2015-2016 Science Planning Summaries
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2015-2016 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

Dynamic response of the Ross Ice Shelf to wave-induced vibrations

Dynamic response of the Ross Ice Shelf to wave-induced vibrations


Event Number:

Program Manager:
Dr. Julie Palais

ASC POC/Implementer:
Sune Tamm / Elizabeth Kauffman

Principal Investigator

Dr. Peter D Bromirski

Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Physical Oceanography Research Division
San Diego, California

Project Web Site:
http://scripps.ucsd.edu/centers/iceshelfvibes/ External Web Site


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: Ross Ice Shelf


This project will conduct field observations and numerical simulations to discover how ocean-wave induced vibrations on ice shelves in general, and the Ross Ice Shelf (RIS) in particular, can be used to: (1) Infer spatial and temporal variability of ice shelf mechanical properties; (2) Infer bulk elastic properties from signal-propagation characteristics; and (3) Determine whether the RIS response to infragravity (IG) wave forcing, observed distant from the front, propagates as stress waves from the front, or is 'locally' generated by IG wave energy penetrating the RIS cavity. Ocean gravity waves are dynamic elements of the global ocean environment that are affected by ocean warming and changes in ocean and atmospheric circulation patterns. Their evolution may drive changes in ice-shelf stability by both mechanical interactions and potentially increased basal melting, which, in turn, feed back on sea-level rise.

Field Season Overview

Field team members will travel by Basler aircraft to the Ross Ice Shelf where they will establish a tent camp for two to three weeks. From there, they will travel by snowmobile to 10 sites installed last season. They will use Twin Otter aircraft from McMurdo Station to access six additional stations. They will spend approximately three hours at each site retrieving data. At the end of their field season, the team will again travel by Basler back to McMurdo Station. They will be installing nine GPS units at currently installed seismic stations.

Deploying Team Members

  • Peter Bromirski (PI)
  • Zhao Chen
  • Anja Diez
  • Jerome Wanatick