Arctic Field Projects



Project Title: Observations and Modeling of Ocean - Ice Sheet Interaction in Jakobshavn and Helheim Ice Fjords, Greenland (Award# 0806393)

PI: Holland, David M (dmh4@nyu.edu)
Phone: (212) 998.3245 
Institute/Department: New York University,  
IPY Project? NO
Funding Agency: US\Federal\NSF\GEO\OPP\ARC\ANS
Program Manager: Dr. Henrietta Edmonds (hedmonds@nsf.gov )
Discipline(s): | Cryosphere\Sea Ice | Meteorology and Climate\Ocean Interaction | Oceanography\Sea Level Change |

Project Web Site(s):
Institute: http://efdl.cims.nyu.edu/
Data: http://efdl.cims.nyu.edu/project_oisi/realistic/ja...
NSF_Award_Info: http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardN...

Science Summary:
Over the last decade, satellite observations have shown that the floating ice tongues in Greenland's fjords have been retreating and that some outlet glaciers are doubling speed en route to the ocean. The purpose of this project is to improve the understanding of the role of the ocean in such fast, dynamical changes at the margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet, and to quantify the potential for contribution of such change to future global sea level. This will be achieved by making oceanographic and meteorological observations over a period of five years at two key fjords: one on the west coast, Jakobshavn, and the other on the east coast, Helheim. Observations of the hydrography, particularly water temperature, and bathymetry deep into these fjords are critical elements in understanding how ocean waters interact with the margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet. The oceanographic and meteorological observations will be used to develop and validate a coupled ocean- ice sheet computer model that will enable improved understanding of processes that contribute to sea level rise. The broader impacts of the study include the involvement of two graduate students in the computer modeling and fieldwork. The principal investigator and graduate students will also give talks in the Greenland settlements where they will be based, and the PI will continue his collaboration with the Ilulissat Museum near Jakobshavn Fjord.

Logistics Summary:
This grant expands on research begun under the PI’s previous SGER grant (0644156) and will measure interannual variability of ocean properties in key Greenland ice fjords--Ilulissat on the west coast and Helheim on the east coast. The data will help the researchers to determine the role of warm, deep ocean waters in influencing ice sheet retreat. For each of five years beginning in 2009, a team of two to three will spend ~2-3 weeks in Greenland in August at the Jakobshavn and Helheim outlet glaciers, based at Ilulissat for the former and Tasiilaq for the latter. In ice-free areas, the researchers will use boats to measure water temperature, salinity, oxygen, suspended sediment, and currents using CTD and ADCP. In ice-covered parts, the team will use a helicopter to hover over leads and deploy expendable XCTD and XCP. A mooring will be placed at the mouth of each of the Jakobshavn and Helheim fjords in the first field season, and will be retrieved and redeployed in each subsequent field season. The team will develop a coupled ocean ice sheet model in synergy with the observations. For 2009, in addition to the ongoing work at the two ice fjords, the PI will spend an additional day or so in Tasiilaq to install an AWS in the Helheim ice fjord. On the return from the field, two researchers will linger in Nuuk to attend the Climate Change Conference. For 2010, a team of three will travel to Greenland in mid-July via the ANG, and spend ~3 weeks doing the field work described above. In addition, they will visit AWS stations on the south shore of the Helheim ice fjord (installed in 2009) and near the calving face of the Jakobshavn Glacier to perform annual maintenance. Finally, a British collaborator will join the team in Ilulissat to collect sediment cores for paleoclimate analysis. When this fieldwork is complete, the Holland team will remain in Ilulissat for several more days to work on NASA-funded seal-tagging project with Aqqalu Rosing (Greenland Institute of Natural Resources). Basing from Ilulissat, the team will travel overland to a seal colony, and spend about 2 days tagging the animals. They will then depart Greenland and fly homeward, travelling via commercial airline through Iceland. For 2011, a team of three will travel to Greenland in mid-July via the ANG, and spend ~4 weeks doing the field work described above. In addition, they will visit AWS stations: a) near the calving face of the Jakobshavn Glacier and b) on the south shore of the Helheim ice fjord (installed in 2009), to perform annual maintenance. The first part of the work is performed in Ilulissat, and once completed, the Holland team will remain in Ilulissat for three more days to work on a DOE/NSF-supported summer school for graduate students. They will then depart Greenland and fly homeward out of Tasiilaq, travelling via commercial airline through Iceland. 2012 efforts involve two separate deployments. In June, a team of four will travel to Ilulissat, Greenland via commercial air and spend three weeks doing the field work described above, beginning with boat work. Afterwards, they will overnight at the AWS station near Ilulissat, upgrading the on-site instrumentation to include a broadband seismic sensor provided by PASSCAL and paid for by NYU private grants. The team will then deploy on a second boat trip to visit Petermann Iceberg and deploy sensors. The team will fly home via commerical air. In August, a team of four will travel to Tasiilaq and spend three weeks doing the field work described above, beginning with boat work. The boat work will include a graduate course aboard the vessel using NYU private grants and NASA funds. After, the research team will overnight at the AWS station near Tasiilaq, upgrading the instrumentation to the same configuration as described above for the Ilulissat AWS. The team will fly home via commerical air. In 2013, the team will spend two to three weeks in both Ilulissat and Tasiilaq conducting their annual experiments and maintenance. At the end of the season, equipment will be packed in storage containers located in both communities, pending decisions on future plans.

UNAVCO will provide equipment and technical support. CPS will provide ANG arrangements for cargo, commercial cargo within Greenland, lodging for the field team for each deployment, helicopter charters, vehicle rentals, communications service, winch service, field gear, and safety gear. All other logistics, including boat charters, will be paid by the PI from the grant.
SeasonField SiteDate InDate Out#People
2009Greenland - Ilulissat07 / 28 / 2009 08 / 07 / 20093
2009Greenland - Kangerlussuaq07 / 27 / 2009 08 / 28 / 20093
2009Greenland - Nuuk08 / 07 / 2009 08 / 28 / 20093
2009Greenland - Tasiilaq08 / 08 / 2009 08 / 19 / 20093
2010Greenland - Ilulissat08 / 01 / 2010 08 / 14 / 20103
2010Greenland - Kangerlussuaq07 / 19 / 2010 08 / 24 / 20103
2010Greenland - Tasiilaq07 / 21 / 2010 07 / 31 / 20103
2011Greenland - Ilulissat07 / 14 / 2011 07 / 29 / 20113
2011Greenland - Kangerlussuaq07 / 13 / 2011 07 / 14 / 20113
2011Greenland - Tasiilaq07 / 30 / 2011 08 / 10 / 20113
2012Greenland - Ilulissat06 / 19 / 2012 07 / 06 / 20125
2012Greenland - Tasiilaq08 / 08 / 2012 08 / 31 / 20124
2013Greenland - Ilulissat06 / 01 / 2013 06 / 22 / 20134
2013Greenland - Tasiilaq08 / 12 / 2013 08 / 27 / 20134
 


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