conditions for predicting global future climate evolution.

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