2013-2014 Science Planning Summaries
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Developing New Science and Technology for Subglacial Studies of the Whillans Ice Plain and West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

Program Manager:
Dr. Lisa Clough

Event Number: C-524-M

ASC POC/Implementer:
Chad Naughton / Matthew Kippenhan

Dr. Frank Rack (Principal Investigator)

University of Nebraska Lincoln
Department of Geosciences
Lincoln, Nebraska

Supporting Stations:  McMurdo Station
Research Locations:  Subglacial Lake Whillans

Project Description:
The aim of the Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling (WISSARD) project is to drill into the hydrological system beneath the Whillans Ice Stream at three different locations: Subglacial Lake Whillans at the top of the system; the subglacial river/stream between the lake and the grounding line; and the ocean beneath where the Whillans Ice Stream flows into the Ross Ice Shelf. This campaign will require three field seasons. During the first month of the 2012-13 field season, the drill system was tested on the McMurdo Ice Shelf. Later that season, the system was traversed to the top of the Whillans Ice Stream to begin penetration into Subglacial Lake Whillans. The drill system was left on site, and the rest of the project will be carried out over the next two field seasons.

Field Season Overview:
The 2013-14 season will consist of a return to Subglacial Lake Whillans for more sampling of the subglacial environment at a new location. The hot water drill (HWD) and the Launch and Recovery System (LARS) will be traversed to the new location from their current winter storage site at SLW. Once at the new location, the HWD, LARS and science labs will be set up and drilling and sampling of SLW will commence.

Deploying Team Members:

  • Daren Blythe
  • Chad Carpenter
  • Dennis Duling (Team Leader)
  • Dar Gibson
  • Frank Rack (PI)
  • Graham Roberts

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