2023-2024 Science Planning Summary
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2023-2024 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-E Research Location(s): West Antarctic Ice Sheet


Event Number:
NSF/OPP Award 1745074

Program Director:
Dr. Michael Jackson

ASC POC/Implementer:
Lesley Anderson / Jenny Cunningham

Principal Investigator(s)

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


Supporting Stations: Special Project
Research Locations: West Antarctic Ice Sheet


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 three scientists, one mountaineer, one T-295-M Earthscope GAGE engineer and one T-299-M Earthscope SAGE engineer will service existing GPS/seismic stations of the POLENET/ANET network in West Antarctica. The team will be based out of Union Glacier and will be primarily supported by Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions (ALE) subcontractor. USAP will support transport of participants and cargo to/from Punta Arenas, Chile, and ALE will facilitate movement of the team and cargo to Union Glacier. The team will then make day trips by a USAP-provided Twin Otter to POLENET station sites. Service and maintenance work at the station sites involves excavation of instrumentation from beneath years of accumulated snow, collection of project seismic data, equipment replacements, and battery replacement to ensure continued data collection.

Deploying Team Members

  • Kirsten Arnell
  • Mara Figueroa Berroca
  • Erica Lucas
  • Mark Whetu
  • Terry Wilson (PI)