Expeditions

U.S. ice scientists travel to Antarctica, Greenland, and mountain ranges around the world to conduct fieldwork in some of the harshest conditions on Earth. Below you can find information about current and upcoming fieldwork as well as completed fieldwork.

 

Completed Fieldwork

2012-2013 Antarctic

Beardmore Glacier Dynamics

The Beardmore Glacier Dynamics project will collect active and passive seismic observations, as well as radar measurements, to characterize the subglacial environment of Beardmore Glacier in order to improve our understanding of fast glacier motion. The science team will use a small hot water drill provided by IDP to create the shot holes needed for the seismic work.

WAIS Divide Replicate Ice Coring

Replication of results is fundamental to science, and the ability to obtain additional ice samples from "intervals of scientific interest" will aid in the replication and verification of key results from ice core science. The newly-developed Replicate Coring System will be used with the DISC Drill to obtain additional ice samples from intervals of high scientific interest within the existing West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide deep borehole.

WAIS Divide is a United States deep ice coring project in West Antarctica funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The WAIS Divide ice core will provide Antarctic records of environmental change for the last ~62,000 years with high time resolution and will be the first Southern Hemisphere climate record of comparable time resolution and duration to the Greenland GISP2, GRIP, North GRIP, and NEEM ice cores.

Shallow Ice Cores on Taylor Glacier

The goal of this project is to refine the stratigraphy of outcropping ancient ice layers on Taylor Glacier, Antarctica, and collect ice samples for the reconstruction of past atmospheric composition changes. More specifically, the project aims to constrain past variability in the atmospheric methane budget by using methane concentration and stable isotope ratios measured in the ice at Taylor Glacier. Dr. Hinrich Schaefer of the National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research in New Zealand plans to drill several shallow (~20 meters depth) ice cores on Taylor Glacier in the Dry Valleys region of Antarctica using a PICO 3" hand auger and Sidewinder. Field activities will be conducted during November 2012 and are funded by Antarctica New Zealand.