2012-2013 Science Planning Summaries
U.S. Antarctic Program - Science Support Section United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
Collaborative research, IPY POLENET-Antarctica: Investigating links between geodynamics and ice sheets

Program Manager:
Dr. Alexandra Isern


ASC POC/Implementer:
Leslie Blank / Elizabeth Kauffman

Dr. Terry Wilson (Principal Investigator)
http://www.polenet.orgExternal Non U.S. Government Site

Ohio State University
Geological Sciences and Byrd Polar
Columbus, Ohio

Supporting Stations:  McMurdo Station
Research Locations:  West Antarctica

Project Description:
The behavior of the polar ice sheets has immense societal impact because of its potential to affect sea level. This project observes Antarctica’s glaciological and geological systems using an extensive GPS-Seismic network installed in West Antarctica. This cross-disciplinary group of researchers has almost completed installation of a backbone network of co-located, continuously-recording GPS and broadband seismic sensors with real-time data telemerty at sites across West Antarctica and the Transantarctic Mountains. Additional GPS and seismic stations have been deployed to improve station density and test key hypotheses about the history and dynamics of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) and the solid Earth beneath.

Field Season Overview:
This field season is the sixth year of the project. Twenty-six participants will deploy to complete the single GPS installation remaining in the broadly defined 'Pine Island Bay' region at Meyers Nunatak. Existing network sites will be visited for maintenance and to obtain seismic data that is not yet telemetered. The field team will operate from the McMurdo, South Pole, and Byrd Camp logistic hubs. McMurdo Station will support fixed-wing and helo operations. Byrd Camp will support Twin Otter and Basler operations. Several of the ANET/POLENET sites are best accessed from South Pole, and researchers will work with ASC contractors to devise a plan that coordinates their support with that of the AGAP project (Patrick Shore).

The priorities for site visits are: 1A) New installation, 1B) Sites that are not fully operational; Sites that have not been visited in two years; and sites where upgrades were not fully completed last season, and 2) Sites (fully functioning) in the Transantarctic Mountains, Marie Byrd Land, Patriot Hills, and Amundsen Embayment regions for minor maintenance and/or to acquire seismic data. If possible given logistics, weather, and sea ice conditions, a subset of the field team will visit the newly installed GPS station at Franklin Island which has ceased to communicate via Iridium.

Deploying Team Members:

  • Dean Childs
  • Audrey Huerta
  • Eric Kendrick (Team Leader)
  • Andrew Lloyd
  • Joel Main
  • Rob McBrearty
  • Rob McBrearty
  • Jeremy Miner
  • J.R. Roberts
  • Michael Roberts
  • Doug Wiens (Team Leader)
  • Terry Wilson (PI)

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Curator: Ethan Norris, Antarctic Support Contract   |   NSF Official: Alexandra Isern, Division of Polar Programs