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An international group of scientific researchers want to drill into the seafloor of the centre of Iceberg Alley off the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. Expedition 382 of the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) set off in March 2019.

They are looking for the ‘rafted debris’ that has been dropped by icebergs, which will give a broad view of how the White Continent has changed in the past and how its kilometres-thick ice sheet might react in the future, in what’s projected to be a much warmer world.

The process will probably lead to large blocks of ice to drift by. The more ice blocks that passed through the Iceberg Alley in any specific time period in the past, the more unstable the Antarctic was likely to have been in that period. So, the thickest layers of dropped stones and dust deposited on the ocean floor will indicate the warmest phases of Ancient Antarctica. The team expects to pull up hundreds of metres of sediment core covering the past 20 million years.