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Glacier Front Drifters Design Concept

General

Project start
01.01.2013
Project end
31.12.2015
Type of project
ARMAP/NSF
Project theme
Cryosphere
Project topic
Cryosphere

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Greenland (DK)
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 0, 0

Fieldwork start
13.09.2013
Fieldwork end
17.09.2013

SAR information

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Greenland (DK)
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 0, 0

Fieldwork start
15.09.2013
Fieldwork end
16.09.2013

SAR information

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Greenland (DK)
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 0, 0

Fieldwork start
07.08.2014
Fieldwork end
10.08.2014

SAR information

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Greenland (DK)
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 0, 0

Fieldwork start
08.08.2014
Fieldwork end
09.08.2014

SAR information

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Greenland (DK)
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 0, 0

Fieldwork start
14.08.2014
Fieldwork end
22.08.2014

SAR information

Project details

03.06.2019
Science / project summary

The bathymetry of tidewater glacier fjords is a key boundary condition for models of ocean water circulation and ice flow, as well as calculations of ice discharge and mass loss. The water depth near the ice fronts of rapidly calving glaciers, such as Jakpbhavn Isbrae, is almost completely unknown due to the presence of a perennial ice mélange (floating mixture of icebergs and bergy bits), making ship ‐ based surveys either impossible or extremely dangerous. It is precisely these glaciers, however, where water depth information is most critical. Leads or gaps in the mélange provide access to the water column, and helicopter‐based CTD measurements have been successful in these areas. The mélange flows down the fjord at a speed near or exceeding the flow speed of the glacier from which it calved (e.g. ~50 m/day for Jakobshavn). Researchers therefore will use a drifting buoy system that will be embedded into the mélange as close to the ice front as possible and will record bathymetry and other parameters as it drifts with the ice, transmitting its data via satellite link.

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