Ross D. Powell

Research Interests

  • Evaluating processes at and near marine-ending glaciers

Research Activities

Evaluating processes at and near marine-ending glaciers in Alaska, Chile and Antarctica to 1) evaluate their stability during global climate change, 2) determine the type of sedimentary record that these glaciers would leave in order to infer past glacial/climatic condition from older deposits and 3) conduct marine geology and geophysical studies of Cenozoic sediments on continental shelves to document past glacial fluctuations through time.

Selected Publications


Elmore, C. R., S. P. S. Gulick, B. A. Willems and R. Powell, Seismic stratigraphic evidence for glacial expanse during glacial maxima in the Yakutat Bay Region, Gulf of Alaska, Geochem., Geophys., Geosyst., 14, 1294-1311, 2013, doi:10.1002/gge.20097.

Carr, S.A., Vogel, S.W., Dunbar, R.B., Brandes, J., Spear, J.R., Levy, R., Naish, T.R., Powell, R.D., Wakeham, S.G. and Mandernack, K.W. Bacterial abundance and composition in marine sediments beneath the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica. Geobiology, 11: 377-395. DOI: 10.1111/gbi.12042.

Cowan, E.A., Christoffersen, P., Powell, R.D. and Talarico, F.M. submitted. Dynamics of the late Plio-Pleistocene West Antarctic Ice Sheet documented in subglacial diamictites and-1B drill core. Global and Planetary Change.


Williams, T., Morin, R.H., Jarrard, R.D., Jackolski, C.L., Henrys, S.A., Niessen, F., Magens, D., Kuhn, G., Monien, D. and Powell, R.D. Lithostratigraphy from natural gamma radiation and magnetic susceptibility logs in Hole AND-1B, Antarctica. Geosphere 8: 127-140; doi:10.1130/GES00655.1.

Cowan, E.A., Christoffersen, P. and Powell, R.D. Sedimentological signature of a deformable bed preserved beneath an ice stream in the Ross Sea, Antarctica. J. Sedim. Research 82: 270-282, doi: 10.2110/jsr.2012.25.

McKay, R., Naish, T., Powell, R., Barrett, P., Talarico, F., Kyle, P., Monien, D., Kuhn, G., Jackolski, C., Williams, T. Pleistocene variability of Antarctic Ice Sheet extent in the Ross Embayment. Quaternary Science Reviews 34: 93-112.

McKay, R., Naish, T., Carter, L., Riesselman, C., Sjunneskog, C., Winter, D., Dunbar, R., Sangiorgi, F., Warren, C., Pagani, M., Schouten, S., Willmott, V., Levy, R., Powell, R. Antarctic and Southern Ocean influences on Late Pliocene global cooling. Proc. National Academy of Sciences 109: 6423-6428, doi:10.1073/pnas.1112248109.

Wilson, G.S., Naish, T.R., Powell, R.D., Levy, R.H. and Crampton, J.S. (editors). Late Neogene chronostratigraphy and depositional environments on the Antarctic Margin: New results from the ANDRILL McMurdo Ice Shelf Project. Global and Planetary Change 96-97: 1-205.

Wilson, G.S., Naish, T.R., Powell, R.D., Levy, R.H. and Crampton, J.S. and McMurdo ANDRILL Science Implementation Committee (MASIC). Late Neogene chronostratigraphy and depositional environments on the Antarctic Margin: New results from the ANDRILL McMurdo Ice Shelf Project. Global and Planetary Change 96-97: 1-8.

Wilson, G.S., Levy, R.H., Naish, T.R., Powell, R.D., Florindo, F., Ohneiser, C., Sagnotti, L., Winter, D.M., Cody, R., Henrys, S., Ross, J., Krissek, L., Niessen, F., Pompillio, M., Scherer, R., Alloway, B.V., Barrett, P.J., Brachfeld, S., Browne G., Carter, L., Cowan, E., Crampton, J., DeConto, R.M., Dunbar, G., Dunbar, N., Dunbar, R., von Eynatten, H., Gebhardt, C., Giorgetti, G., Graham, I., Hannah, M., Hansaraj, D., Harwood, D.M., Hinnov, L., Jarrard, R.D., Joseph, L., Kominz, M., Kuhn, G., Kyle, P., Läufer, A., McIntosh, W.C., McKay, R., Maffioli, P., Magens, D., Millan, C., Monien, D., Morin, R., Paulsen, T., Persico, D., Pollard, D., Raine, J.I., Riesselman, C., Sandroni, S., Schmitt, D., Sjunneskog, C., Strong, C.P., Talarico, F., Taviani, M., Villa, G., Vogel, S., Wilch, T., Williams, T., Wilson, T.J. and Wise S. Neogene tectonic and climatic evolution of the Western Ross Sea, Antarctica — Chronology of events from the AND-1B drill hole. Global and Planetary Change 96-97: 189-205.


Kehrl, L.M., Hawley, R,L., Powell, R.D. and Brigham-Grette, J. Influence of glacimarine sedimentation on stability of Kronebreen and Kongsvegen Glaciers, Svalbard. J. Glaciol. 57: 841–847.

Williams, B.P., Speece, M.A. and Powell R.D. A high-resolution, multi-channel, over-seaice seismic reflection survey over the Mackay Sea Valley, Granite Harbor, Antarctica. Mar. Geophys. Res. 32: 383-395, doi 10.1007/s11001-011-9115-3.

Willems, B.A., Powell, R.D., Cowan, E.A. and Jaeger, J.M., Glacial outburst flood sediments within Disenchantment Bay, Alaska: Implications of recognizing marine jökulhlaup deposits in the stratigraphic record, Marine Geology 284: 1– 12, doi:10.1016/j.margeo.2011.03.004.


Cowan, E.A., Seramur, K.C., Powell, R.D., Willems, B.A., Gulick, S.P.S. and Jaeger, J.M. Fjords as temporary sediment traps: History of glacial erosion and deposition in Muir Inlet, Glacier Bay National Park, southeastern Alaska. Geol. Soc. America Bulletin 122(7/8): 1067–1080, doi: 10.1130/B26595.1.

Talarico, F.M., McKay, R.M., Powell, R.D., Sandroni, S. and Naish, T. Late Cenozoic oscillations of Antarctic ice sheets revealed by provenance of basement clasts and grain detrital modes in ANDRILL core AND-1B. Global and Planet. Change 96-97: 23-40. doi:10.1016/j.gloplacha.2009.12.002

Priscu, J.C., Powell, R.D. and Tulaczyk, S. Probing Subglacial Environments Under the Whillans Ice Stream. Eos - Trans. Am. Geophys. Union, 91: 253. doi:10.1029/2010EO290002

Trusel, L.D., Powell, R.D., Cumpston, R.M. and Brigham-Grette, J. Modern glacimarine processes and potential future behaviour of Kronebreen and Kongsvegen polythermal tidewater glaciers, Kongsfjorden, Svalbard. Geol. Soc. London, Spec. Publ. 344: 89-102. DOI: 10.1144/SP344.9

Fricker, H.A., Powell, R., Priscu, J., Tulaczyk, S., Anandakrishnan, S., Christner, B., Holland, D., Horgan, H., Jacobel, R., Mikucki, J., Mitchell, A., Scherer, R. and Severinghaus, J. Siple Coast Subglacial Aquatic Environments: The Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling (WISSARD) project. In Siegert, M. and Kennecutt, C. (eds), Antarctic Subglacial Aquatic Environments (Chapter 12), Chapman Conference Monograph.


Naish, T., Powell, R., Levy, R., Krissek, L., Niessen, F., Pompilio, M., Scherer, R., Talarico, F., Wilson, G., Wilson, T., Barrett, P., Browne, G., Carter, L., Cody, R., Cowan E., Crampton, J., DeConto, R., Dunbar, G., Dunbar, N., Florindo, F., Gebhardt, C., Graham, I., Hannah, M., Harwood, D., Hansaraj, D., Henrys, S., Helling, D., Kuhn, G., Kyle, P., Läufer, A., Maffioli, P., Magens, D., Mandernack, K., McIntosh, W., McKay, R., Millan, C., Morin, R., Ohneiser, C., Paulsen, T., Persico, D., Pollard, D., Reed, J., Ross., J., Raine, I., Schmitt, D., Sagnotti, L., Sjunneskog, C., Strong, P., Taviani, M., Vogel, S., Wilch, T., Williams, T. and Winter, D. Obliquity-paced Pliocene West Antarctic Ice Sheet Oscillations. Nature 458, 322-328, doi:10.1038/nature07867.

Harwood, D., Florindo, F., Talarico, T., Levy, R., Kuhn, G., Naish, T., Niessen, F., Powell, R., Pyne, A. and Wilson, G. Antarctic Drilling Recovers Stratigraphic Records from the Continental Margin. Eos Trans. AGU, 90(11), doi:10.1029/2009EO110002.

McKay, R., Browne, G., Carter, L., Cowan, E., Dunbar, G., Krissek, L., Naish, T., Powell, R., Reed, J., Talarico, F. and Wilch, T. The stratigraphic signature of the Late Cenozoic Antarctic Ice Sheets in the Ross Embayment. Geol. Soc. America Bulletin, 121 (11/12): 1537–1561; doi: 10.1130/B26540.1.

Ullrich, A. D., Cowan, E.A., Zellers, S.D., Jaeger, J.M. and Powell, R.D. Intra-Annual variability in benthic foraminiferal abundance in sediments of Disenchantment Bay, an Alaskan glacial fjord. Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research, 41: 257- 271.


  • GEOL 305 Sedimentary Environments
  • GEOL 450 Advanced Geology
  • GEOL 481 Sedimentary Petrology
  • GEOL 501 Physical Sedimentology
  • GEOL 548 Advanced Stratigraphy
  • GEOL 552 Clastic Petrology
  • GEOL 646 Seminars - Tectonics and Sedimentation, Glacial Sedimentology, Physical Sedimentology, Basin Analysis, Glaciated Basins through Time, Climates through Earth History

Sedimentology, Climate Change

311-1 Davis Hall


Ph.D. Ohio State University; 1980

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