2018-2019 USAP Field Season
Thwaites-Amundsen Regional Survey and Network (TARSAN) integrating atmosphere-ice-ocean processes affecting the sub-ice-shelf environment
Dr. Karen Heywood
Dr. Erin Pettit
Project Web Site:
Supporting Stations: Special Project, RV/IB Nathaniel B. Palmer
Thwaites and neighboring glaciers in the Amundsen Sea Embayment are rapidly losing mass in response to recent climate warming and related changes in ocean circulation. Better understanding of the dominant processes at and near grounding zones is needed, especially with regard to their spatial and temporal variability and of the atmospheric and oceanic drivers of these processes. The TARSAN project will measure ocean circulation and thinning beneath the floating part of the glacier using state-of-the-art technology such as autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and automated land-ice stations to investigate how the ocean and atmosphere are affecting the glacier.
Field Season Overview
Researchers will sail on the RV/IB Nathaniel B. Palmer from Punta Arenas, Chile to the Amundsen Sea. The goals this season are to test the new University of Gothenburg AUV, perform conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) surveys, and to tag seals on both islands and sea ice. The team will camp for three days on Edwards Islands and make day trips to tag seals on the sea ice.
Deploying Team Members