Smear Slide Analysis to Assess Variability of 210-PB Dates in Sediment Cores from Offshore Thwaites Glacier, Antarctica



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Thwaites Glacier is the widest glacier on Earth with evidence of a rapid negative change to the ice mass. Using sediment cores collected from sea floor highs and troughs adjacent to the glacier to investigate the sediment under a microscope could help to complete the picture on why Thwaites is melting or why it was melting in years past. The technique employed was a point counting method using smear slides. The results for the two cores were similar, though the core from the seafloor high (JGC17) has a segment with a greater discharge of quartz in the record. The core from the trough, KC08, appears to contain evidence of Paleogene coccolithophores which are important dating technique specimens. Instead of having to rely on only 210Pb dating methods which can be unreliable depending upon the core, finding the presence of biogenic material in the record can be helpful for dating.