2018-2019 USAP Field Season
Investigating ice sheet - solid Earth feedbacks in West Antarctica: Implications for ice sheet evolution and stability
Dr. Terry Wilson
Project Web Site:
Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
The POLENET-ANET autonomous GPS and seismic network will be reconfigured to acquire higher-resolution data across West Antarctica to capture spatially varying crustal motions and Earth structure in a region where the ice sheet is rapidly changing and the solid Earth is responding with some of the world's fastest glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) rates. Observations will be integrated into three-dimensional modeling to investigate solid Earth-cryosphere feedback processes that influence the past, present, and future behavior of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). These advanced models, constrained by the new observations, will improve estimates of West Antarctic ice-mass changes, establish where the WAIS may be stabilized by ongoing Earth deformation, and reduce uncertainties in future sea-level-change projections.
Field Season Overview
This season, a team of five researchers and a mountaineer will travel by LC-130 aircraft to the WAIS Divide field camp, from which they will access their remote sites by Twin Otter aircraft. Planned work includes installing GPS and seismic stations in a high-density array to capture spatially varying crustal motions and Earth structure in a critical region where the ice sheet is rapidly changing and the solid Earth is responding with some of the fastest GIA rates in the world. If time and resources allow, the research team will also remove one GPS system from a field site in the McMurdo Station area.