Arctic Field Projects



Project Title: A Glacier Dynamics and Ice-Ocean Interactions Perspective for IceBridge Science (Award# NNX14AB93G)

PI: Rignot, Eric J (erignot@uci.edu )
Phone: (818) 653.2531 
Institute/Department: U of California, Irvine, Earth System Science 
IPY Project?
Funding Agency: US\Federal\NASA
Program Manager: Dr. Thomas Wagner (thomas.wagner@nasa.gov)
Discipline(s): | Meteorology and Climate\Glaciology | Meteorology and Climate\Physical Climate | Meteorology and Climate\Physical Oceanography |

Project Web Site(s):
Project: http://www.ess.uci.edu/group/erignot/home

Science Summary:
This project will study ice-ocean interactions along the coast of Greenland to determine the impact of the ocean on the mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Researchers will collect multibeam echo sounding (MBES) swath bathymetry in West Greenland fjords to evaluate the precision of fjord bathymetry that can be inferred with Operation IceBridge gravity data. They will also collect oceanographic data (temperature, salinity) to quantify thermal forcing from the ocean on the glaciers, their melt rates and in turn quantify the impact of the ocean on the mass balance and stability of the ice fronts of marine-terminating glaciers. The results will be instrumental in deriving more reliable ocean products from numerical ocean models and make these models more able to calculate the melt rates of glaciers in contact with ocean waters in past, present and future conditions.

Logistics Summary:
Researchers on this project will collect multibeam echo sounding (MBES) swath bathymetry in West Greenland fjords in support of NASA Operation IceBridge (OIB). Data will be used to evaluate the precision of fjord bathymetry mapping with OIB gravity data. The survey will also include collection of oceanographic data (temperature, salinity) to quantify thermal forcing from the ocean on the glaciers, their melt rates and in turn quantify the impact of the ocean on the mass balance and stability of the ice fronts of marine-terminating glaciers. Three researchers will travel to Kangerlussuaq via Air National Guard in August of 2014. After preparing instruments in Kangerlussuaq, they will fly on via commercial air to Ilulissat to launch their boat-based survey. The work will be conducted in collaboration with NASA project 11-IDS11-33 (PI Ginny Catania) operating in the Rinks Isbrae sector and will deliver a basin-scale sea-floor topography that extends to the lower reaches of the glaciers to the community. In 2016, project cargo will fly on the Air National Guard. No travel for participants is involved.

CPS will provide clearances and scheduling on Air National Guard flights for passengers (2014 only) and cargo (cargo only in 2016), assist with Air Greenland cargo shipment of the MBES instrument, provide communications/safety equipment, and access/storage to CPS containers in Ilulissat. NSF will recoup the costs of the cargo transport via an interagency funds transfer from NASA to NSF. The PI will arrange and pay for all other support through the grant.
SeasonField SiteDate InDate Out#People
2014Greenland - Ilulissat08 / 18 / 2014 08 / 25 / 20143
2014Greenland - Kangerlussuaq08 / 13 / 2014 08 / 27 / 20143
2016Greenland - Kangerlussuaq0
 


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