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: Application of distributed temperature sensors (DTS) for Antarctic ice shelves and cavities

Program Manager:
Dr. Peter Milne


ASC POC/Implementer:
Chad Naughton / Cara Sucher

Dr. David Holland (Principal Investigator)

Department of Earth Sciences
New York, New York

Supporting Stations:  McMurdo Station
Research Locations:  Windless Bight

Project Description:
This project will test the feasibility of using distributed temperature sensors (DTS) to monitor water temperature beneath the ice shelf in West Antarctica. A fiber optic cable, which will measure the temperature at 1-meter intervals, will be depoloyed downhole through a 40-millimeter hole drilled by the new hot point drill. The cable will hang from the surface of the ice into the ocean cavity below, reaching the seafloor. This system is expected to be lightweight and field-portable, making it logistically feasible to deploy at remote research sites to provide high-accuracy long-term observations of warmer water temperatures beneath ice shelves.

Field Season Overview:
The instrumentation was installed last field season at Windless Bight and will be removed this year. Two participants will deploy as members of Bob Bindhsadler’s Pine Island Glacier (PIG) field team. At the end of the PIG work, they will make one or two day-trips to Windless Bight to remove the system and its supporting solar/wind/battery power system

Deploying Team Members:

  • Carl Gladish
  • David Holland (PI)

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