NASA's Operation IceBridge got the 2012 Antarctic campaign off to a productive start with a land ice survey of Thwaites Glacier and a sea ice flight over parts of the Bellingshausen Sea.
This photo shows the calving front of Thwaites Ice Shelf looking at the ice below the water's surface. Note how the water acts as a blue filter.
Credit: NASA / Jim Yungel
During the first few weeks of a campaign, IceBridge typically concentrates on sea ice before it begins to melt as spring temperatures rise, but as often happens in the field, the weather had other ideas.
On Oct. 12, the IceBridge team met with meteorologists at the Punta Arenas airport to discuss weather conditions and make a final decision on where to fly. "The forecast for all sea ice science targets was hopeless," said IceBridge project scientist Michael Studinger. "We decided to take advantage of the unusually good conditions over the Thwaites Glacier area."
Thwaites Glacier is a rapidly-changing ice stream in West Antarctica that flows into Pine Island Bay. A high priority area, Thwaites has been the subject of repeated missions over the past several years by IceBridge and other organizations, such as the Institute for Geophysics at the University of Texas at Austin (UTIG). UTIG is one of IceBridge's partnering organizations, though their survey in this region was part of a project that occurred before IceBridge. Combining new measurements with these previously gathered data gives researchers a more detailed view of parts of Thwaites Glacier, and the resulting information will help with various computer models used to predict how ice sheets change over time.
On Oct. 13, the weather shifted somewhat, allowing for the first sea ice flight of the campaign, a high-priority mission in the Bellingshausen Sea along the west side of the Antarctic Peninsula. This marked the fourth year of data collection over this area. Repeated survey lines on both this flight and the previous one are vital for building a record of change in the Antarctic.
The DC-8 also flew over Burke Island in the Amundsen Sea. Using the DC-8's Coherent Radar Depth Sounder, IceBridge scientists were able to record ice thickness on the small island, something Studinger said is a subject of some interest in the science community.
George Hale | EurekAlert!
Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past
28.04.2017 | National Science Foundation
Citizen science campaign to aid disaster response
28.04.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering
28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences