Arctic Field Projects

Project Title: Long term monitoring of Greenland's under ice environment (Award# NASANeumann)

PI: Neumann, Thomas A (
Phone: (301) 614.5923 
Institute/Department: National Aeronautical and Space Administration, Goddard Space Flight Center 
IPY Project?
Funding Agency: US\Federal\NASA
Program Manager: Dr. Thomas Wagner (
Discipline(s): | Cryosphere |

Project Web Site(s):

Science Summary:
The main goal of the NSF-funded project "Collaborative Research: Sublgacial controls on Greenland ice sheet marginal acceleration" (grant number 0909454, PI-Ginny Catania) was to quantify the nature of the subglacial drainage system in land-terminating ice regions of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) through coupled borehole-surface geophysical studies. Several studies have noted the seasonal and daily velocity variations that are present throughout the ablation region of the GIS. This project was designed to collect data that monitors the melt signal on the surface of the ice sheet and measure the influence of this melt on ice motion. The original work included two field seasons in Greenland with three drill sites. Repeated occupation of drill sites allowed for instrument repair. Researchers successfully completed the first drill season in Greenland in the summer of 2011. This included the installation of multiple borehole instruments (water pressure sensors, thermistor cables, seismometers, strain gauges etc.) as well as surface instrumentation (weather stations, GPS, stream gauges, lake levels etc.). During the last scheduled visit in September 2012, researchers found that much of the borehole instrument was still operational and collecting valid science data. Given the cost of installing this equipment, they opted to leave the instrumentation running during the winter of 2012-13, with the understanding that our collaborating partner Tom Neumann, NASA-GSFC would solicit NASA for funding to complete the station removal in Summer 2013. With the approval of Cryosphere Program Manager Tom Wagner, researchers have established summer 2013 season objectives as the final removal of all existing instrumentation, and collect the longest-term records to date of the ice surface motion, internal ice temperature, and borehole water pressures from the base of the GIS.

Logistics Summary:
This NASA project follows up on activities funded by NSF grant 0909454, PI Ginny Catania, an effort to monitor the melt signal on the GIS surface and to measure the influence of this melt on ice motion. The original work included two field seasons in Greenland (2011-2012) with three instrumented drill sites; but because borehole instruments were found to be still collecting valid science data in September 2012, the science team arranged to leave them in place until summer 2013. PI Neumann’s team will conduct the field work necessary to retrieve data and instruments from the borehole sites during summer 2013. In late June, the team will arrive in Greenland via ANG and commercial air. After assembling in Ilulissat, the team will make day trips to each of three sites to retrieve instruments. When the work is done, passengers will return via commercial flights to Kangerlussuaq and travel onward.

CPS will provide ANG coordination for one passenger Scotia>Kanger, KISS user day for ANG passenger, helicopter charters, truck rental out of Ilulissat, and communications/safety equipment from inventory. NSF will recoup costs associated with this support via an interagency funds transfer NASA to NSF. All other support will be covered by the research team, including all commercial flights, any commercial freight, and lodging from institute funds.
SeasonField SiteDate InDate Out#People
2013Greenland - Drillsite Foxx07 / 02 / 2013 07 / 04 / 20133
2013Greenland - Drillsite Gull07 / 02 / 2013 07 / 04 / 20133
2013Greenland - Drillsite Qing07 / 02 / 2013 07 / 04 / 20133
2013Greenland - Ilulissat06 / 29 / 2013 07 / 06 / 20133
2013Greenland - Kangerlussuaq06 / 28 / 2013 06 / 29 / 20131

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