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

Project Title

Thwaites-Amundsen Regional Survey and Network (TARSAN) integrating atmosphere-ice-ocean processes affecting the sub-ice-shelf environment

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C-445-E/N Research Location(s): Amundsen Sea / Thwaites Glacier / Edwards Islands


Event Number:
NSF/OPP Award 1738992 / NERC Award NE/S006419/1

Program Manager:
Dr. Paul Cutler

ASC POC/Implementer:
Samina Ouda / Jamee Johnson / Leslie Blank

Principal Investigator(s)

Dr. Karen Heywood
Norwich, Undefined

Dr. Erin Pettit
University of Alaska
Fairbanks, Alaska

Project Web Site:


Supporting Stations: Special Project, RV/IB Nathaniel B. Palmer
Research Locations: Amundsen Sea / Thwaites Glacier / Edwards Islands


Thwaites and neighboring glaciers in the Amundsen Sea Embayment are rapidly losing mass in response to recent climate warming and related changes in ocean circulation. Better understanding of the dominant processes at and near grounding zones is needed, especially with regard to their spatial and temporal variability and of the atmospheric and oceanic drivers of these processes. The TARSAN project will measure ocean circulation and thinning beneath the floating part of the glacier using state-of-the-art technology such as autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and automated land-ice stations to investigate how the ocean and atmosphere are affecting the glacier.

Field Season Overview

Researchers will sail on the RV/IB Nathaniel B. Palmer from Punta Arenas, Chile to the Amundsen Sea. The goals this season are to test the new University of Gothenburg AUV, perform conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) surveys, and to tag seals on both islands and sea ice. The team will camp for three days on Edwards Islands and make day trips to tag seals on the sea ice.

Deploying Team Members

  • Jonas Andersson
  • Lars Boehme
  • Salar Karam
  • Aleksandra Mazur
  • Bastien Queste
  • Rolf Rolandsson
  • Peter Sheehan
  • Filip Stedt
  • Anna Waahlin
  • Yixi Zheng