Northern Illinois University
Department of Geology & Envir. Geosciences
Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: Sublacial Lake Whillans
The WISSARD project is composed of three interrelated sets of grants: LISSARD (Tulaczyk C-521), RAGES (Powell C-522) and GBASE (Priscu C-523). These projects are connected scientifically through common interest in coupled fluxes of ice, nutrients and water, subglacial sediments, and by the common need to characterize and quantify physical, chemical, and biological processes operating subglacially. The research will focus on the lower portion of Whillans Ice Stream, where two hydrologically connected subglacial environments that lie within close geographical proximity can be accessed: Subglacial Lake Whillans and wet subglacial sediments, including the grounding-zone wedge. The RAGES component will investigate the sedimentary record for evidence of past changes in the ice sheet, subglacial environment, and ocean influences.
Field Season Overview:
This year the WISSARD field season consists of a build phase from Winfly through mid-December, a test phase at the old ANDRILL MIS site (mid-December), a traverse phase through early January, a field phase at Whillans Ice Plain and SLW-Deep (Subglacial Lake Whillans) through early February, and a return traverse through end of February.
Seven RAGES participants will deploy in mid-October to prepare equipment and instruments for testing at the ANDRILL-MIS site near McMurdo. The team will redeploy during the traverse and initial camp setup at the Subglacial Lake Whillans field site, then return to McMurdo and deploy to the field by fixed wing during drilling and sampling in January.
Deploying Team Members:
Ross Powell (PI)
Reed Scherer (Co-PI)