U.S. ice scientists travel to Antarctica, Greenland, and high-elevation mountain ranges around the world to conduct field work in some of the harshest conditions on Earth. Below you can find information about current and upcoming expeditions. You can also read summaries of recent field work or view a timeline of the expeditions.

Current and Upcoming Expeditions

  (Pick season from below)

2017-2018 Antarctic
Google Earth image of Ong Valley Antarctica

Buried Glacier Ice Masses, Ong Valley, Transantarctic Mountains

Point of Contact: Jaakko Putkonen, University of North Dakota
Schedule: 12/01/2017 - 1/25/2018 (estimated)
Equipment: IDDO Hand Auger, Winkie Drill
Summary: This project will study a large body of ice that is buried beneath approximately a meter of debris in the Ong Valley of the Transantarctic Mountains of East Antarctica. Preliminary analyses of this material suggest that it could be over a million years old. Most glacial ice contains tiny air bubbles that have trapped the atmospheric gases and other atmospherically transported materials existing at the time that the ice was deposited such as plant pollen, microbes and mineral dust. Samples will be collected from this buried ice mass, down to a depth of 10 meters, and cosmogenic nuclide concentrations both in the overlying debris and in the till contained in the ice will be measured. The combined analysis of the target cosmogenic nuclides (Beryllium-10, Aluminum-26, and Neon-21) will allow the age of the ice to be uniquely determined and will enable determination of the rate that the ice is sublimating.