East Antarctic continental shelf: Prydz Bay and the Mac. Robertson Land Shelf

P. E. O'Brien, P. T. Harris, A. L. Post, N. Young

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    Prydz Bay and the Mac. Robertson Land Shelf exhibit many of the variations seen on Antarctic continental shelves. The Mac. Robertson shelf is relatively narrow with rugged, inner-shelf topography and shallow outer-shelf banks swept by the west-flowing Antarctic Coastal Current. U-shaped valleys cut across the shelf. It has thin sedimentary cover, deposited and eroded by cycles of glacial advance and retreat through the Neogene and Quaternary. Modern sedimentation is diatom-rich siliceous, muddy ooze in shelf deeps, while, on the banks, phytodetritus, calcareous bioclasts and terrigenous material are mixed by iceberg ploughing. Prydz Bay is a large embayment fed by the Amery Ice Shelf. It has a broad inner-shelf deep area and outer bank, with depths ranging from 2400 m beneath the ice shelf to 100 m on the outer banks. A clockwise gyre flows through the bay. Fine mud and siliceous ooze drape the seafloor; however, banks are scoured by icebergs to depths as great as 500 m. The Mac. Robertson shelf has seen advances to the shelf edge during glacial episodes and retreat during warming and rising sea level. Prydz Bay shows more complexity, with parts of the bay showing partial advance of the ice-grounding zone.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationContinental shelves of the world
    Subtitle of host publicationtheir evolution during the last glacio-eustatic cycle
    EditorsF. L. Chiocci, A. R Chivas
    Place of PublicationBath, UK
    PublisherGeological Society of London
    Number of pages14
    ISBN (Print)9781862396869
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Publication series

    NameGeological Society memoir
    PublisherGeological Society of London
    ISSN (Print)0435-4052


    Dive into the research topics of 'East Antarctic continental shelf: Prydz Bay and the Mac. Robertson Land Shelf'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this