2018-2019 Science Planning Summaries
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2018-2019 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

TIME - Thwaites Interdisciplinary Margin Evolution - The role of shear margin dynamics in the future evolution of Thwaites Drainage Basin

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C-446-M Research Location(s): Eastern Shear Margin of Thwaites Glacier


Event Number:
NSF/OPP Award 1739027 / NERC Award NE/S006788/1

Program Manager:
Dr. Paul Cutler

ASC POC/Implementer:
Judy Shiple / Carrie Schaffner / Leslie Blank

Principal Investigator(s)

Dr. Slawek M Tulaczyk
University of California Santa Cruz
Earth Sciences
Santa Cruz, California

Dr. Poul Christoffersen
Cambridge University
Scott Polar Research Institute
Cambridge, United Kingdom


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: Eastern Shear Margin of Thwaites Glacier


The Thwaites Interdisciplinary Margin Evolution (TIME) project will test the overarching hypothesis that shear-margin dynamics may exert powerful control on the future evolution of ice flow in the Thwaites Drainage Basin. The work will combine geophysical field data collection on the Eastern Shear Margin (ESM) of Thwaites Glacier with modeling of shear margins and basin-scale numerical investigations of future sea-level contributions. Field work includes instrument installations, active seismic experiments, and radar surveys.

Field Season Overview

This is the first year of a four-year science event. Two researchers and one mountaineer will deploy to WAIS Divide field camp to test design components of the active-source seismic survey experiment they will be conducting in years three and four using shot holes and explosives. This testing will be completed at a site greater than five kilometers from WAIS Divide. This three-person team will also complete one-to-two reconnaissance missions in the ESM via Twin Otter aircraft to confirm the landing conditions at their remote research sites known as T1 and T2.

Deploying Team Members

  • Galen Kaip (Co-PI)
  • Marianne Karplus (Co-PI)
  • Mike Roberts
  • Jacob Walter (Co-PI)