2018-2019 USAP Field Season
Implementing low-power, autonomous observing systems to improve the measurement and understanding of Antarctic precipitation
Dr. Mark W Seefeldt
Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
This project's objectives focus on improving measurement of precipitation in Antarctica, advancing understanding of precipitation processes, and using this knowledge to evaluate weather and climate models. Precipitation measurement in Antarctica is inherently difficult because of the small amount of annual precipitation and the challenge of distinguishing falling snow from blowing snow. However, accurate measurement is critical for calculating Antarctica’s mass balance and contribution to global sea-level rise, interpreting ice-core records, and providing benchmarks for promising model- and satellite-based precipitation estimates.
Field Season Overview
The 2018-19 field season is focused on the maintenance, repairs, and data retrieval at each of four Antarctic precipitation system (APS) sites. The four sites are Alexander Tall Tower!, Williams Field, Phoenix Airfield, and Lorne automatic weather station (AWS). The level of work to be completed will not be known until this austral spring after assessing the instruments. The team will require two trips via helicopter to Lorne AWS and two trips to Tall Tower! via fixed-wing aircraft. The first visit to each location is for the retrieval of the equipment to be adjusted and repaired, and the second visit is to finalize the instrumentation for the second year of field observations. UNAVCO will also be involved with the field work in order to do any maintenance work on UNAVCO-provided power systems for the APS sites.
Deploying Team Members