2012-2013 Science Planning Summaries
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Impact of recent climate warming on active-layer dynamics, permafrost, and soil properties on the western Antarctic Peninsula
Drilling in bedrock at Amsler Island near Palmer Station to install sensors that monitor changes in permafrost temperature. Photo courtesy of Jim Bockheim. 

Program Manager:
Dr. Alexandra Isern


ASC POC/Implementer:
Samina Ouda / Cara Ferrier

Dr. James Bockheim (Principal Investigator)
Project LinkExternal Non U.S. Government Site

University of Wisconsin Madison
Department of Soil Science
Madison , Wisconsin

Supporting Stations:  Palmer Station
Research Locations:  Palmer Station, Primavera Station (Argentina)

Project Description:
This is a three-year collaborative project with CALM (Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring, funded in part by a grant from the NSF’s Arctic Research and Logistics program) and PERMANTAR (Permafrost and Active Layer Monitoring in the Maritime Antarctic, funded by Portuguese and Spanish programs). Researchers will establish permafrost and soil monitoring stations on Livingston and Deception Islands, at Palmer Station, and on an island site (to be selected) between Palmer Station and Livingston Island. Soil and permafrost are sensitive indicators of climate change and these new sites are particularly significant because recent climate change is exceptionally evident here. Each soil-climate/active-layer monitoring station comprises an array of shallow boreholes with sensors that record soil temperatures year-round. Permafrost is monitored through a 10-15-meter-deep borehole.

Field Season Overview:
This is the final field season for this award. Participants will deploy onboard the ARSV Laurence M. Gould (LMG) to visit the soil and permafrost monitoring stations installed during the previous two field seasons. They will download data from 21 shallow boreholes and two deeper permafrost boreholes at Palmer (US) and Primavera (Argentina) Stations. Unless the project receives further NSF support, the PI will turn over the Palmer Station installations to the Palmer LTER, and the island installations to the Portuguese.

Deploying Team Members:

  • Nicholas Haus
  • Kelly Wilhelm

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Curator: Esther L. Hill PhD, Antarctic Support Contract   |   NSF Official: Alexandra Isern, Office of Polar Programs