ICE Bridge

airborne geophysics image
PI(s): 
Robin E. Bell
PI(s): 
James R. Cochran

 The Ice Sheets at both poles are changing - shrinking at increasing rates - rates that are faster than was ever expected by scientists. Combined with the shrinking of these expansive blankets of continental ice is the disappearance of large expanses of sea ice. These changes will impact all of us through sea level rise and a changing climate globally. But how and when? In order to answer these questions we need to be constantly measuring and monitoring the polar regions for ice thickness, understanding the properties of the rapidly changing ice streams, and looking deeper to see what lies under the tongues of floating ice called ice shelves. These tongues of ice are the terminus of the ice sheet as it streams down from the continent and extends out over ocean water. How much water lies below can have an impact on how quickly the ice will melt, sections of ice will break off, or whole ice sheets start to break apart causing further impact. Working with NASA and other ICE Bridge partners, Lamont will be measuring previously unattainable information. Using high resolution gravity technology, refined and carefully tested in their Antarctic AGAP field season, Lamont scientists will collect data on the space and volume that lies between the ice tongues and the bedrock.