University of California Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, California
Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: Subglacial Lake Whillans
Because of their unknown effects on ice sheet stability for global-warming scenarios, understanding subglacial lakes is a high priority for US and international research communities. LISSARD’s primary science goals are to: (1) Provide observational bases for improving computer models of ice sheet mass balance and stability; (2) Reconstruct the history of West Antarctica’s ice sheet and ice stream stability from records of basal water and ice flow variability contained in subglacial sediments, porewater, lake water, and basal accreted ice; and (3) Provide a background understanding of subglacial lake environments to benefit collaborative projects GeomicroBiology of Antarctic Subglacial Environments (GBASE) - Priscu (C-523), and Robotics Access to Grounding-zones for Exploration and Science (RAGES) - Powell (C-522). Researchers will use an unprecedented synthesis of approaches including remote sensing, surface geophysics, borehole measurements, and sampling.
Field Season Overview:
Due to repercussions from the government shutdown, the WISSARD Hot Water Drill campaign at the Grounding Zone has been deferred. However, a combined field team of 7-8 participants from Schwartz (C-525-M) and Tulaczyk (C-521-M) will deploy to SLW/CReSIS camp via LC-130 in mid December and will exist as their own self-supported mobile field team focusing on multiple geophysical installations accessed via snowmobile in the Whillans Ice Stream area. In early January the combined C-521/C-525 field team will rendezvous at SLW/CReSIS with five University of Nebraska Drillers (C-524/C-530) and some supplemental science personnel, who will have arrived via fixed-wing aircraft, and with the WISSARD traverse, who will have transported the roving drill and associated camp equipment out to the site. Members of the WISSARD traverse will deliver the team and equipment to Roving Site 1A. As opposed to the original plan, where the WISSARD traverse would not stay with the team and would only provide transportation as required, the plan is now to have the WISSARD traverse stay on site and provide needed support during drilling/science operations. Once operations are completed at Roving Site 1A, the traverse team, drillers, and grantees will move as a group to Roving Site 1B, 2A, and 2B respectively. Estimated duration at each site will be approximately three days. The WISSARD traverse will ultimately bring the drillers and science team back to the CReSIS camp at SLW where they will return to McMurdo via fixed-wing aircraft during the last week of January. The WISSARD traverse will then traverse the roving drill and associated camp equipment back to McMurdo.
Deploying Team Members:
Slawomir Tulaczyk (PI)