2016-2017 Science Planning Summaries
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2016-2017 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:
Judy Shiple / Elizabeth Kauffman

Principal Investigator

Dr. Peter D Bromirski

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

Project 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

The team will return to the 16 stations that were serviced last season to retrieve data and demobilize the seismic and GPS stations at respective sites. The station visits can be carried out with a combination of Twin Otter flights from McMurdo Station and from a field camp at the Yesterday Camp location previously occupied in the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 field seasons, and by snowmobile transits from Yesterday Camp to stations within 20 km of camp. This will be a combined operation with G-089-M (Wiens), and Patrick Shore will supervise recovery/demobilization operations. A four-person team will need approximately four hours for each station consisting of both seismic and GPS. Three hours will be needed for seismic only stations. This estimate could increase depending on wind conditions and could decrease as the team gains experience.

Deploying Team Members

  • Laura Stevens
  • Jerome Wanatick