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

Project Title

Rutford Ice Stream cooperative research program with British Antarctic Survey

Icebergs and ice-covered islands in the the Amundsen Sea.
Photo by: Sridhar Anandakrishnan.
I-155-E Research Location(s): Rutford Ice Stream


Event Number:
NSF/OPP Award 1643961

Program Manager:
Dr. Paul Cutler

ASC POC/Implementer:
Judy Shiple / Cara Ferrier

Principal Investigator(s)

Dr. Sridhar Anandakrishnan
Pennsylvania State University
Department of Geosciences and Environment Instit
University Park, Pennsylvania


Supporting Stations: Special Project
Research Locations: Rutford Ice Stream


The Rutford Ice Stream flows into the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf and is a major outlet for ice from West Antarctica. The sliding of ice over its bed is the least understood part of the glacial system and therefore is not well characterized in numerical models of glaciers and ice sheets. The goal of the USAP component of this project is to augment and enhance British Antarctic Survey (BAS) drilling operations with a network of three-component seismographs. The work will be integrated into the drilling and geophysics plans in order to understand the role of water and water pressures on till strength and the flow law of glaciers.

Field Season Overview

The principal investigator will deploy to the Rutford Ice Stream from Punta Arenas, Chile via the BAS logistics system. Once in the field, he will work with the BAS team to install an array of 36 seismic stations (called “geopebbles”) in a grid near the BAS drill site as well as eight more geopebbles in lines extending from that dense array. In addition, in order to better understand the tidal-forcing behavior of the Rutford Ice Stream, they will deploy three subarrays of five to six geopebbles at 10, 20, and 30 km from the grounding line.

Deploying Team Members

  • Sridhar Anandakrishnan (PI)