Current Expedition: Ice Age Geology of the Great Barrier Reef
The goal of the expedition is to explore ancient undersea features that formed during the last Ice Age, when sea level was almost 120m lower than it is today. While once an exposed part of the Australian coastline, these features submerged, or ‘drowned,’ as glaciers and ice sheets melted and sea level rose, flooding Australia’s continental shelf. R/V Falkor’s team will use high-resolution multibeam sonar to search for these Ice Age past shorelines, drowned reefs, pinnacles, and shelf-edge terraces, as well as ancient river channels and deltas that connect to the ocean basin. Additionally, the search is on to find the southern extent of an even older limestone platform which may represent the ~20 million-year-old base upon which the present Great Barrier Reef has grown.