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Contribution to the study of geomorphic surfaces in King George Island, Antarctic Peninsula

Grant number: 21/12876-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2022
Effective date (End): February 29, 2024
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Geosciences - Physical Geography
Principal Investigator:Fernando Nadal Junqueira Villela
Grantee:Pamela Cristina Cazaroto
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Periglacial environments cover cold areas and are associated with the peripheral areas of the ice sheets. In these periglacial areas, the surface morphogenesis would be caused by the erosive advance and the abrasive effect of the glaciers, which could flatten structural banks, pediments and terraces of varying nature according to the substrate resistance, involving processes of cryoplanation and nivation. In this context, in the Antarctic Peninsula and its archipelagos there are several forms of relief associated with the frost wedging advance and retreat of glaciers, besides discontinuous presence of permafrost, whose processes and features also configure proglacial and paraglacial environments, a regional characteristic of Maritime Antarctica. In the Northwest of the Peninsula, South Shetlands Islands, there are countless geological, geographic and paleontological works from the Brazilian Antarctic Program that seek evidence of the landscape evolution and its connections with the history of the South American continent. For the execution of such works, the mapping tools are essential in the demonstration, indication and spatialization of the observed processes, landforms, materials and features. Historically, Antarctica has had numerous cartographic studies, including detailed geomorphological cartography with an emphasis on morphogenesis. As a Brazilian contribution in this area of knowledge, the Terrantar Research Core has developed studies on medium scales in different islands of the South Shetlands, with different relationships between soils and landforms. However, the investigation of the genesis and history of surfaces resulting from periglacial environments in this sector of Antarctica remains open, as well as its geomorphological mapping. There is no detailing of inherited levels that testify the occurrence or the identification of processes that could, through cryoplanation and nivation, sculpt surfaces that would constitute chronogeographic markers of the archipelago islands in question. Therefore, based on the hypothesis that cryoplanation and nivation would define surface levels over geological time in periglacial environments, this project aims to verify geomorphic surfaces of King George Island, South Shetlands, representing their position, distribution and processes based on detailed geomorphological cartography (1: 25.000).

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