Arctic Field Projects



Project Title: Shelf-Basin Exchange near 79N Glacier and Zachariae Isstrom, North-East Greenland (Award# 1362109)

PI: Muenchow, Andreas (muenchow@udel.edu)
Phone: (302) 831.0742 
Institute/Department: U of Delaware, College of Marine and Earth Studies 
IPY Project?
Funding Agency: US\Federal\NSF\GEO\OPP\ARC\ANS
Program Manager: Dr. William Wiseman (wwiseman@nsf.gov)
Discipline(s): | Oceanography |

Project Web Site(s):
Data: http://icyseas.org/
Logistics: http://www.awi.de/en/home/
NSF_Award_Info: http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=13...
Data: http://www.pangaea.de

Science Summary:
The objectives of this RAPID project are to deploy an array of five moored ocean current, salinity, temperature, and two subsurface pressure sensors across the 200-400 m deep Norske Ore Trough in the summer of 2014 from aboard the R/V Polarstern, a German research icebreaker. The array will observe the circulation within this channel system at dynamically relevant time and space scales. Ultimately, the recovered data will be used to test the hypothesis that a clock-wise shelf circulation off north-east Greenland between 76N and 82N latitude provides warm Atlantic waters towards one of the last remaining stable floating ice-shelves in Greenland (Niog-halvfjerdsfjorden Gletscher called 79N Glacier) via a 20-40 km wide system of troughs. Degradation of the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets is a major contributor to global sea level rise. One cause of the accelerating degradation of these ice sheets is believed to be the transport of heat from the continental slope to the face of tidewater glaciers. Models and qualitative arguments suggest that this transport is enhanced by cross-shelf channels that minimize mixing of the transported waters with cold, ambient shelf waters. This project is an attempt to observe the importance of such transport mechanisms. The funded activities support a nascent international collaboration. The resultant data set will add to both public and scientific debate related to climate change. Public outreach and engagement will be facilitated via http://IcySeas.org, a research blog established and maintained by the PI as part of NSF's "Science: Becoming the Messenger" program.

Logistics Summary:
This project will explore how heat from the deep Atlantic Ocean moves towards Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden Gletscher (often also called 79N Glacier) and Zachariae Isstrom. These are two of the largest glaciers in Greenland, both have floating ice shelves, and both are in some of the most remote and least explored coastal areas of Greenland. The PI will deploy an array of five moored ocean current, salinity, temperature, and two subsurface pressure sensors across 200-400 m deep Norske Ore Trough in the summer of 2014 from aboard the R/V Polarstern, a German research icebreaker. The five 75-kHz acoustic Doppler current profilers (ADCP) will form the backbone of a German-US collaborative pilot experiment to prepare for a more comprehensive future ice-ocean-glacier interaction study at 79N Glacier in Greenland.

SeasonField SiteDate InDate Out#People
2014Greenland - Norske Oer06 / 06 / 2014 07 / 01 / 20142
 


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