2016-2017 Science Planning Summaries
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2016-2017 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

A systems approach to understanding the Ross Ocean and ice Shelf Environment and Tectonic setting Through Aerogeophysical surveys and modeling (ROSETTA)

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Event Number:

Program Manager:
Dr. Jennifer Burns

ASC POC/Implementer:
Judy Shiple / Elizabeth Kauffman

Principal Investigator

Dr. Robin E Bell

Columbia University
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Palisades, New York

Project Web Site:


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: Ross Ice Shelf


The Ross Ocean and ice Shelf Environment, and Tectonic setting Through Aerogeophysical surveys and modeling (ROSETTA) project aims to advance understanding of the dynamics of the ice-shelf system. To accomplish this, ROSETTA researchers will collect new high-resolution data that will determine the thickness and structure of the Ross Ice Shelf (RIS) and characterize the bedrock and seabed bathymetry under the ice shelf. The ROSETTA surveys will acquire magnetic and gravity data for geologic interpretations, and radar, LiDAR, and imagery for mapping the RIS fine structure, including crevasses and channels, debris, and the distribution of marine ice and accumulation.

Field Season Overview

The ROSETTA team will acquire aerogeophysical data using the IcePod sensor suite and two gravimeters installed in an LC-130 aircraft provided by the New York Air National Guard 109th Airlift Wing.Typical flight times will be approximately six to eight hours, with the goal of two flights per day. The first flight will involve a two to three hour shakedown component to ensure that all instruments are functioning properly. That will be followed by the first data acquisition flight.

Deploying Team Members

  • Christopher Bertinato
  • Alexandra Boghosian
  • Bethany Burton
  • Wing Chu
  • Indrani Das
  • Tejendra Dhakal
  • Nicholas Frearson (Co-PI)
  • Helen Fricker
  • Jonathan Kingslake
  • David Porter
  • Scott Springer
  • Sarah Starke
  • Kirsteen Tinto
  • Fabio Tontini