2017-2018 Science Planning Summaries
United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
2017-2018 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

Subglacial Antarctic Lakes Scientific Access (SALSA): Integrated study of carbon cycling in hydrologically active subglacial environments

Ice coring on Commonwealth Glacier to study organic matter trapped in the ice.
Photo by John C. Priscu, Montana State University


Event Number:
NSF/OPP Award 1543537

Program Manager:
Dr. Jennifer Burns

ASC POC/Implementer:
Judy Shiple / Colleen Hardiman

Principal Investigator

Dr. John Priscu

Montana State University Bozeman
Land Resources and Environmental Sciences
Bozeman, Montana

Project Web Site:


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: Whillans Ice Plain


This project is the surface geophysics component of the Subglacial Antarctic Lakes Scientific Access (SALSA) project and has been underway for three years. The project's GPS array on the Whillans Ice Plain is comprised of eight stations that capture subglacial lake activity and the resulting ice dynamics. The array will be retrograded this season.

Field Season Overview

The SALSA project has an array of eight continuous GPS stations installed on the Whillans Ice Plain. These GPS stations provide observations of subglacial lake activity and coupled ice stream dynamics. For the 2017-18 season, the team will download data from each station and work to ensure continued data collection for the next 12 months (including the physical installation, maintenance of power systems, and operation of related electronics). Two participants will be based at Shackleton Camp (SHG) for one to two weeks to visit each GPS station by Twin Otter aircraft. Transit time between SHG and the study site is approximately 45 minutes. It is estimated that the team will require one to three hours of ground time at each of the eight GPS sites, resulting in a total of four Twin Otter missions.

Deploying Team Members

  • Susheel Adusumilli
  • Matthew Siegfried