Prydz Bay P OBrien and G Leitchenkov

Prydz Bay is a re-entrant in the East Antarctic margin, and overlies a rift structure that extends about 500 km into the interior of the continent. The rift has channelled drainage at least since the Early Cretaceous (Fig. PB-1; Arne, 1994) and presently controls the Amery Ice Shelf drainage system, which drains more than 16% of East Antarctica. This drainage basin includes the Gamburtsev Mountains, a subglacial range in which the Cenozoic ice sheet may have nucleated. Its long history, thick sediment and Cenozoic outcrops in the flanking Prince Charles Mountains have made Prydz Bay a likely site for preserving palaeo-climate records. Seismic surveys by Australia, Russia, Japan and the US and two ODP Legs 119 and 188 (Fig. PB-1), plus field studies and exposure dating, have provided an extensive picture of palaeo-climate evolution of the region.

Seismic line Seismic line (Illustrated)

Bathymetric contour

100 km

Seismic line Seismic line (Illustrated)

Seismic line (single channel)

Bathymetric contour

ODP Site

Figure PB-1: Map of Prydz bay showing seismic lines and ODP drill sites. Seismic lines illustrated in this chapter are in heavy black line. Foldouts are sections for A-A' and B-B'.

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