Tulane geologist gets trip of a lifetime to survey the Antarctic

July 12, 2018 - 6:13 pm

(WWL.com) - A Tulane geologist has been selected to join scientists from around the world who are traveling to Antarctica to research the history of glaciers at the bottom of the globe. Tulane Assistant professor Dr. Brent Goehring says this could give us a peek into potential sea rise levels in the future.

“We can’t understand sea-level by itself and we can’t understand glaciers by themselves, we have to understand them as an integrated system.”

The 25 million dollar research collaboration will send 101 experts to complete eight large-scale projects.

Goehring says the prep for the trip is rigorous, including wilderness and survival training but the process will be rewarding as all kinds of scientists come to complete the project.

“No one of us is an expert in everything, so well have drillers with us and they; really be running the show while were collecting the core, and we as geologists have to guide them with the work that has to be done.”

Goehring explains that they will be drilling deep into the ice to find rocks that used to be exposed to the atmosphere for thousands of years. He says they will be observing the effects of cosmic rays from outer space on those rocks and using that information to predict new sea level changes.

“You can think of the rock as getting a suntan, so the longer the rock has been sitting out there, the darker the suntan, the greater number of atoms we would count.”

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