2022-2023 Science Planning Summary
United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
Read the latest information from NSF on coronavirus (COVID-19)
2022-2023 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

Collaborative Research: Investigating Ice Sheet - Solid Earth Feedbacks in West Antarctica: Implications for ice sheet evolution and stability

Solar Eclipse at WAIS Divide. Photo by Jesse Norquay, courtesy of the NSF/USAP Photo Library.  Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
G-079-M Research Location(s): West Antarctic Ice Sheet and Siple Dome


Event Number:
NSF/OPP Award 1745074

Program Director:
Dr. Michael Jackson

ASC POC/Implementer:
Judy Shiple / Jenny Cunningham

Principal Investigator(s)

Dr. Terry Wilson
Ohio State University
Geological Sciences and Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: West Antarctic Ice Sheet and Siple Dome


The Polar Earth Observing Network-Antarctic Network (POLENET-ANET) autonomous GPS and seismic network has been reconfigured to acquire higher-resolution in-situ data around the Amundsen Embayment. The network captures spatially varying crustal motions and Earth structure in a region where the ice sheet is rapidly changing. Observations will be integrated into three-dimensional modeling to investigate the solid-earth cryosphere feedback processes that influence the past, present, and future behavior of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). Advanced models, constrained by the new observations, will improve estimates of West Antarctic ice-mass changes, establish where the WAIS may be stabilized by ongoing Earth deformation, and reduce uncertainties in future sea-level change projections.

Field Season Overview

A team of six participants, including one T-295-M UNAVCO engineer and two T-299-M PASSCAL engineers who will swap mid-season, will service existing GPS/seismic stations of the POLENET/ANET network in West Antarctica. Service and maintenance work includes excavation of instrumentation from beneath years of accumulated snow, collection of project seismic data, equipment replacements, and battery replacement to ensure continued data collection. The team will be based out of WAIS Divide and later Siple Dome, and will make day trips by Twin Otter to the station sites. They will access 17 sites from WAIS Divide and six sites from Siple Dome, with some sites requiring multiple Twin Otters on a single day or over multiple days to ensure full maintenance needs are met during limited weather windows.

Deploying Team Members

  • Avilash Cramer
  • Mara Figueroa Berroca
  • Erica Lucas
  • Don Voigt
  • Mark Whetu
  • Terry Wilson (PI)