Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Uncovering secrets of the Antarctic

21.02.2007
A Northumbria University academic is to travel to the West Antarctic to investigate ice streams which are critical to understanding how the area as a whole will respond to climate change.

Glaciologist Dr John Woodward will use radar and seismics to map and understand the movement of water underneath the ice sheet and look at how that changes the way the ice moves to the sea.

The seismic technique involves using high explosives to generate a controlled noise source. Sound waves from the explosive shot travel through the ice and are reflected from the ice-water interface. Some waves will travel through the water and will then be reflected from the water-bed interface. The echoes which return to the surface are recorded by a series of highly sensitive microphones which are attached to a computer. This allows images of water depth and extent to be produced.

Dr Woodward said: “West Antarctic is potentially highly unstable and may have a major impact on sea level change over the next 200 years. The response of West Antarctica to climate change is the current unknown but there is the potential for catastrophic change. This project is about investigating the controls on this change.’’

Dr Woodward will join two American partners – Dr Slawek Tulaczyk from the University of Santa Cruz in California and Dr Ian Joughin from the University of Washington in the mission next year and the year after. They will use satellite imagery and global positioning systems to look at changes on the surface of the ice streams.

Dr Woodward, who has a growing international reputation for his work in glaciology, was invited by the Americans to take part in this project.

Dr Woodward’s element of the project is being funded to the tune of £64,190 by the National Environment Research Council (NERC).

During their stay in West Antarctic the team will endure temperatures of –20° and will live in tents in the field.

Later this year Dr Woodward will be one of a team of scientists on a mission to explore one of the last unchartered corners of the Earth – a subglacial lake buried beneath 3.4km of Antarctic ice. Northumbria is part of consortium of 14 universities, institutions and scientists from Chile, USA, Sweden, Belgium, Germany and New Zealand that aim to be the first to search for life in such an extreme and untouched habitat.

Dr Woodward is 34 and lives in Witton Gilbert in Co. Durham. He is Programme Leader for the BSc in Geography in the School of Applied Sciences at Northumbria University. Prior to this he worked as a researcher for the British Antarctic Survey.

Katrina Alnikizil | alfa
Further information:
http://www.northumbria.ac.uk

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht World’s oldest known oxygen oasis discovered
18.01.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

nachricht A close-up look at an uncommon underwater eruption
11.01.2018 | Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Polymers Based on Boron?

18.01.2018 | Life Sciences

Bioengineered soft microfibers improve T-cell production

18.01.2018 | Life Sciences

World’s oldest known oxygen oasis discovered

18.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>