The tectonic evolution of the Southern Ocean and associated ocean currents have had dramatic effects on Earth's climate. A new publication by Jonathan Warnock and colleagues, in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, considers tectonic development of the Drake Passage and Scotia Sea sectors of the Southern Ocean.

This work, resulting from Warnock's participation in International Ocean Discovery Project Expedition 382 in spring 2019, evaluates how tectonic changes to the basin's size and shape affected ocean current and sediment transport. The paper, titled " Miocene to present oceanographic variability in the Scotia Sea and Antarctic ice sheets dynamics: Insight from revised seismic-stratigraphy following IODP Expedition 382," finds that major changes in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current happened more recently than previously estimated. This work is important to understanding the development of the East and West Antarctic Ice Sheets as well as predicting their future behavior in a warmer world.

Department of Geoscience